Making the Most of Your Learning and Development Budget: A Guide to Effective WSP and ATR Management

Making the Most of Your Learning and Development Budget: A Guide to Effective WSP and ATR Management

Are you ready to unlock your company’s full potential by improving your workforce’s skills and productivity? Then developing a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) is a must! A WSP is a critical document that outlines your company’s training and development strategy, ensuring that it aligns with your organisational goals. Creating a WSP can, however, be a daunting task that requires dedicated resources and expertise. That’s why it’s essential to have a registered Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) or other qualified people to guide you through the drafting and submission process.


To create an effective WSP, you need to understand the South African Qualifications Authority’s (SAQA) National Qualifications Framework (NQF). The NQF provides a comprehensive framework for developing qualifications and recognising prior learning. By understanding the NQF, you can design training and development initiatives that align with your company’s goals and maximise the potential of your employees.


Implementing a Workplace Skills Plan can have a significant positive impact on your company. Your employees can acquire a constructive outlook towards the company and feel greater loyalty, which results in a positive working environment and increased productivity. By investing in your employees’ skills, you can equip them with solid skill sets that can be useful in tackling any challenges that may arise and seeking future opportunities, ultimately benefiting your company’s performance.


Furthermore, skills development will enhance your company’s B-BBEE level through expenditure on a priority element. Effective implementation of learning and development programs can support transformation in South Africa. By prioritising skills acquisition, you can help build a more inclusive and diverse workforce and support social and economic development in the country.


Unfortunately, many organisations do not fully understand the significance and value of skills planning and development, resulting in disengaged employees and missed opportunities for growth. Developing a Workplace Skills Plan is crucial in managing the implementation of skills development interventions each year to meet your strategic goals.


Are you ready to take your company’s training and development to the next level?

Contact Siyakha to assist you in developing a Workplace Skills Plan that considers an integrated approach to the learning and development of your employees. Let’s unlock your company’s full potential and build a brighter future for all.


Sune Marais

E: | T: 011 706 9006

How an Annual Training Report (ATR) Can Help Your Organisation Stay Ahead

How an Annual Training Report (ATR) Can Help Your Organisation Stay Ahead

An Annual Training Report (ATR) can be a powerful tool for organisations looking to stay ahead in today’s competitive business landscape. By reflecting on the actual training data for the past year, starting from the 1st of April of the past year to the 31st of March of the current year, the ATR provides valuable insights into the education, training interventions, and learning and development activities that were delivered. The ATR can assist businesses to commit to the development of their employees as well as individuals in the communities they operate in.


“The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.” – B.B. King.


Completion and submission of a Workplace Skills Plan and Actual Training Report (WSP/ATR) is an essential tool for creating a better, more efficient, productive, and safer working environment.


The ATR is also an opportunity for organisations to build a pool of talent made up of professional employees and assists in developing enhanced succession planning structures. This is essential for ensuring business continuity and creating a well-rounded working environment. Effective training should include not only mandatory safety and compliance training but also technical and career path development, as well as softer human skills like critical thinking, conflict resolution, and communication.


Submitting a WSP/ATR to the relevant SETA by the 30th of April each year may initially seem cumbersome, but the tangible benefits for your business are significant. By meeting the requirements of these submissions, your business can claim back up to 20% of your Skills Development Levy (SDL) from the specific industry’s SETA. The WSP/ATR submission provides a financial incentive and ensures compliance with the Skills Development priority element on your B-BBEE Scorecard.


Moreover, by conducting a skills audit, developing a training plan, and evaluating the effectiveness of training programs, organisations can ensure that their employees have the skills required to meet future challenges and be ready when opportunities arise. Developing a learning and development plan benefits the individual employee and ensures that the organisation is well-prepared to adapt to changing business needs.


In conclusion, the Annual Training Report is an essential tool for any organisation looking to stay ahead in today’s competitive business landscape. The benefits of submitting a WSP/ATR goes beyond compliance and enable return on investment through financial incentives, compliance with the Skills Development priority element, and the development of people.


“The only thing worse than training your employees and having them leave is not training them and having them stay.” – Henry Ford.


Contact Siyakha for assistance in developing learning and development strategies that can form the basis of your ATR submission.


