How to get a Seta to work for you
To be eligible for grants, an employer must appoint a skills development facilitator who can be a full-time or part-time employee or contracted consultant.
The facilitator is responsible for the development and planning of a company's skills development strategy. This includes the development and implementation of an annual workplace skills plan and the submission of an annual training report. He or she also serves as a resource to the employer with regard to the criteria required for accreditation of courses, skills programmes and learnership development.
Employers can develop the skills of their staff and reclaim the funds for doing this in three ways:
Workplace skills plan
In the first year of the levy-grant, scheme employers can recover in grants a minimum of 50percent of the levy they have paid. The grants, referred to as grants A, B, C and D, have certain conditions that must be adhered to.
For the appointment and registration of a skills development facilitator - Grant A - employers will be able to recover 15percent of the levy they paid. The appointment is necessary before applications for Grants B, C and D will be considered.
Grant B: An employer will be able to recover 10percent of the total levy payment for preparing, submitting and obtaining approval from the appropriate Seta for a workplace skills plan.
Grant C: An employer will be able to recover a further 20percent of the total levy by preparing and submitting an annual training report based on the approved workplace skills plan.
Grant D: Each Seta makes available grants to the equivalent of 5percent of the total levy payment by the employer for specific sector skills initiatives.
One hundred and forty learnership programmes have been developed, ranging from basic entry level to post professional levels. If employers agree to embark on learnerships they can access a cash grant from their Seta as well as a tax incentive.
Every time an employer signs up a learnership agreement they can claim R25000, offset against taxable income. When the recognised phase has been completed, they can claim an additional R25000 against taxable income.
Setas are eligible to provide additional grants for developmental or special skills training, for example, in HIV-Aids and adult basic education and training.
The Labour Department administers the National Skills Fund. It is made up of 20percent of the total skills levy paid by employers and is used to address significant national skills priorities.
Funds are allocated through a range of funding windows. The national skills authority provides advice on each window and the criteria to be used to determine the allocation of funds.
The principal funding windows deal with strategic projects, social development initiatives, innovation and research and a bursary programme to support students to study in areas of scarce skills.
Nineteen strategic projects valued at R1billion were approved over three and a half years in 2002. - SouthAfrica.info reporter