8th March 2021

Workplace skills plan

After reading this article you should call us and get your skills development plan in order. Companies are required to submit a workplace skills plan yearly for submission to their applicable SETA. This allows organizations to be held responsible for the implementation of skills improvement of their applicable sector and industry.

Workplace Skills Plan

What is a WSP?

In an article written by Elanie Bell she states,” a workplace skill plan is an important tool in assisting organizations to address their learning and development skills.” (Bell, 2019)  In other words, the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP)  is a document that monitors the need of a company and describes the range of skills interventions the organization will use to address these needs and goals of the business. The goals are set to specifically deals with existing skills gaps within the business.

A Registered skills facilitator must develop and submit a WSP every year in order to comply with South Africa’s current Skills Development legislation.

By complying with legislative requirements, a company is granted access to the various SETA grants available for skills training. However, in order to qualify for these grants, organizations must also ensure that their Annual Training Reports (ATR) are also submitted. This report shows your progress against your last WSP.

A Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) ensures learning needs are aligned with organizational development strategy

What is the purpose of a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP)?

A Workplace Skills Plan outlines how an organisation/ employer is going to address the training and development needs within the workplace.

It assists employers in identifying and providing relevant training that will address the skills gaps within the organisation.

Compiling a WSP ensures that training is not only reactive to needs that emerge but also speaks to the overall organisational strategy, as well as encourages a holistic and sustainable approach to skills development.

A well-thought-out WSP will ensure that the skills that an organisation lacks are addressed.

This, in turn, will result in decreased training and development costs as development efforts are more focused.

A well-structured Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) that works

A well-structured Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) that works is based on the skills needed in an organisation and takes into account current as well as it’s future needs. T

Everyone works together

Management should discuss the company’s goals with employees who in turn should commit to the process of achieving these goals.

Management  also has the opportunity to discover talent as well as skills that they were previously unaware of.

It is of paramount importance to prepare the internal environment well for skills planning and development.

This preparation would involve setting up the necessary structures, identifying and ensuring the appropriate capacity to lead the process of workplace skills planning, securing support and participation from the executive committee, line management and the broader staff complement and securing the necessary resources – both financial and human – to facilitate the timeous development and submission of the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP).

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Work skills plan and SETA

The employer will make sure that the staff members will go through proper training and changes to attain these skills.

When focusing on training and workplace changes the business or organization will mostly focus on the body that is established under the skills development act called the sectoral education and training authorities (SETA) (National Skills Authority, n.d.).

The responsibility of SETA is to contribute to the development of skills and to develop the skills of the employed and the unemployed.

They do this to ensure that people learn skills that are needed.

Each SETA is responsible for creating and managing learner ships, internships, unit based skill programme and apprenticeships within their jurisdiction.

Some of the advantages of SETA’s are the following, it will improve the productivity in the workplace, it will improve the quality of life of the workers, the encouraging of skills and development, learning and the acquisition of new skills. Some disadvantages will include the following, businesses will be given penalties when they do not comply with the rules of the SETA, the business should be registered by SARS and the companies who do not pay the skill development levy may not offer learner ships or claim for grants from the SD funds (Seta Training, n.d.).

It is important to make sure that your company’s skills and training is up to date so that they can have the best outcome for their business and have the most efficient workplace employees.

What are the different reports needed?

  • A Workplace Skills Plan– An organisation’s articulated training plan for the period in question. This plan relates to the training and development initiatives that need to be undertaken during the year.
  • An Annual Training Report– A report on actual training and development initiatives completed during the previous year. In this case, the submission will apply to the period April of the current year and March of the following year. This report consists of all attendance registers, proof of training expenditure and invoices, training providers used, certificates, and so forth.
  • Pivotal Training Plan– A strategic plan aligned to industry-specific scarce skills that may be required to be developed within the business. This plan serves as a summary of predictable training that will take place in the financial year after submission.
  • A Pivotal Training Report– A Scarce Skills report articulating the outcomes of the preceding year’s Pivotal Training Plan.