Sune Marais

E: | T: 011 706 9006

How can WSP and ATR help identify and close skills gaps within your organisation

How can WSP and ATR help identify and close skills gaps within your organisation

A workplace skills plan is a detailed document that outlines the skills required by an organisation and identifies any gaps in those skills. The skills plan should consider the current skills of employees and their future training needs, as well as sector specific scares skills gap. The skills plan is an essential tool for HR managers and training committees, as it provides a blueprint for the development of training programs and career development plans for employees.


“The Skills Development Act, aims to expand the knowledge and competencies of the labour force, improve productivity, increase employment and eradicate inequality in society” Teboho Motsoane.


In order to develop a skills plan we need to conduct a skills audit of the organisation first. A skills audit involves assessing employees’ current skills against the skills required for their roles. This can be done through interviews, surveys, and performance appraisals and will help identify gaps in employees’ skills and highlight the areas where training is required.


Once skills gaps have been identified, these gaps are then translated into a training plan. The training plan should be based on the skills plan, should address the identified skills gaps and should be designed to meet the organisations’ and its employees’ specific needs and factor in sector specific skill requirements. It is important that training committees meet on a quarterly basis to discuss implementing changes into the plan if needed to due to current conditions in the working environment and operating sector at that time.


An actual training report (ATR) is an essential tool for measuring the effectiveness of training programs. The ATR reports on the actual training that was concluded in line with what training that was planned in the WSP.


The ATR assists in identifying whether the training program has successfully addressed the skills gaps identified in the skills plan. It can also highlight any areas where further training may be required. The report should be used to inform future training programs and to ensure that the organisation’s training needs are being met.


The WSP/ATR tool assists in creating opportunity for employees to obtain the skills required to remain competitive and can contribute to an organisation’s success.


Develop integrated learning pathways for your employees that will enhance employee engagement and organisational effectiveness with Siyakha’s expert assistance in crafting and submitting a WSP and ATR.


Contact us on 011 706 9006 or via email on to ensure that you get the best fit solution for your organisation through our specialised process and experienced team.

Investing in Your People: The Role of Learning and Development in Attracting and Retaining Talent

Investing in Your People: The Role of Learning and Development in Attracting and Retaining Talent

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss

People are one of the most significant assets that any organisation can have. However, for any asset to thrive or add value, there needs to be a continuous investment and intentional effort that drives this process.

Talent Management and Retention

According to a study by Deloitte (2019), 63% of millennials consider the availability of training and development opportunities a key factor when choosing an employer. Similarly, a survey by LinkedIn (2018) found that 94% of employees would stay at a company longer if it invested in their career development. Investing in learning and development is, therefore, essential for attracting new talent and retaining current employees.

Talent management is an essential HR component that should be considered. It can be used as a great tool to identify, attract, develop, and retain talent within the organisation. Talent management includes the processes of recruitment, hiring, engagement, development, performance management, recognition, and succession planning. It will also assist in identifying gaps in the skills or experience of employees, which can then be addressed through learning and development initiatives.

Understanding what each employee brings to the table, creating a matrix of aligning individuals to the right roles and duties where they can contribute the most helps improve engagement and efficiency. We can then further look into what learning and development employees need to succeed, and this is then addressed through the Workplace Skills Plan, which is submitted annually.

Employee Engagement and Productivity

Employee engagement and productivity are closely linked to learning and development. When employees perceive their employer to be invested in their growth and development, they are likelier to feel engaged and committed to their work. A report by the Association for Talent Development (2019) found that companies with a strong learning culture have a 30-50% higher employee engagement rate than those without. Additionally, research by Gallup (2017) shows that engaged employees are more productive, with companies that prioritise employee engagement outperforming those that do not by up to 202%.

“A company’s employees are its greatest asset, and your people are your product” – Richard Branson.

Innovation and Adaptability

Investing in people also drives innovation and adaptability within an organisation. Continuous learning and development enable employees to stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends and best practices and assist in developing new skills and competencies that can drive innovation and growth. In a rapidly changing business environment, the ability to adapt and innovate is crucial for staying competitive. A survey by PwC (2020) found that 79% of CEOs are concerned about the availability of key skills, and investing in employee development is one way to address this challenge.

In conclusion, investing in people is essential for attracting and retaining top talent, driving employee engagement and productivity, and promoting innovation and adaptability within an organisation. Companies prioritising employee development and creating a culture of continuous learning are better positioned to succeed in today’s dynamic business environment. 

