Skills Development: Empowering people for the workplace

Acquiring a specific skill in this day and age is not only important for helping a person choose a career path, but it is critical in helping to set them apart from the crowd, with so many unemployed people in South Africa and so few jobs to go around. It is imperative that individuals are skilled enough for employers to need them more than say Joe Soap down the road.

What is skills development?

The Skills Development Act in South Africa was created to help develop the skills of the South African people in the workplace, enabling them to better their chances of finding work and keeping a job. Its purpose is to improve productivity in the workplace and the competitiveness of employers and to promote self-employment.

The Skills Development legislation basically provides a platform for increasing the volume of education and training for individuals, but at the same time ensuring that their is quality education and training available.

This is a much needed legislation in South Africa and one that should be well utilised by companies.

So how can YOUR company benefit from the Skills Development Act?

Well, it is beneficial for both you as an employer and for your employees. It benefits you and the company as you would have better skilled staff who are able to work more productively – this means faster turnaround times with fewer mistakes, resulting in more profitability for the company.

Employees that are well trained will feel more confident in their roles and take greater pride in how they do their work, because they will feel valued by you having taken the time to invest in them. These employees will have a greater level of job satisfaction and really enjoy being at work knowing they are valued.

It’s basically great overall for everyone in the company.

How to claim back with the skills development act?

If your organisation has a payroll of more than R500k per year, you are required to pay a Skills Development Levy of 1% of that payroll to the legislation. Alas, there is hope – you are able to claim back up to 50% of that amount, there are just a few easy steps you need to follow.

Every year your organisation will be required to submit one of these Workplace Skills Plans with a detailed outline of training for the following year as well as an annual training report detailing the training completed in the past year.

As long as you are diligent about doing all of the above, you will have no problem with claiming back on the Skills Development Levy.

Remember that developing and uplifting your staff is as crucial as paying their salaries at the end of the day. If your staff do not feel like they are valued or growing, they may move onto something better, where they will not be taken advantage of and will be encouraged to grow. Staff are the lifeblood of your company, so should be treated with respect – if you have good staff, there is even more reason to look after them and value them as best you can.