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3 ways to maximise the skills development component of your B-BBEE scorecard

By Anton Visser, Group COO of SA Business School

Skills development is one of the B-BBEE scorecard’s most critical and rewarding elements, contributing at least 25 points. But it’s not always easy to achieve these targets, especially if you lack the time, resources or knowledge to implement – and document – truly effective training programmes. In some cases, overlooking opportunities and incentives can make more of a difference than you realise when maximising the skills development component of the scorecard.

The following tips and advice will help boost your skills development score and get the best return on your investment for your business:

1. Consider the “employed learnership”

You can get points from learnerships for your existing staff – the people already on your payroll. Upskill your current employees while claiming back a portion of your levy and enjoying the tax benefits. These work-based learning programmes yield nationally recognised qualifications, helping you address skills gaps, improve performance and retain talent.

To implement them, register a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) and submit a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) to your Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). Then select a training provider that offers the relevant learning programmes.

Note that the learnership must be registered with your SETA, align with the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), and be supervised by a qualified mentor or coach. The learner must also have an employment contract with your company for the duration of the learnership and receive a stipend or allowance plus their salary.

2. Align with the Organising Framework for Occupations (OFO)

The OFO is a tool that classifies occupations according to skill level and specialisation. Aligning your training interventions with this helps you to identify scarce and critical skills in your sector, plan your training accordingly, and avoid investing in irrelevant or redundant training. To use the OFO, match your job titles with the listed occupations and codes, and select the corresponding learning programmes.

3. Partner with the right training provider

Always look to training solutions and partners that develop and deliver learning programmes specifically designed for your business and human capital needs. At the same time, you should be assured of academic rigour, practical relevance and quality assurance.

Your training provider should assist with:

– Conducting a skills audit and gap analysis

– Developing a skills strategy and plan

– Offering a range of courses and qualifications, from short courses to skills programmes and learnerships.

– Providing online, face-to-face or blended learning options.

– Assessing and certifying learning outcomes.

– Reporting and evaluating training impacts.

The benefits of getting your house in order on skills development means you can tick all-important boxes that include:

– Identified skills gaps and training needs.

– Planned and budgeted for training interventions.

– Claimed 100% of the training cost as Skills Development expenditure, provided that the training aligns with the NQF and Skills Development Act.

– Claimed bonus points for training previously disadvantaged individuals, women and people with disabilities, as well as scarce or critical skills development.

– Claimed additional points for training that resulted in a qualification or unit standard, or formed part of a learnership or internship.

– Claimed 20% of your Skills Development Levy back from your SETA – provided that you submitted your workplace skills plan (WSP) and annual training report (ATR) in time.

– Claimed bonus points for employing unemployed learners who’ve completed a learnership.

The bottom line: Skills development helps

Skills development can be a strategic and hugely beneficial way to boost your B-BBEE rating, maximise ROI, and reap the benefits of a more skilled, productive and competitive workforce.

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