“The best investment any company can make is in their employees.” – Bill Gates

Revitalise your workforce and improve your organisational effectiveness with Siyakha’s expert assistance in reviewing and enhancing your ‘people’ strategy through our specialised WSP and ATR process.

Sune Marais

E: | T: 011 706 9006

The Importance of Continuous Learning: Why Your Organisation Can’t Afford to Stand Still

The Importance of Continuous Learning: Why Your Organisation Can’t Afford to Stand Still

“A happy life is one spent in learning, earning and yearning” – Lillian Gish.

Continuous learning is described by Wesley Chai as the ongoing expansion of knowledge and skill sets and is often used in the context of professional development.

Continuous learning in the workplace can be described as developing new skills and knowledge while reinforcing what has been previously learned. Learning is a never-ending process and is crucial for growth. As a working professional, partaking in continuous learning paves the way toward success, not only for yourself but also for the development and growth of the organisation.

The world is forever changing and evolving; therefore, organisations must stay up to date with skills and knowledge trends to remain competitive and continue to thrive. Individual learning plans should be seen as a tool to assist organisations in adapting to new trends and changes in the world of work.  Learning in any organisation should never stop. It should be a continuous process, one that organisations are heavily invested in.

The need for continuous learning and development is a global phenomenon. The 2022 Workplace Learning and Development Trends Research Report indicated that “74% of employees say they are more likely to stay with a company that offers continuous training”. Identifying the right training programs and developing structured learning pathways will assist individuals fulfill their potential. This should result in loyalty from employees and reduce employee attrition.

The importance of learning and development has also been recognised by the South African Government. Several legislative measures are in place to support and ensure that learning takes place in the South African working environment. They include the Skills Development Act and the requirement to submit annual training reports (ATRs) and workplace skills plans (WSPs) to the relevant SETAs.

Continuous learning is not instilled in the short term. It is a medium- to long-term goal that requires buy-in, commitment and planning from various organisational stakeholders. Successful implementation can create infinite exploration possibilities for individuals and return on investment for organisations. It results in the ability to connect with others in a team, to learn from each other and, in so doing, build a platform for collaboration and discussion. These touch points create opportunities to change and adapt, and increase resilience in ourselves and our organisations to meet whatever challenges and opportunities may come.

“We can’t predict how our careers will develop or what the world of work will look like in the future. Investing in our ability to learn, unlearn, and relearn helps us increase our readiness for the opportunities that change presents and our resilience to the inevitable challenges we’ll experience along the way.”

Harvard Business Review, 2021

Revitalise your workforce and improve your organisational effectiveness with Siyakha’s expert assistance in reviewing and enhancing your ‘people’ strategy through our specialised WSP and ATR process.

Sune Marais | T: 011 706 9006

25 years making development happen

25 years making development happen

Siyakha is celebrating 25 years this year, in delivering solutions to our clients. Our team is focused, more than ever, on making development happen. Through the work that we do in fund-raising and growth, our consulting work to develop solutions and our development teams who are on the ground, driving change, we have never been more aware of the need for all of us to be a part of the solution.


The Siyakha Impact Trust© and the Siyakha Development Trust© are both vehicles that allow our clients to make contributions to SED and/or ESD respectively, allowing these Trusts as 3rd party providers, to then deliver programmes in the 12 months ahead.


Our FabLab© programme is there to support digital SMMEs. Our YOWZA!© platform provides comprehensive support to SMMEs through online learning, funding support, coaching, access to opportunities, an SMME marketplace and much more.


Our Project Hope© initiative provides employment, learning and development for unemployed mothers in townships.


We are working to raise funding for more than 11 000 initiatives, programmes, SMMEs, NGOs and registered charities across South Africa in a multitude of disciplines including forAfrika, a feeding scheme and Pothole Patrol, extrusion processes for environmental and food certainty, to name, but a few.


If you are grappling with how to build a strategy for Sustainability, submit ESG reports, need to rethink B-BBEE to make commercial sense, have Skills Development, Socio-Economic development or ESD spend that is not yet utilised, talk to our team so that we can ensure that you have the right solution that has maximum impact and measurable results.


Suzaan Bezuidenhout

T:011 706 9006