SARS Graduate Trainee Programmes

About SARS

The South African Revenue Service (SARS) is South Africa’s national tax collecting authority. It was established in terms of the South African Revenue Service Act 34 of 1997 as an autonomous agency. Although the country’s tax regime is set by the National Treasury, it is managed by SARS. SARS is responsible for administering the South African tax system and customs service. Its outcomes are as listed below.

sars learnerships
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  • Increased Customs and Excise compliance
  • Increased tax compliance
  • Increased ease and fairness of doing business with SARS
  • Increased Cost effectiveness and Internal Efficiencies
  • Increased public trust and credibility

SARS’s vision is to be an innovative revenue and customs agency that enhances economic growth and social development, and supports South Africa’s integration into the global economy in a way that benefits all black citizens. The organisation aims to provide an enhanced, transparent and client-oriented service to ensure optimum and equitable collection of revenue. Below are SARS’s main functions.

  • To collect and administer all national taxes, duties and levies
  • To collect revenue that may be imposed under any other legislation, as agreed on between SARS and an organ of state of institution entitled to the revenue
  • To provide protection against the illegal importation and exportation of goods
  • To facilitate trade
  • To advise the Minister of Finance on all matters.

SARS’s approach to promoting compliance is based in three principles: SARS must make taxpayers aware of their obligations, make it easy to meet them and act against those who break the law.

SARS Graduate Trainee Programmes

SARS seeks to be an employer of choice, not only amongst the public services agencies, but also in the private sector. In the 2012 Companies of the Future publication, SARS came out at number seven in two successive years for being one of the most sought-after employers by Commerce students at South African Universities. This was ahead of many top JSE-listed (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) companies. In the 2012/2013 Universum Student Survey of all universities and universities of technology in South Africa, SARS was ranked at number three by Business, Management and Commerce students as an ideal employer.

SARS is an interesting workplace for exciting careers not only in Commerce for professionals like chartered accountants, tax specialists, forensic auditors and economists, but professionals ranging from legal practitioners, information technology, process engineering, business strategy, marketing, human resources and procurement also find SARS as the best employer to work for.

The organisation understands that its success and the success of its employees go hand in hand; hence SARS ensures a mutually beneficial relationship between employer and employees by offering a compelling employee value proposition anchored by these five key elements:

  • The People includes manager quality, co-worker quality, senior leadership reputation, camaraderie, and more
  • The Organisation speaks to the market position, product or service quality and social responsibility
  • The Rewards include compensation health benefits, retirement benefits, ad vacation
  • The Work includes job-interest alignment, location, work-life balance, and more
  • The Opportunity refers to future career opportunities, development opportunities, and the organisation growth rate

SARS prides itself with its values-driven culture with zero tolerance to corruption. It is an organisation that helps develop and bring forward South Africa as well as maintaining the country’s stability – making South Africa the best place for its people to live in. Recruiting potential people to work in such an organisation is not all that it takes to better the country; building and developing the people’s skills is one of the major things that matter in striving for South Africa’s sustainable stability. Therefore, like other public services agencies and private sectors, SARS provides skills development programmes for the young generation living in South Africa.

SARS provides trainee programmes, where students will be facilitated in learning from leaders and experts of the organisation through mentorship and coaching. Students will gain knowledge and enhance experiential learning throughout the trainee programmes – having to be prepared for the real world of work, both mentally and practically. There are two main development programmes in this matter, namely the Internship Programme and the Graduate Development Programme.

The Internship Programme helps interns to gain work experience in the workplace and meet the requirements of the Higher Education Institutions in order to be awarded their qualifications. The Internship Programme lasts for a limited period of time – 24 months contract. The interns will be placed in positions and gain skills and experience in a particular field related to their studies. They will also receive a monthly stipend for as long as the period of their internship. Students who spend their time joining the Internship Programme at SARS may as well be recruited as a permanent employee at SARS after they graduate, but only if the student’s performance throughout the internship was considered satisfying to SARS and qualify as an employee, though it is not guaranteed at all.

SARS also recruit final year students at Higher Education Institutions to join the Graduate Trainee programme. Matriculants with outstanding scores in English and Mathematics or Accounting are considered for the Learnership Programme which is a work-based training – a combination of a structured learning component and practical work experience. Learners will be taught in class and gain hands-on experience on the job throughout the programme. Learners with potential for success in Higher Education Institutions are provided with financial assistance through the Bursary Programme.

The Graduate Trainee Programme is aimed at final year students at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) with various qualifications as well as unemployed graduates who wish to pursue a career in SARS. The trainee programme places successful candidates within divisions of SARS to provide a combination of structured learning and workplace experience. The trainee programme takes up about 24 – 36 months of duration as a contract. Students will receive a monthly stipend throughout their time as a trainee at SARS. At the end of the contract, trainees who meet SARS’s recruitment requirements and apply for an available vacancy may be placed in a permanent position.

Minimum Requirements for the SARS Graduate Trainee Programmes

Students who meet the following minimum requirements are encouraged to apply for the Graduate Trainee Programme.

  • A citizen or permanent resident of South Africa – a certified copy of valid personal identity document (ID) must be attached to the application
  • A Higher Education Institution student currently studying on the final year (Matrix or Grade 12) or have graduated from school – a certified copy of academic records or certificate must be attached to the application
  • Unemployed
  • Have good academic scores in English, Mathematics and Accounting
  • Conversant in English
  • Provide a detailed Curriculum Vitae (CV) / resume – attach to the application

Specific requirements apply on each position in the Graduate Trainee Programme. The qualification required will be listed in each advertisement.

How to Apply for SARS Graduate Trainee Programmes

Students who feel they have met the aforementioned requirements may apply via the SARS’s official recruitment website. On this website, students as applicants will see career opportunities. They may search for available opportunities by utilising the ‘Search for Openings’ section on the left side of the page. Applicants will be given choices to apply via the recruitment website or via LinkedIn.

To apply for the available opportunity on the recruitment website, applicants must firstly create an account by clicking on ‘Sign In’ on the top right corner of the e-recruitment page, then click ‘Create an Account’. Applicants must ensure that they complete all the required information when applying for the opportunity.

SARS only accepts applications via the e-recruitment website and LinkedIn. Applications submitted other than in those mentioned ways will not be accepted.

To view the status of the application, applicants may login to their account and click on the ‘Job Management’ tab on the webpage.

For more information, visit www.sars.gov.za.