A workplace Skills Plan which has been approved by the relevant Seta outlines the training and development plans of a company for one year. There is a prescribed format for the Plan which is available on the SETA website.

A workplace Skills Plan (WSP) requires information on:

  • The number of people trained in the organisation by job types and race.
  • The organisation’s strategic priorities for skills development.
  • The training and education needed to ensure the development of the business and employees.
  • Details of the education and training needed to achieve these priorities including proposed training interventions, estimated costs, specific job whether interventions will be conducted by external training providers or by the company’s internal training staff.
  • Information regarding employment equity in the organisation.
  • The specific sector‘s business plan.

Purpose of the Workplace Skills Plan

Workplace Skills Plan can impact positively on a number of areas within an organisation:

  • Management and employees start to discuss skills in the workplace.
  • Gaps and shortfalls in skills required are identified and positive ways of addressing them are devised.
  • The organisation uncovers talents and skills they did not know they had.
  • Management shares the organisation’s goals with the employees, who are then better able to understand them and commit to the process of achieving them.

Apart from these benefits the mandatory grant will be paid to organisations that can have submitted the required WSP and ATR.

Compiling a Workplace Skills Plan

The Skills Development Facilitator is responsible for submitting the Workplace Skills Plan to the SETA and plays a major role in its compilation. Others responsible for input would be the HR and training staff, line managers and general staff.

When compiling a Workplace Skills Plan, a company should: 

  • Consider their goals and priorities for the year for which the WSP is being drafted and plan training to address these.
  • Consult with all the relevant key role players
  • Refer to their companies’ business plan.
  • Incorporate information obtained from any career development programmes or career path processes in which individual training needs are identified.
  • Refer to their Employment Equity Plan, as many of the information fields are the same.

What is important is, that the workplace skills plan should be aligned to the company’s objectives and plans in relation to Employment Equity and the training and advancement of all historically disadvantaged employees.

Groups of employees should be identified to be placed on a career development programme or path. This group can form the nucleus of future managers in the company. In addition, female employees and employees with disabilities should similarly be identified for career progression and advancement. It is important to realise that succession planning starts at the lower levels and does not start at the top as is common practice in many organisations.

To assist in your efforts, it is important to conduct a skills analysis and to align the outcomes to a pre-determined Corporate Qualifications Framework (CQF) or Skills Framework that is appropriate and specific to your company and individual employee needs. This will necessitate that the SDF identifies qualifications and skills programmes that are specific to your company and employee requirements.

When the skills audit has been completed for all employees or groups of employees the gaps can be established by comparing existing skills to the skills and competencies contained within the qualification or skills programme. Employees can then be trained on a full qualification or on a specific skills programme. Recognition of Prior Learning can also be considered (More about these issues to follow).

More will be said about these points in section 6 of this manual).

These are all areas the Skills Development Facilitator, the HR manager and staff, the members of the forum and all line managers should become familiar with and towards which they should all be striving.

Employment Equity and Skills Development is something that will not just happen, it needs to be agreed to and embraced by all and driven by a champion.

Compiling and submitting the WSP

Once all relevant information has been collected there is a need to involve all role players and to discuss the skills development priorities identified. Once this has happened and all role players are on board the WSP can be finalised

The final step in preparing the workplace skills plan is getting it approved by the skills development forum and signed by the relevant authorities. The WSP can then be submitted to the relevant SETA.

The WSP provides the primary source of information for profiling the sector in the Sector Skills Plan (SSP). Skills priorities identified in the WSP identify the priorities to be addressed through the SSP.

Implementing skills development interventions

Depending on the size of your organisation and the scope of skills needs identified, implementing the WSP could be a small and manageable task or a mammoth task.

It is advisable to develop an annual training schedule through which you plan and direct implementation of skills development interventions. Equally important would be to communicate this plan to all affected staff members to secure participation and support.

Some of the affected staff include

  • The learners identified for skills development. It is important that participants in skills training do so willingly to ensure greatest return on the investment;
  • The line manager of the learners who needs to approve participation, particularly in the event of the staff member being away from the workplace for an extended period of time.
  • Support staff in the form of mentors or peer learners who avail themselves to support the incumbent in their skills development programme.

Stakeholder consultation is emphasised throughout the WSP development process and is equally important at this stage of implementing various skills development interventions.


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