THE Workplace skills plan (WSP) is intended to document skills needed in a company and to describe a range of skills development interventions that the company will use to address those needs. A WSP must be developed and submitted every year to comply with current skills development legislation. The WSP will normally be compiled by a registered skills development facilitator (SDF) or another qualified person and submitted to the sector education and training authority (Seta).

By complying with requirements, a company is granted access to the various Seta grants available for skills training. Compiling a meaningful WSP that takes into consideration the needs of the company, the employees or learners, as well as employment equity (EE) considerations is of vital importance to ensure that training that is beneficial and meaningful to all is offered. By including the correct training interventions in the WSP, that are aligned to specific yet verifiable needs, you are more likely to be able to recoup some of the rapidly diminishing skills levies. It is, therefore, essential that the SDF, HR practitioners, line managers and other key role-players in the organisation understand their role where skills development is concerned. All key role-players should be prepared to become involved and to assist in the development of a meaningful and professional plan that will meet both Seta and EE requirements.

A meaningful and professional WSP requires the inclusion of information from a variety of sources, including learners, managers, training staff, Setas and industry players.

Therefore, it is essential for all the above to have an understanding of the following key areas related to skills development:

  • Work place skills planning;
  • The workplace as a place of learning;
  • The need for managerial buy-in and involvement;
  • Skills planning – EE and broad-based black economic empowerment considerations;
  • WSP, Sector Skills Plan and National Skills Development Strategy III;
  • The need for conducting professional skills analysis; 
  • Industry and company specific scarce skills;
  • A corporate qualifications framework related to the company;
  • Job profiles, organising framework for occupations and related qualifications;
  • Skills gaps and linking these to pivotal grant requirements;
  • Linking skills development initiatives to career progression objectives;
  • Role of the SDF and other key role players.

In many instances, line managers and other key role-players are not aware of the company policies where employment equity and skills development are concerned. The result is that there is no buy-in and the SDF gains no support from these individuals. Companies have an obligation to ensure that all managers are well versed in and abide by the company policies and procedures. Skills development and EE policies are not to be overlooked in this regard.

Des Squire is a managing member at AMSI and Associates. You can contact him at [email protected]

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