Who Must Submit Workplace Skills Plan & The Annual Training Report?
Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment requires South African employers to ensure that their employees receive skills training. This important element of BBBEE-compliance is intended to remedy the South African workforce’s skills deficit and drive economic growth and social justice. For individual employers, skills development programmes are an excellent way to improve productivity and efficiency — upskilling your workforce has great ROI!
However, to be effective, training must be done systematically, by accredited trainers. The Workplace Skills Plan and the Annual Training Report are two important elements of a good skills-development strategy, as well as BBBEE Skills Development requirements.
First things first. What are the Workplace Skills Plan and the Annual Training Report?
A workplace skills plan, or WSP, is the plan that businesses draw up to make sure that their workforces are appropriately skilled to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity. A WSP methodically determines which skills a business already has, is
lacking, and wishes to gain, and suggests ways of making sure that any skills gaps are filled. Workplace Skills Plans are mandatory for all businesses with more than fifty employees, and must be drawn up by a registered Skills Development Facilitator.
An Annual Training Report, or ATR, is basically a report on how well a business has reached the goals put forward in the previous year’s WSP. It is submitted alongside the WSP. The ATR should include information such as the progress of each training programme, the number of employees trained, a list of programmes completed, and the amount spent on each training initiative.
WSPs and ATR are important documents when it comes to BBBEE compliance, learnership tax incentives, Skills Development Levy rebates, and various other rebates and grants.
Who needs to submit a Workplace Skills Plan and an Annual Training Report?
Every employer with more than fifty employees, who is liable for and registered to pay the Skills Development Levy to SARS, must submit a WSP and ATR. Such companies must appoint a registered Skills Development Facilitator, who must draw up and submit both the WSP and ATR to the relevant industry Sector Education and Training Authority by the deadline. In 2020, the deadline is 30 April.
The Skills Development Facilitator can be an employee or the company or a third party, and must be given a letter of authority by the company they represent
How to draw up a Workplace Skills Plan.
There are various steps when it comes to drawing up a WSP, and it is important to take a methodical approach.
Step 1: Do a skills audit.
Find out what skills already exist among your company’s employees. There are various ways of this, including:
• A panel audit, which includes managers, Human Resources specialists, and sometimes subject-matter specialists who get together on a panel and determine what skills exist in the company.
• A consultant audit, in which an outside consultant is brought in to interview managers and staff about skills.
• A one-on-one audit, in which each employee is assessed against a skills rubric irrespective of their job description.
Step 2: Decide what skills you need to develop To do this, various factors need to be taken into account. These include:
• Your company’s development priorities, which may lead to an increase in staff numbers, diversification of staff functions, and/or restructuring.
• New technology or processes that are going to be introduced, which may require re-skilling or upskilling existing staff.
• Existing skill levels — how much training is going to be needed to get staff skills to where they need to be? Step 3: Decide how you wish to train your staff This can be as simple as deciding whether you want to send staff away on a specific training course, or simply have them taught new skills in-house, for example by line managers. However, there are a number of subsidiary questions you need to take into account, such as:
• Do you need to re-skill or upskill existing staff?
• Do you need to train completely new staff?
• Do existing staff need refresher training?
• The cost of various training options.
•Is the available training done by competent, experienced trainers?
• Is the available training done by a SETA-accredited training facility or trainer?
•Will the training benefit your employees by offering them, for example, NQF credits? Each SETA has a particular format in which a WSP must be delivered, so be sure to check up on the specific requirements before proceeding.
How to draw up an Annual Training Report.
Annual training reports should accurately reflect how well your company has followed through on the plans laid by the previous year’s WSP. An Annual Training Report should include information such as:
• The number of employees trained successfully
• The purpose of each training initiative
• The amount spent on training initiatives
• The level of completion of each training initiative Supporting documentation such as invoices, certificates, and details of training courses and trainers should also be included. For help developing a WSP or ATR for your company, and for guidance on SETA-accredited training programmes, contact Cham labour.