Distinguishing the difference between internships and learnerships is one of the biggest misconceptions we face as an established company. We get tons of applications from people applying for an internship with the intention of it being a learnership, and visa versa, and not knowing the difference. We have written up a quick summary to explain the difference between the two.
Internships and learnerships are very similar but there is a key fundamental difference:
An internship is where you have a qualification in a given field of study. You are either required by a university or as a personal venture, to gain practical experience in that study field that you are qualified in. So, for example, you can't apply for an engineering internship if you have not studied engineering or a qualification in engineering to back it up. Local, South African internships can include a stipend. However, people or students, wanting to do an internship from another country, outside of South Africa, by law are unpaid.
A learnership, on the other hand, is where you have no experience in a given field of study, and the company, that you are employed in will teach you a new skill you did not previously have.
Due to COVID-19, we have seen a surge in applications - sometimes the wrong ones. Agencies and companies usually get hundreds, if not thousands, of applications a week and if your CV does not have the minimum requirements for the job, they won't even look at your application.
Also, take note of the location of the internship or learnership. Don't apply for something that is in another province to where you currently live if you are not willing to relocate. If the location is not mentioned, rather enquire about it. In conclusion, make sure you read the brief or description very carefully before applying to make sure you are not just applying for the sake of applying.