How to Register As A Skills Development Facilitator

Written By: Lia Marus


signing a contract


The deadline for the submission of your workplace skills plan and annual training report is around the corner. If you want to claim 20% of your Skills Development Levy (SDL) back from your Sector Education Training Authority (Seta), you need to get started with your WSP. But before you even think about doing this, you will have to have appointed a skills development facilitator.

Who could you appoint as your skills development facilitator?

Your company’s skills development facilitator (SDF) can be either:

  • One of your employees;
  • An external person who you have formally contracted to take on this position; or
  • A person who you, together with a number of other employers, employ to assess the group’s skills development needs.

Your SDF will act as a liaison between your company and your Seta.

5 Responsibilities of an SDF

Your Skills Development Facilitator must:

1.    Liaise with your Seta;
2.    Develop quality-assurance systems in your company;
3.    Develop, submit and implement your company’s workplace skills plan;
4.    Draft an implementation report against a workplace skills plan; and
5.    Tell you what your Seta’s quality assurance requirements are.

How can you register as an SDF?

Each Seta has their own process for registering SDFs, e.g. filling in forms and sending these back to the relevant Seta, filling out online applications, etc.

Here are forms from 10 different Setas which you will need to fill in to register an SDF:

1.   Energy and Water
2.   Finance, Accounting, Management Consulting and other Financial Services
3.   Food and Beverages 
4.   Health and Welfare
5.   Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services 
6.   Safety and Security
7.   Wholesale and Retail
8.   Information Systems
9.   Insurance
10. Transport

Lia Marus is the editor of HR Pulse. She has a BA in French, Italian and Linguistics from UCT, an MA in translation from Wits and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management from the Wits Business School. She is currently studying towards her LLB through Unisa. Lia started her career off in corporate communications, where she worked as a sub-editor, researcher and marketing coordinator. She then heeded the call of the publishing world and went into the business-to-business publishing field. She worked as a sub-editor as well as a chief sub-editor. Before joining ITWeb, she managed an HR guidebook at a leading international publishing company.

Article sourced from: http://www.hrpulse.co.za/



An Update to Services SETA grants

We have received many enquiries from companies who have applied for learnership funding from the Services SETA. The current status is as follows. Funding will be allocated in two waves. Firstly, companies who have applied for funding to train their current staff (18.1) should be invited soon to attend an information session that will explain the Services SETA’s allocation and way forward. Employers will receive a copy of the proposed contracts, which they will be able to sign and then return. This should happen within the next month.

The second wave of contracts will be for the enrollment of unemployed learners (18.2). Companies should by now either have received a letter of regret or site visit to confirm that they are able to accomodate the requested new learners. If you are in doubt we suggest that you contact the learnership department of the Services SETA. Feel free to discuss any issues that your facing with i-Fundi.


Why Learnerships play such a crucial role in Skill-Retention and Attrition

The scourge of good, solid experience in the workplace and job market in general is attrition, and the call centre industry is no exception when it comes to this. Walk into any corporate call centre setup and the agents gracing monthly-target notices in cafeterias are the same ones making a move to the neighbouring company while the coffee’s still hot in the pot; and for what you ask…better working shifts, perhaps; better hourly-rates –you bet!

Quality consultants are hotly contested all the time, and this is partly the reason why end-of-month customer satisfaction stats show spikes one month and dips the in next one. It boils down to inconsistent service, where in one instance, a bright front-line seasoned staff member might enthral and exceed a client’s expectations with their assertive and pleasant manners, and when this same caller rings again months later the unanticipated result is that of alienation because an agent of lesser quality handles the call.

On the other hand you have learners, eager to put down their roots and stick it out with their prospective permanent employer. Since the inception of accredited learnerships in keeping with SETA standards, such enthusiastic entrants to the job-space come ready with an instilled professional etiquette, high-bill of manners and motivation. Most of them have suffered the hardships of joblessness and are resolute in making their stay a lasting one and their impact felt – they’re not rejoining the unemployment ranks!

Findings from the collaboration of relevant SETAs and host organisations show that amongst learnership benefits is the parting of industry good-practices to their applicants, from good communication and people skills, excellent product knowledge coupled with the ability to solve problems as they arise. It needs to be mentioned again that these pupils are prone to out-performing seasoned employees due to their insatiable hunger and self-motivation, plus the bonus of never having acquired bad-habits from a previous working experience (as is often the case with experienced agents).

Thus, upon entering the workplace, they are sharp from having undergone intensive screening and countless assessments. On average it will take a learner a month’s conventional on-the-job training and orientation to come up to speed and start pursuing targeted productivity levels – this runs contrary to the misperception that learners place the company’s reputation and customer satisfaction at stake.

Of utmost importance to a learner is a credible résumé: it should show their healthy level of commitment; so job-hopping in the early stages of their tenure they feel would count against them in the short and midterm – they are after all building a career path with as high an ambition as a lawyer or any other professional harbours; they’re prepared to work at a fraction of their comparative worth in light of the entry-level market worth – and no better hourly-rate or shift from a generous neighbour will deter them from their goal. Give them enough time and they too will have amassed enough confidence, call-handling finesse and call-control skills to rank amongst the most experienced lot on the floor…for a fraction the cost.

Learnerships pay dividends!

South African government incentives for broad-based black economic empowerment have encouraged companies to invest in skills development training for existing staff as well as new recruits. Companies that have the infrastructure and capital to fund customised skills training can apply for limited upfront cash grants and qualify for tax rebates once training is complete.

The Skills Development Act of 1999 laid the foundation for education and training to occur in a format that could be monitored and controlled by Government.

Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETA) were tasked with the responsibility to ensure that all training organisations complied with a set standard dictated by industry leaders. That, in turn, gave rise to learnership programmes comprising theoretical teaching plus practical on-the-job training that would culminate in a formal qualification over 12 to 18 months. This resulted in encouraging existing staff to strive for personal improvement, thereby promoting diligence, loyalty and commitment in the workplace as well as attracting new recruits.

Learnerships can be compared to apprenticeships, except that they are run with tighter controls and more stringent training timetables.

The call centre industry is one sector where learnership programmes have paid dividends. Companies implementing training to develop more efficient call centre staff have attracted highly motivated employees, grateful for the opportunity to study and work and thereby encouraged to deliver better results.

Staff members appreciate interest and investment from management and are motivated to work harder to meet targets, resolve customer complaints, improve service and even reduce company expenses.

Employees are only too happy to sacrifice their spare time when their studies are being financed, their career path is clear, and they are working towards a formal qualification. Studies have shown that one day of training equates to one month of prolonged retention. Staff turnover is therefore reduced, because employees feel that their needs are being met. The prospect of promotion and an accompanying salary increase post-qualification is another motivating factor.

Call centre employees who know their employers are investing in their future automatically engage better with customers. This has the knock-on effect of producing more effective service, pleasing customers and generating repeat business.

Learn more about on our SETA Accredited Programmes.