Skills Development Facilitation (SDF)


Governments across the globe are increasingly recognising the need for continuing education, not only at academic centres for higher learning, but also for highly skilled professionals within the workplace.  The continuing development of skills and knowledge throughout life is valuable to both business and individuals, and is essential for our continued economic wellbeing.  Furthermore, a business is a growing concern, and its most precious asset is its Human Capital. For a business to be able to grow, it must invest in its workforce in the form of training, as laid out in a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP), which suggests the need for companies to do more than simply look at their skills levy as a legal compliance issue.

In response to the growing need for effective skills development solutions, it is imperative that the skills development in an organisation is managed by an individual who is qualified and equipped to do so.

Time to Get Serious About the Workplace Skills Plan:

In these tough economic times, it is essential that employers benefit from these grants. Unfortunately, many companies see the WSP as a compliance issue, and fail to use the skills planning process to make a meaningful impact on their business.

The 30 April deadline for submission of the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) may seem far off but is in fact around the corner. The SETAs are obliged to pay the Mandatory Grant to employers who submit the grant application in terms of the specified requirements, but late submissions do not qualify for the grant.  This grant is 20% of the total skills levy paid by the employer over a year in monthly contributions of 1% of its payroll.

Employers who submit the grant application also qualify for an additional Discretionary Grants of 49.5% to fund training in the skills that are essential for productivity and competitiveness. Don’t make the mistake of only starting the skills planning process in the middle of April, especially since it’s so close to year-end for many organisations, when much attention will be on finalising Tax and Financial Year-Ends!

A continuous, planned and structured process:

Skills development should be a continuous, planned and structured process that is influenced by the SETA requirements, but not dependent on them. The WSP/ATR should be the result of a business-driven skills planning process. This will ensure the Return on Investment from training, as programmes will be focused on the competence required for the Key Performance Areas of the business.

The skills planning process should include:

A Skills Audit (about every 3 to 5 years) to determine the current state of skills in the company; followed by:

  1. An annual Training Needs Analysis to identify the main skills gaps and training needs that must be addressed to improve your organisation’s performance; resulting in:
  2. A comprehensive training and development plan for learning and other skills development programmes to improve employee and organisational performance. This document should be used as a basis for compiling the WSP/ATR, which only includes information that is relevant for the SETA.

Specialised services provided by HR101:

HR101 employs specialists, who are trained, qualified, registered Skills Development Facilitators (SDFs) with the SETAs. This means that they come from a strong knowledgeable and ethical position of planning the training needs of the company. Their training imbues them with the knowledge required to focus on individual needs and development plans, whilst also paying heed to the needs of the organisation, as part of their long-term planning.

The SDF must, first and foremost, ensure that a learning culture is developed within the organisation. Secondly, they need to identify and source the appropriate training interventions for employees across the board. By fulfilling these obligations, the SDF not only support employees in their quest for holistic self-improvement, but by doing so they also facilitate their contribution to the achievement of the company’s goals and objectives.

The SDF, is best placed to integrate individual development plans and company objectives into an effective Workplace Skills Plan (WSP).  HR101’s efficient and experienced SDFs can use the process of developing a WSP, which is a dynamic document, and an Annual Training Report (ATR), to maximise the company’s investment in training and development within the organisation. Investing in the skills development of its employees will, in turn, contribute favourably the company's bottom line.

In a practical and participative manner, HR101 will assist your organisation with:

  • workplace requirements and recordkeeping;
  • workplace skills plan and annual training report compilation and submissions;
  • discretionary and pivotal grants application and submissions;
  • act as contact person between the employer and the SETA;
  • serve as resource regarding all aspects of skills development;
  • ensure the quality of education and training in and around the workplace by sourcing credible and accredited training providers and interventions;
  • ensuring the WSP is aligned to the company’s Employment Equity Plan and BEE goals;
  • reconciling SDL paid to SARS with grants received from the SETA, ensuring the SETA fulfils its obligations toward your organisation;
  • setting up the training committee (if required) and facilitate 3 meetings per annum;
  • advising and assist with any other benefits such as Income Tax Incentives and Employee Tax Incentives; and
  • communicate all Seta initiatives, grants and benefits.