A tracer survey is a form of empirical research to obtain valuable information about the quality and impact of skills development interventions on those individuals who accessed and completed learning interventions or programmes. This tracer study was commissioned by the Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority (LGSETA) in order to evaluate one component of the learning programmes offered by the organisation: the learnerships that it funded between 2016/17 – 2017/18.
The key research questions which the study sough to answer are as follows:
• What are destinations of students who have completed learnership training?
• What factors influence graduate employment and/or unemployment?
• Do graduates feel that they are well-prepared for the world of work?
• Whether the programme (i.e. participation in and completion of learnerships) improved skills and knowledge for employed beneficiaries?
• Whether the programme facilitated access to and entry into careers within the sector for those beneficiaries who were unemployed?
• Whether the programme facilitated access to and entry into self-employment?
Impact Economic design the tracer survey questionnaire to ensure the collection of appropriate data and managed a telephonic survey to collect the data. The findings of this tracer study are based on a survey conducted in March 2019 with a total of 263 respondents across all nine Provinces. The survey found that most learners were satisfied with the learnerships and only 5% were dissatisfied for reasons related to not receiving stipends or certificates of completion. Forty percent of learners surveyed had not received certificates of completion after completing their learnerships. Most learners experienced increases in income after completing learnerships.
The report recommends that the LGSETA:
• Initiate a conversation with municipal employers about more assertive placement strategies for learners who have graduated from the LGSETA learnerships
• Undertake a study to ascertain the relationship between changes in employment status and changes in income after the learnership
• Consider how more practical training could be incorporated into the learnerships
• Monitor the quality of training offered by service providers
• Improve the time taken to issue certificates to learnership graduates
• Ensure that learners receive their stipends on time and consistently
• Improve its record-keeping capacity so that future evaluation exercises are able to access graduates more effectively