The WSP and ATR submission deadline was on the 31st of March 2018. Preparing and submitting these documents can be very time-consuming, confusing and stressful.

What is a Workplace Skills Plan?

The Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) is intended to document the skills needs in a company The Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) is intended to document the skills needs in a company and to describe the range of skills development interventions that the company will use to address these needs.

A WSP must be developed and submitted every year in order to comply with current Skills Development legislation. The WSP will normally be compiled by a registered Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) or another qualified person and submitted to the SETA.

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, organisations must also ensure that their Annual Training Reports (ATR) are also submitted. This report is intended to show your progress against your last WSP.

Why is a WSP important?

A Workplace Skills Plan is meant to outline 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 being addressed. This, in turn, will result in decreased training and development costs as development efforts are more focused.

How to develop a WSP

Below are some simple steps you can follow when developing your WSP.

  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.

  1. 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.

  1. Identify the ways in which you are going to develop those skills which are lacking within the workplace. There are various ways in which this can be achieved, including, but not limited to:
  • Learnerships
  • Mentorship
  • In- house training
  • Online training

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 is 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.

The following should to be included 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
  • Process used to develop the report
  • Name of the Skills Development Facilitator

Putting together your organisation’s WSP and ATR documents can be labour-intensive and daunting. Eskilz 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