Workplace Skills Plan
To be eligible to claim back from a SETA you first have to appoint a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF). This person can be full-time, part-time or on contract, but they need to be registered with your business sector’s SETA. Their role is to assist you with the second part of the process which is the development of a workplace skills plan and the submission of this to the relevant SETA. They should also be able to advise you on how to implement the plan, assist you in putting together the necessary annual training report (step three), advise you on the quality assurance requirements as set by the relevant SETA and serve as a contact person between your business and your SETA.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF A WORKPLACE SKILLS PLAN (WSP)?
The Workplace Skills Plan serves to structure the type and amount of training for the year ahead, and is based on the skills needs of the organisation. A good WSP should consider current and future needs, taking into account gaps identified through a skills audit, the performance management system, succession planning initiatives, and any new process or technology changes planned for the year.
…a strategic document that articulates how the employer is going to address the training and development needs in the workplace.
Quoted from Services Seta
Management discusses the company’s goals with employees who in turn commit to the process of achieving these goals. Management gets the opportunity to discover talent as well as skills that they did not know that they had.
It is mandatory for employers employing more than 50 people to prepare and submit their WSP’s to the relevant SETA’s.
WSP Submission requirements:
- WSP’s must be submitted to the SETA’s by a gazetted date.
- WSP’s are a product of consultation between management and employee representatives.
- Annual training / implementation reports must be prepared and submitted to relevant SETA by 30th June each year.
- WSP’s must be prepared in a prescribed format (normally customised by SETA’s for their own specific requirements).
PREPARING A WORKPLACE SKILLS PLAN – ACTION STEPS
The following general guidelines indicate the phases to be followed and the action steps that need to be taken:
- The actions that need to be taken under each phase have been broken down into individual action steps to ensure that all relevant issues are addressed. However, in practice many of these action steps may take place simultaneously;
- The skills development strategy should be planned so as to ensure that all related actions are coordinated and integrated;
- Where consultation, discussion and decisions are required, it is not necessary to set up special meetings, as skills planning issues can be discussed in regular meetings of bodies such as Board meetings, Executive meetings, staff meetings.
Develop your WSP in four simple steps:
Step 1: Write down what skills you already have in your organisation
The easiest way of doing this is to perform a skills audit, which essentially consists of documenting which skills you have in your business and determining which skills you still need.
There are a number of ways in which you can conduct a skills audit in your organisation, three of these being a:
- Panel audit;
- Consultant audit; and
- One-on-one audit.
Panel audit: The panel, in a panel audit, is made up of managers, subject matter experts and HR experts. The audit is completed through discussion and is possibly the fairest method of completing an audit because it provides a well-rounded view of a particular company’s skills.
Consultant audit: During this type of audit, external consultants assess the skills in your company by interviewing both managers and employees.
One-on-one audit: This type of skills audit is similar to a performance appraisal where the person is rated against a pre-defined skills matrix that is linked to his or her job description.
Step 2: Determine which skills you want to develop
In this step, you need to look at your company’s strategic development priorities and determine what the skills are which will allow you to fulfil these priorities.
Once you’ve done this, look at how best you can inject your organisation with the skills you require.
Step 3: Decide how you are going to develop these skills
For example, send the employees you want to upskill on a specific course. Keep a record of performance before and after skills intervention. This can be done using tools such as Competency Assessment Tools.
In closing, the intention of the South African government is to develop skills through the Skills Development Levy and the SETA’s. As employers, you not only have the opportunity to take advantage of the funds available in the SETA’s, but also the opportunity to improve the skills of your workforce. Having improved skills can only enhance your business and make it more profitable.