The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on most businesses of all sizes and in all industries around the world. Fortunately, most businesses have now been able to restore their operations and businesses to some version of the new normal.
âLockdown regulations have forced companies to quickly change, adapt and adopt technology in order to keep the wheels of commerce spinning. Companies had little choice to invest in new and increased IT capabilities, expand their virtual platforms, and rethink their traditional approach to doing business and engaging with their customers and staff. However, one area where too many companies are still lagging behind is to re-focus on training and skills development, âsays Shamila Grever, learning and development consultant for Afroteq Academy.
Grever points out that investing in staff development and training is a mandatory expense for a company’s Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard and that failure to meet government-set targets will undoubtedly affect no doubt the status of a company in 2022.
âThe government is particularly focused on encouraging and funding skills development and on-going training as part of its drive to maintain South Africa’s competitiveness in the global market, improve productivity in the world. the workplace and remedy the historic repression. For this reason, B-BEEE has a specific component relating to skills development which stipulates that companies must devote 6% of their payroll to training in order to access the maximum number of points allocated under the Skills Development component. skills on the B-BEEE dashboard. ,” she explains.
Adding his voice to the chorus of concerned experts who have noticed a marked decline in company training spending over the past year, Grever reports that it has become common to see training budgets cut, while staff members are encouraged to focus more on operations. for losses incurred during confinement.
“This approach, while understandable, is both myopic and doomed to fail as it will negatively impact a company’s sustainability, staff morale and retention, efficiency and ultimately , also its profitability. The way companies navigate their training during this uncertain time is a direct reflection of their corporate learning culture, âshe says.
All businesses with a payroll of R500,000.00 and above are required to pay a Skills Development Tax (SDL) to the South African Revenue Service (SARS). This is a legislated compulsory payment of 1% of the payroll. However, companies can recoup 20% of their skills development contribution by simply completing an annual training report (which specifies what company training was completed last year) and a workplace skills plan ( which defines the training they plan to follow for the following year). Once approved by their relevant SETA, companies recover a large part of their contributions, paid into their account in four installments. The balance of the money is accessed through the submission of discretionary funding requests when funding windows are announced by SETA, for example, if additional funding for training is required, âsays Grever.
Although companies have been granted a 4-month SDL payment holiday, the B-BBEE targets have not been adjusted and companies are still expected to meet these targets. Companies have yet to prove that they have invested in continuous skills development and training over the past year, whether their staff have worked from home or returned to work as part of essential services.
âThe FM industry has the potential to become one of the largest employers in the country and therefore has a high demand for qualified, experienced and properly trained people. The pandemic has created exciting new opportunities to increase technical and practical skills that are supported by a university degree. Businesses cannot hide behind the pandemic as an excuse not to train or develop their workforce. Each measured entity must do everything in its power to maintain its B-BBEE rating. It is not yet too late to invest in training before having to submit their annual report early next year, âconcludes Grever.
GOOD TO KNOW:
All of Afroteq’s programs are delivered online through an engaging, accessible and easy-to-use virtual platform that has transformed the learning experience. Training can take place in the comfort of people’s home offices, in the corporate environment, or in an off-site training location.
In addition to its online offering, Afroteq Advisory continues to provide traditional and facilitated training to individuals and corporate clients (strictly adhering to COVID hygiene protocols).
Group or personalized online or in-class course options are also available.
Afroteq Academy is ISO9001: 2015 and ISO45001: 2018 certified, approved and accredited by the South African Facilities Management Association (SAFMA), The Services SETA and the Quality Council for Trades and Occupations (QCTO). The academy is also endorsed by the South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE), Project Management South Africa (PMSA) and the South African Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (SAIOSH).