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Office Skills Training Grants - Gayle Adlam

Bafundise Skills - Office Skills Training Grants by Gayle Adlam
The deadline for submissions of employers’ Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) and Annual Training Report (ATR) is the 30 April 2016. In terms of the Skills Development Levies Act all organisations who are registered with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) for PAYE in South Africa with a payroll exceeding R500,000 per annum must pay a monthly 1% Skills Development Levy. The aim of the levy is to develop the skills of the South African workforce.

All employers are required to register with one of the 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (Setas) that represents their industry sector, who are mandated to administer these funds and distribute grants.

Companies that submit WSP and ATR are currently able to claim 20% of the Skills Development Levies paid during the past year through Mandatory Grant funding. An additional amount of 49.5% is made available through Discretionary Grants in Seta specific funding windows. It is important to be aware that failure to submit these returns correctly and on time will disqualify employers from meeting the criteria for both the grants.

The WSP is the organisation’s plan for the training and development of its employees over the year ahead. The report covers the learning programmes to be attended by employees and the employees’ demographics are also required.

The ATR is an annual report compiled in respect of the training and development carried out within the financial year. The ATR should equal the targets set out in the previous year’s WSP. Provision is made to report on the reasons for any shortfalls in the targets set.

The WSP/ATR templates are available from the Setas and can be downloaded from their websites for ease of capturing the data collected and uploading onto the respective electronic platforms. Training workshops are currently being held by most etas to familiarise the appointed Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) with the process. The internal or external SDF is responsible for ensuring that the WSP/ATR is completed and submitted correctly.

The South African Qualifications Authority maintains that all organisations with over 50 employers should have a skills development committee made up of various stakeholders that include management, shop stewards or elected employee representatives. They are required to approve the WSP and ATR prior to submission.

In addition, skills development is one of the critical elements of Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE). An entity will not score any points if they have not submitted their ATR and WSP. This makes compliance with the Skills Development Act even more vital.
Bafundise Skills -
Office Skills Training Grants
by Gayle Adlam

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