WE human resource practitioners have developed our own book on acronyms and, as we are nearing the time that Workplace Skills Plans (WSPs) have to be submitted to your SETA, I thought this may be a good opportunity for readers to get some idea of WSPs and why organisations have to submit these plans to their SETAs.
When I was asked questions such as "will we be exposing ourselves?" and "will we be required to do training if we complete this plan?" I realised that there are many concerns out there but few clear answers
Firstly, to quote the NQF support link: "Workplace Skills Plans (WSPs) are well-researched and reasoned plans for developing the skills needed by particular companies. They should include a survey of the qualifications and roles of the staff and an analysis of the company's expected future trends.
The WSP should, ideally, relate to the Sector Skills Plan (SSP) drawn up by the relevant SETA and to the National Skills Development Strategy's (NSDSs) strategic priorities. The WSPs are required by the NSDS as the basic prerequisite for a company to start recovering its Skills Development Levy (SDL). (See entry for Skills Development Act.)"
I discussed the WSP criteria with Ms Glory Mnguni, a representative at the Energy and Water Sector Education Training Authority (EWSETA) and asked her to shed some light on the subject by answering the following questions:
NdP: What is the WSP?
GM: It is a workplace skills plan document, which informs the SETA of the needs and the progress of the sectors.
NdP: Who has to complete the WSP?
GM: All employers who pay levies must complete the WSP. For more information, consult the Government Gazette No 34932 dated 12 January 2012.
NdP: What qualifications must the person who completes the WSP possess?
GM: There is skills development facilitation (SDF) training available and there is a list available on our website (www.eseta.org.za) for all registered SDF(s) with EWSETA. The company can also assign an HR person or whomsoever they see fit to take over the responsibility for the uploading and the submission but they must ensure that the designated person is registered with EWSETA.
NdP: What are the benefits of completing the WSP for the company?
GM: The company will be able to claim back 40% of the levies forwarded to EWSETA
(mandatory grants). The company will be able to apply to access funds for their skills development training, such as learnerships, apprentices, etc (20% discretionary grants and 20% pivotal grants). Please note that these are awarded at the SETA's discretion.
NdP: When and how must the WSP be submitted?
GM: The WSP is loaded on our WSP submission programme and must be submitted by 30 June for that particular year
NdP: What are the links from WSP to SSP (Sector Skills Plan) to National skills strategy?
GM: The government gives the SETA objectives to follow the National Skills Development Strategy III (NSDlll) for a period of five years, then the SETAs take those objectives and, looking at the information supplied by the WSPs, they then inform the SETAs of the needs that are lacking within that sector. With help of a sector specialist, they then develop the SSP five year plan that needs to be implemented.
NdP: Will companies get Skills Development Levies (SDL) grants back and how do they do this?
GM: They will get their grants back by meeting the criteria stipulated in Government Gazette No 34932 dated 12 January 2012. Please note that SDLs are the 1% of salary bill your organisation pays to the SETA via SARS every month.
So, now that we have a better understanding of the WSP, we know who in your organisation should complete the WSP, that you will not be exposing yourself and that you will not be required to do training if you complete this plan.
As I am a registered skills development facilitator with EWSETA, I urge you to complete and submit your WPS in time so that your organisation can claim their grants.
Submission of the WSPs will also support the SETA, and by providing valid and accurate information, the SETA can know what skills are available and estimate what skills are required for the future development of this country.
EWSETA contact details:
Office: (011) 274-4700/4723
Fax: 086 657 8010
Physical address: 32 Princess of Wales Terrace, Sunnyside Office Park, MPF House Building, 2nd and 3rd Floor, Parktown.
Postal address: P O Box 5983, Johannesburg, 2000
The EWSETA contact persons for the WSP:
Lungile Tshabalala: firstname.lastname@example.org
Glory Mnguni: email@example.com
Tsholofelo Mokotedi: Tsholofelom@eseta.org.za