Many companies seem to be unaware of the substantial financial benefits available to them via the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) if they submit a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) and Annual Training Report (ATR).
According to Deon Landmann, education, training and transformation officer at the Gauteng Master Builders Association (GMBA), companies can obtain SETA grants by officially planning – and documenting – their skills enhancement programmes.
“Planning plays a key role in the implementation of education, training and development in any company that is serious about developing staff competence,” says Landmann. “A Workplace Skills Plan allows an organisation to identify areas where skills are needed – and to plan measures to answer these needs. Planning to increase staff skills, if documented formally in a WSP, can also contribute towards a company’s ability to earn full points on BEE scores under the element of ‘Skills Development’,” he explains.
”WSPs provide the relevant SETAs with the information they need to compile a meaningful Sector Skills Plan, especially for ‘scarce’ and ‘critical’ skills. Once an organisation has submitted a WSP, it can be awarded a grant amounting to 50% of the levy it normally pays – and this includes amounts due for both the WSP and ATR. This will ensure that the organisation has the funds to implement its proposed training,” Landmann advises.
”Towards the end of each financial year, every organisation that submitted a WSP is required to submit an Annual Training Report. This must reflect the education, training and development activities that the organisation implemented during the past year. If there are significant deviations in the ATR from programmes originally specified in the WSP, an explanation for this may be required. Records of all education, training and development activities should be available to confirm the information in the report.
”It is important to note that if the organisation does not submit a WSP/ATR for any given year, it will forfeit the 50% grant that would have been allocated upon the submission of the WSP for the following financial year, and will have to wait for the next levy disbursement cycle,” he adds.
Landmann says the GMBA can assist its members or other companies in the construction industry, with submissions of WSP and ATR documentation.