A friend of mine was learning PHP and like for those of use who started when frameworks were still in the minds of their creators, it was a torturous experience. I don't miss those complex, mind blowing solutions to simple problems I created in those early days.
To spare my friend of the trouble, I recently introduced him to CakePHP, a PHP 4 & 5 compatible framework, and he was shocked at how much work CakePHP does for the developer.
Why use CakePHP or other Frameworks? To get productive! The bottom line for every developer is productivity. Frameworks spare developers from reinventing the wheel just to move a bunch of bricks a few miles. Developers can focus on the real work on developing applications.
While its inevitable to learn the basics of a particular programming language, I'll recommend any newbie developer to find a framework as soon as possible.
The trouble of learning a framework is well worth it.