International law firm Herbert Smith Freehils was caught advertising a fake learnership lamely positioned as lawyer development on social media. Learnerships target marginalised black youth and are found in sectors where growth needs and skills are required to enhance and foster economic development.
Fake Professionalism at HSF
Learnerships are registered with the Department of Labour and result in the awarding of an occupational qualification. Learnerships are predominantly at NQF levels 3, 4 and 5.
A law learnership is somewhat of an oddity and attracted our attention immediately.
Herbert Smith Freehills ignorant of local laws
A foreign firm, they no doubt heard how black graduates can be suckered when forced to enter the labour market via a learnership, even if qualified.
But HSF apparently failed to research our local regulations and even failed to get an understanding of the definition for ‘learnerships.’
When confronted, HSF swiftly removed the advert and ignored the demand for a public apology. Their website claims they are human rights experts, no doubt this expertise is compromised in favour of human busting neo liberalism.
Herbert Smith Freehills has a dim view of pay transparency, even when targeting a ‘development’ market. Clearly they lack informed policy and conviction.
False Legal Learnership Advertised
Pay is dangerously low, while expectations extremely high.
If you’re a black youth, you’ll struggle to enter the professional labour force directly, even if qualified. You’ll likely be channeled into learnerships so firms can gain BEE illusion points, tax rebates and cheap labour.
Lawyers Practicing Information Asymmetry
HSF revels in information asymmetry. Clearly, they never read South Africa’s Constitution, as a result, they didn’t see the bits about fair labour practice and dignity.
It would be interesting to know why they placed a fake learnership advert.
It would also be interesting to know why they weren’t transparent about pay, given how important money is.
Herbert Smith Freehills Tsotsi Taal
NOMINATE YOUR TSOTSI
Forward emails requesting pay history and pay expectation information from job advertisers who are secretive about pay during recruitment.