The South African Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is part of the new South African culture of youth empowerment through learnership programs; Correctional Services Learnership is a great way for young people to gain industry-specific skills and certifications. This is a win for everybody because the young people get skills that earn them money, the industries get the manpower to produce, the economy is boosted, and crime is reduced.
Every year the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) offers young people from the different communities in the county learnership opportunities. These learnerships form part of the government’s National Skills Development Strategy and are based on geographical locations more than anything else. This is because, as a government agency, the DCS wants to reach every part of the country, and touch as many communities as possible.
Correctional Services Learnerships
As a correctional agency, the DCS is involved in the rehabilitation of criminals. With this in mind, any interested applicants must note that they will be working towards correcting and educating incarcerated persons. Therefore, DCS Learnerships are open to those with the necessary qualifications required to study for the Further Education and Training (FET) Certificate. This is obtainable in the Corrections Services Learnership (NQF Level 4).
The learnership program will give both theoretical and practical training on how to rehabilitate prisoners; how to help them improve their lives, how to live peacefully with others and to be contributing members of society. As a trainee, you will be taught how to do this via correction and human development. Mind you, this is not the ordinary school environment; the prison system is quite different from the usual school system.
While you are studying at this Correctional Services Learnership program, you will be given the skills that will make you employable in both the correctional services environment, as well as on the outside. You will also earn a stipend of R3 500 per month for the duration of the learnership.
Correctional Services Learnership Requirements
Of course, there are a few requirements that one must meet in order to be accepted. This is to ensure that the program impacts the exact people it was designed for. The minimum requirements are listed below:
Applicants must be South African citizens.
Applicants must have a Standard 10/Grade 12 Certificate.
Applicants may have a Further Education and Training Certificate NQF (Level 4). Applicants who have successfully completed the National Certificate in Vocational Studies (NQF Level 4) are welcome to apply.
Applicants must also be between the ages of 21 and 35 years.
Applicants must not have a criminal record. If an applicant has a case against him yet to be decided, he must provide all the details when applying.
Applicants must have a strong character. Teaching criminals is different from teaching in regular classrooms.
Special preference will be given to applicants with Trade or Occupational-based Certificate, Diploma, or Degree related to Security/Corrections. Please take note that these additional qualifications will not attract additional payments of the stipend paid to learners during the learnership, nor will they be considered if learners are engaged permanently.
What you need to Know
The Learnership Program lasts a duration of 12 months.
About 30% of the training will consist of theory. This is a classroom-style instructional training that will be done at a DCS college that will be decided by the Department.
The Theoretical training will include instruction on the use of firearms, self-defense, and physical training.
This training is compulsory and requires you to stay at the Training College on a full-time basis.
Applicants who are in training will be given free accommodation, meals, a uniform, and all other training materials.
Practical Workplace Training
The remaining 70% of the training will be practical workplace training which will be done at the Correctional and Social Reintegration Centres/Units. This part of the training entails being attached to experienced correctional workers doing their duties. This will include the rehabilitation and provision of security to offenders.
Learners will still receive their monthly stipend during this part of the training but each learner will be responsible for his own accommodation, meals, and transportation.
Once the learner has successfully completed both sides of the training routine (theoretical and practical) and has successfully undergone external verification by SASSETA, the learner will receive a FET Certificate in Corrections Services NQF 4.
How to Apply for the DCS Learnerships?
The first thing you need to do is get an application. You can get the Application for Admission to a Learnership in DCS form from any Correctional Services Office. It is also possible to obtain the form online by visiting the Department of Correctional Services website, on www.dcs.gov.za under the Forms Tab.
When you type in the address and your browser, and get to the website, just look at the top or bottom for the link that says “Forms” and click on it. Then find the one icon that says Internship/Learnership Application Forms and then click it.
Click on the Learnership Application Form and it will then automatically download to your computer.
Completed Correctional Services Learnership application forms should be returned in a sealed envelope with all necessary attached documents. It could either be mailed or hand-delivered to the Regional Commissioner at the Management Office nearest to where you live.
When applying for the learnerships please ensure that you specify the exact learnership post that you wish to apply for: (e.g. DCS Corrections Service Learnership: Gauteng Region: Leeuwkop (Ref GP02)
Supporting documents to attach include: certified copies of your certificates and Identity Documents (please note that these documents must not have been certified more than 3 months ago– you can get this done at any Police Station)
Photocopied forms will not be accepted.
Faxed or e-mailed, or late forms will be disregarded.
This DCS learnership program grants you the opportunity to receive training as both a teacher and a correctional worker at the same time. If you are dedicated and committed, there is a high probability that you will be retained in the department, and so you can build a great career for yourself. However, you can also work as a teacher with the certification you receive, and you can even work as a social worker.