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South Africa’s employment lexicon is an everchanging one. With new developments occurring more often than in other sectors, pre-requisites such as the Workplace Skills Plans (WSP) need to be updated to regulate the workplace and eliminate room of irregularities.


The WSP is a document that records the skills needs of your company by describing the range and development interventions that your organisation will use to address these needs. The process involves a facilitator – this individual must develop and submit a WSP annually to comply with South Africa’s current Skills Development legislation. This individual must either be a registered Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) or must be qualified enough to compile and submit the WSP to the SETA. In doing so, your company is granted access to various SETA grants available for skills training. It is also important to note that to qualify for these grants, your organisation must ensure that their Annual Training Reports (ATR) are submitted as well. This report shows the progress you’ve made against your previous WSP.

Young African executive reading documents and working on a laptop while sitting at his desk in an office


A WSP outlines the objectives and plans your organisation must address which involve the training and development needs within your respective workplace. It assists in identifying and providing the relevant training that will address the current skills gaps within your organisation. Compiling a WSP ensures that the training is not only a reactive antidote to the needs in the organisation, but also seeks to address the overall organisation strategy while encouraging a holistic and sustainable approach to skills development. A well-thought-out WSP ensures addresses the lack of skills in an organisation. This results in decreased training and development costs as development efforts are more focussed.


As a renowned business solution and training company in South Africa which allows individuals and organisations to move forward and grow, we have summarised the steps which need to be taken to develop a WSP. As drivers of progression, Tusanang aids employers who need to develop their WSP and ATR submission.

1. Identify the existing skills within the organisation.

This means identifying the skills that your workplace already has. This can be done by conducting a Skills Audit. In doing this, you identify the skills and knowledge that the organisation currently has, as well as those that are lacking. A Skills Audit also investigates the current competencies of each employee against pre-defined skill sets required to fulfil a specific role.

Benefits of a Skills Audit:

  • Improves skills and knowledge
  • Decreases training and development costs as development efforts are more focused
  • Improves succession planning for employees’ growth and development
  • Increases productivity as people are better matched to their positions
  • Identify the skills gap within the organisation

Once you have identified the skills that are present within the workplace, it becomes easier to carry out the next step – identifying the skills that re missing and need to be developed. You need to ask yourself, “what skills are needed to achieve the strategic objectives of the organisation but are not present?” The answer to this question will determine your next move. Once again, a Skills Development Audit is an essential tool in identifying these gaps. Understanding where the gaps lie is important to any planning process and will pave the way forward for step 3.

2. Identify how you’re going to develop these skills

Once you’ve identified the skills which need to be addressed in your organisation, you can look at various options such as:

  • Learnerships
  • Mentorships
  • In-house training
  • Online training

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

  • What are the costs involved?
  • What level of training needs to be varied 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 those with disabilities?


As mentioned above, the ATR goes hand in hand with the WSP – they’re submitted together. The ATR intends to show progress made against your last submitted WSP. The report reflects the education, training, and development that were implemented in the previous year. Your ATR assists in identifying the success/failure of your previous efforts, thus allowing you to identify areas that you need to improve on to remain effective and competitive. Records of all education, training and development activities should be available to confirm the information provided in the report.

The following should be included in the report:

  • The number of education, training and development activities conducted
  • Attendance registers
  • Proof of expenditure
  • Training provider used
  • The number of employees trained and,
  • The occupational areas covered.

The compilation of the WSP may seem like a momentous task, but if done the right the first time, it should be manageable. Alongside the ATR, the effectiveness of your organisation’s efforts should prove successful to take it to the next level. For more information, Give us a call on 012 333 0046 or send us an email at

Amu mathebula

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