How to develop a WSP

Below are some simple steps you can follow when developing your WSP. Progression is able to assist employers with their WSP & ATR submissions.

1. Identify existing skills within the organisation.

The first step in developing your WSP is to identify the skills that your workforce already has. Conducting a Skills Audit is the most effective way to do this. The main objective in conducting a skills audit is to identify the skills and knowledge that the organisation currently has, as well as those which it lacks.

Purpose of a Skills Audit

• To identify the skills and knowledge that the organisation:
– requires;
– currently has

• Identify and investigate the current competencies of each employee against pre-defined skill sets required to fulfil a specific role/function.

Benefits of a Skills Audit

• Improved skills and knowledge.
• Decreased training and development costs as development efforts are more focused.
• Improved succession planning for employees’ growth and development.
• Increased productivity as people are better matched to their positions.

2. Identify the skills gap within the organisation.

Once you have identified the skills that are present within the workforce, it becomes much easier to carry out the second step – identifying the skills that are missing and need to be developed. What skills are needed to achieve the strategic objectives of the organisation but are not present in the current workforce? These are the skills that need to be developed. Once again, a Skills Audit is a useful tool in identifying these gaps. Understanding where the gaps lie is an important step to any planning process and will pave the way forward for step 3.

3. Identify the ways in which you are going to develop those skills which are lacking in the workplace.

There are various ways to achieve this, including, but not limited to:

• Learnerships
• Mentorship
• In-house training
• Online training

To view Progression’s wide range of Skills Development Programmes,

Other aspects to consider when identifying the best way to develop the skills required include the following:

• What is the cost of the training?
• What level of training needs to be carried out?
• What’s the organisation’s Skills Development budget?
• How many employees need to be trained?
• Where will the training take place?
• Is the training venue accessible (for staff with disabilities)?


The ATR – Annual Training Report.

The ATR accompanies the WSP and is submitted along with the WSP. As stated above, the ATR is intended to show your progress against your last WSP. The report reflects the education, training and development that were implemented in the previous year. Your ATR will assist you in identifying the success/ failure of your previous efforts, thus allowing you to identify areas which you can improve on in order to remain effective and competitive. Records of all education, training and development activities should be available to confirm the information given in the report.

Include the following in your ATR:

• The number of education, training and development activities conducted
• Attendance registers
• Proof of expenditure
• Training provider used
• The number of employees trained
• The occupational areas covered
• The learning methods that were used
• How much was spent on education, training and development activities
• The process used to develop the report
• Name of the Skills Development Facilitator

Human resources

Last but not least, nothing would be possible without the dedicated human resources needed to ensure effective implementation of a functional Workplace Skills Plan.


Putting together your organisation’s WSP and ATR documents can be labour-intensive and daunting. Progression is highly experienced in this regard and can assist employers with their WSP & ATR submissions.

For more information about how our team can assist you, email info@inspirantelc.co.za

Visit our website www.inspirantelc.co.za


Bell, E. (2019, October 3). HR Future. Retrieved from Workplace skills planning and the importance of investing in learning: https://www.hrfuture.net/talent-management/training-development/workplace-skills-planning-and-the-importance-of-investing-in-learning/

National Skills Authority. (n.d.). SETA’s. Retrieved from National Skills Authority: https://www.nationalskillsauthority.org.za/roles-and-functions/setas/

Seta Training. (n.d.). Seta Training. Retrieved from What is a SETA?: http://www.seta-training.co.za/seta-training.html

Boti. (n.d.). PUTTING A WORKPLACE SKILLS PLAN (WSP) TO WORK WITHIN ORGANISATIONS – PART 1:https://www.boti.co.za/workplace-skills-plan-wsp/

Business Essentials. (2018, February 8). Workplace Skills Plan & Annual Training Reports: What, How & Why?:https://www.businessessentials.co.za/2018/02/08/workplace-skills-plan-annual-training-reports/


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