“Our company falls under the Generic BEE Codes. As we are 51% Black-owned but under R50 million turnover we have not undergone BEE verification but relied on a signed BEE affidavit confirming that we are an automatic level 2 B-BBEE contributor. Now it appears we may exceed the R50 million mark this year and have to verify as a Generic Enterprise. As HR manager I have now been tasked with getting our skills development planning in place should we need to verify. Where do I start?”
The Skills Development Element of the Generic BEE Scorecard is a vital element and has a big impact on the overall score an enterprise will achieve. Additionally, it is also a Priority Element, which means that if the sub-minimum requirement of 40% for the Skills Development Element is not met, an enterprise can futher be discounted a level.
That said, with proper planning and preparation, the Skills Development Element need not be an impossible task and if correctly done, can not only help your enterprise achieve a good score, but also contribute significantly towards the skills development of employees and others in your organisation. But, timeous planning and budgeting is vital.
By planning and understanding the various targets you will need to meet under the Skills Development Element, will help you identify which of your employees should obtain training and allow enough time for them to receive training. Remember that with employees you can also include their salary cost as part of the training costs, making it worthwhile to invest in training of your staff. Where you also choose to support training of learners not in your employ or wish to participate in the Youth Unemployment Service (YES) initiative, these options also need to be identified early and planned for, taking into account your specific targets and demographical needs.
What this means is that the Skills Development Element can be expensive and take time for you to achieve as it will require timeous expenditure with concomitant training results needed to claim points on your scorecard. With planning and calculating your projected targets followed by learner and training selection early in your financial year, you can spread out training costs over the year and avoid the situation of having a big capital spike at the last minute.
Also remember, that you need to have submitted a workplace skills plan (WSP) as well as an Annual Training Report (ATR) in order to claim points under the Skills Development Element. As a rule, no points may be awarded in the event that a measured entity failed to meet the deadline for WSP and ATR submission. Here again, planning and ensuring that your WSP and ATR is in place, is vital to ensuring you are ready to claim those points you have planned for.
The Skills Development Element can be quite technical in understanding the scope of the different targets, demographic profiles and learning matrixes that all need to be considered. It may be advisable to enlist the help of a BEE or Skills Development expert to help you understand your requirements and get your planning underway. From there you should then be able to manage and implement your plan.