Apprenticeship of the 21st Century A21

Multiple Access routes onto A21 Apprenticeship

Grade 9, Academic Matric and Technical Matric

The artisan development training system has historically recognised the availability of multiple routes which give access to an apprenticeship. The traditional routes of Grade 9, Grade 12 (Academic) with Physical Science and Mathematics and Grade 12 (Technical), with the respective technical orientated subjects, will still be important in accessing training. These routes will be the pre-requisites for a learner to enter the FLP.

The main reason for this is that the foundational elements have been separated from the A21 component of which a learner must complete before entering the apprenticeship. In order not to render the Grade 12 (Academic and Technical) related subject credits superfluous, especially in consideration of Grade 9 also being an access point, and comparatively a lacuna which exists and being one of the reasons for the dis-functionality of NC (V), the FLP will recognise credits for the purposes of learner acceleration.

For example, a learner with between 45% and 50% pass in mathematics and science at Grade 12 level will be credited in those subjects. Furthermore learners who bear a Grade 12 (Technical) may receive further credits related to the disposition of their technical subject passed at more than 50% mark. They will then have to complete the rest of the foundational competencies of the FLP to access the A21.

Foundation Learning Programme

The lack of learner mathematical and communication competencies has for some time plagued the national education system at basic education level, which in essence has amongst other things negated the rapid growth of latter uptake of engineering related programmes at FET and HET bands. Though the end purpose is not to blindly pander to employer requirements on the altar of societal broader needs, it is an accepted fact that the foundational competencies are naturally cross cutting in maneuvering the journey of life, albeit at different levels of requirement, these competencies more often than not are not at par with what the employer standard requirements, hence the need to develop an FLP which will target closing these gaps.

The assertion above found ground when DHET engagemed with employers in the various artisan forums which led to the development of the sectored and pilot GTPP in partnership with the employers. More and more employers are now insisting on apprenticeship candidates having a minimum of 50% in mathematics and science, whereas in view of the rationale above a range of between 45% and 50% is realistic and reasonable for Grade 12s. The GTPP was a pilot foundation programme which was developed to explore possibilities in address the foundational competency challenges. The GTPP will mutate into a permanent FLP programme.