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: sune.marais@siyakha.co.za | 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: sune.marais@siyakha.co.za | 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 sune.marais@siyakha.co.za to ensure that you get the best fit solution for your organisation through our specialised process and experienced team.

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

E:sune.marais@siyakha.co.za | T: 011 706 9006

Leveraging Learning and Development to Create a Resilient Workforce

Leveraging Learning and Development to Create a Resilient Workforce

In an ever-changing world of micro- and macro environments that impact businesses, it is more important than ever for organisations to realise the importance of being resilient and adapting to change swiftly without causing disruptions to daily business operations, employees, and stakeholders.

Workforce resilience describes working environments that allow employees to adapt quickly to adverse situations, manage stress effectively, and retain motivation. At the core, there are three aspects to consider in identifying resilience in the working environment: “a sense of security; a strong sense of belonging with the employer; adaptability and motivation employees need to reach their full potential” (Ali and Subah, 2022).

In a resilient workforce, employees are always ready for change and welcome it; this can only be done through personal development and ensuring that employees are taught the relevant skills and provided with tools to assist them in mastering the change process. When people gain relevant skills through mentorship and support programmes to a point where they feel comfortable putting these skills into practice, organisations enable them to become active members of change and growth.

Before planning learning and development in an organisation, gathering information relevant to the planning phase is essential. It will factor in what type of learning intervention best suits your employees, their goals, and future aspirations and will mutually benefit the employees and the organisation. It is crucial to ensure that the planned learning pathway is accessible, relevant, and value-adding. Planning is an essential part of implementing any learning and development programmes. This then translates into the Annual Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) that needs to be submitted to the relevant SETA’s annually. Once a plan has been put into place, implementation becomes second nature, and the organisation can then manage this process fluidly.

“If you fail to plan, then you are planning to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin

Besides being a legislative requirement in the South African work environment, the benefits of having implemented a successful WSP are that these organisations are often associated having greater job satisfaction, increased contentment, organisational commitment, and employee engagement. Leveraging resilience contributes to improved self-esteem, a sense of control over life events, a sense of purpose, and improved interpersonal relationships among employees, especially those working as a team.

The words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry speak the truth, for “a goal without a plan is just a wish”.

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:sune.marais@siyakha.co.za | T: 011 706 9006

The Importance of A Strong Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) For Driving Organisational Performance

The Importance of A Strong Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) For Driving Organisational Performance

Learning and development programmes are vital in enhancing an organisation’s human capital. The focus on people and supporting them in achieving developmental goals is a human-centered approach that strategically aligns to increasing productivity and assists an organisation in realising the golden thread to align business strategy with that of people development.

The annual submission of the WSP/ATR is a reporting mechanism that supports organisations in recognising the implementation of various skills development programs to minimise internal skill gaps and to expand learning and development programs for unemployed learners. The report consists of the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) that indicates planned training for the year ahead, while an Annual Training Report (ATR) reports the actual training activity completed in the previous year.

The WSP is developed annually, for the period 01 April to 31 March, by a registered skills development facilitator (SDF) and is submitted to the relevant SETA with which the organisation is registered. The submission and approval of the WSP/ATR facilitate access to the SETAs mandatory grant for skills training.

An equally important purpose is to provide important sector information to the SETA on employee profiles, skill needs, and skills development interventions. This information, in turn, informs the development of the SETAs sector skills plan (SSP). Therefore, companies with a salary bill of more than R500,000 per year should be registered to pay Skills Development Levies (SDL). Companies can then submit the WSP/ATR. On approval of the submitted WSP/ATR, up to 20% of the SDL paid will be obtained through a grant from the relevant Seta.

Organisations are continuously evolving, and in order to stay relevant with a strong competitive advantage, identifying the required skills needed to support forward-thinking becomes essential. Addressing any training shortfalls and areas of excellence, organisations can contribute to the professional development of their employees while investing in the company’s future skill requirements. Furthermore, the development of youth through participation in learning and development programs can support individual growth for future absorption into the current working force and is, so doing, support the National Development Plan for minimising unemployment.

It is essential to secure support and commitment from management and the employees within the organisation to ensure successful implementation.

Reflection also plays an integral part in the development of learning programs, and the progress made by an organisation is indicated in the ATR. The success or failure of the company, in terms of its skills priorities and growth objectives, is measured by comparing the ATR and the previous WSP.

In addition, hereto, Skills Development plays a pivotal role in transformation. It is a priority element in the revised B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice, and non-compliance with sub-minimum targets will result in a measured entity dropping one level on the scorecard. For example, suppose a measured entity fails to submit the Workplace Skills Plan and Annual Training Report. In that case, their B-BBEE status will be negatively affected. No submission, no points. The grant linked to the WSP of the company will also be suspended for the following year.

The overarching emphasis of the WSP/ATR is to drive impact in transformation, individual learning, and development and for an organisation to gain a competitive edge by being recognised as an employer of choice.

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: sune.marais@siyakha.co.za

T: 011 706 9006