On 25 April 2006, the MQA Board approved the new regime for the allocation and disbursement of Learnership Grants. In terms of the Board decision, the MQA office is now required to invite all levy-paying companies to apply for grants from the MQA.
Companies were invited to apply in April 2006 via national newspapers, accredited training providers, skills development facilitators, the MQA Standing Committees, the MQA website, etc. The application form and criteria document was posted on the MQA website simultaneously. The closing date for applications was 15 May 2006, and any applications received after the closing date, were not considered. All applications not considered will be considered in the next round, which the MQA will call for before 31 January 2007.
Screening of applications was completed on 31 May 2006 and communication to companies commenced on 02 June 2006. 5 999 applications were received from companies. A total of 1 274 allocations were made for employed learners whilst 1 533 allocations were made for unemployed learners. These allocations were based on the MQA target of 820 employed learners and 1118 unemployed learners, as set by the Department of Labour.
These targets were used to ensure fairness in the allocation process, and set the guideline for the ratio of employed to unemployed learners, which is 42% and 58% respectively.
It should however be noted that companies can register more learners than allocated without a grant from the MQA. Learners registered without a grant will not be eligible for grants for the duration of the Learnership.