Putting a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) to work within organisations – part 2

Putting a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) to work within organisations – part 2

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa.

 Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses!  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

In the second section of this two part article we move on from part 1 and our initial task of having prepared the workplace for learning by introducing the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) in more depth and embark on the journey around the actual planning process.

Workplace Skills Planning (WSP): the journey

Having already prepared the workplace for learning we are now ready to embark on the actual journey of workplace skills planning.

This is not to say that preparing the workplace for learning falls outside of the ambit of workplace skills planning. It should be considered as the preparatory phase.

An effective Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) is only as good as the understanding that informs its development and implementation

Workplace skills planning is only as good as the understanding that informs its development and implementation.

A range of information should be considered, processed and shared in workplace skills planning.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

External information to be considered should include:

  • Broader skills planning and development that should shape the development and implementation of the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP).
  • Some of these information sources include:
    • The Human Resource Development for South Africa (HRD-SA) 2010 to 2030 which define a number of key goals to be addressed through skills planning at a national level and is a key informant of skills priorities in the SSPs.
    • The NSDS (which provides key guidelines on skills development and training strategies and methodologies that will be adopted and prioritised by SETAs in their SSPs)
    • The Organising Framework for Occupations (OFO) around which national skills planning and development is organised

DHET policies, strategies and structures on skills development and training

  • SAQA policies, strategies and structures on skills development and training and particularly the QCTO as the quality assurer of occupationally directed training and skills development Ø Sector specific skills development, that include:
    • The ESSP which defines critical and scarce skills generally across the environment sector and could help identify those scarce and critical skills within the organisation

The Enabling documents.  External stakeholders likely to engage in this process of information gathering include:

  • SAQA
  • DHET
  • SETA
  • DEA
  • HRD Network Engagement with external stakeholders might involve:
    • Gathering information
    • Building useful networks
    • Bobbying support for developing and implementing the WSP.
  • Internal stakeholders might include:
    • Executive management to secure support and resource allocation for the process of planning and implementing the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP)

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

It is critical to link skills planning priorities to national, sector and organisational priorities

It is critical to link skills planning priorities to national, sector and organisational priorities since it draws on the ESSP and defines scarce and critical skills per economic sector and provides certain guidelines for interventions to address such priorities such as SETA SSPs with which an organidation is registered and associated with, for example CATHSSETA, AgriSETA, LG SETA, amongst others.

These sources of information should provide guidance in:

  • Identifying scarce and critical skills for inclusion in the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) (ESSP, enabling document and SSP)
  • Identifying strategic trends and patterns for skills development in the sector that will shape skills needs in the organisation (ESSP, SSPs)
  • Understanding the systems, structures and processes through which to address skills needs and support implementation of skills development strategies (HRD-SA, NSDS III).

Internal information to be considered in workplace skills planning includes:

  • Strategic organisational priorities over the short and medium term
  • Competence requirements to meet these strategic priorities over time
  • HR priorities over the short to medium term, that relate for example, planned changes to technology, employment equity strategies, transformation strategies, growth, change or retrenchment plans, vacancies that are difficult to fill, recruitment trends. Employee information is another critical source of information which can be summarised from personal development plans. This would make explicit career development plans and skills development needs identified by the individual employee in the short and medium term
  • Line management to share national and sector priorities to take into account in defining job and competence profiles
  • Human resources departments to ensure an understanding of trends, patterns and developments likely to shape skills planning and training;
  • Human resource priorities over the short and medium term that will shape skills planning and development
  • Summary of employee personal development plans
  • Training committee to ensure this group of representatives move in the same direction of workplace skills planning as other parties involved in the process

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses!  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Skills auditing

Skills auditing is the process via which skills gaps in an organisation are identified. It is the difference between what we need in an organisation and what we have at any particular point in time.

In order to perform an effective skills audit one must have a well-structured baseline of skills needs against which to compare the skills that the organisation already possesses.

Competence profile

The baseline of skills needs is referred to as a competence profile.

The skills audit also requires a clear profile of existing employees’ skills. The difference between the two is the skills gaps to be addressed through skills development and training.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

The Gap theory

Skills auditing is the process through which the skills gap is identified and fed into the WSP.  An effective method of competence profiling involves:

  • Determine skills requirements
  • Analyse service delivery requirements. What are short, medium and long term objectives?
  • What products or services must be delivered to achieve these?
  • Identify skills requirements
  • What skills are needed to achieve goals and objectives?
  • In which occupations will you find these skills?
  • Develop Human Capital Development Strategy
  • What staff is needed to fulfil the skills requirements?

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

A profile is undertaken for each individual employee relative to their job and competence profile and is informed by:

  • academic qualification , which includes all forms of
    formal study
  • additional skills programmes, training and
    short courses, both formal and informal
    work experience and competence gained
    through key work areas over time
  • personal and professional attributes
  • curriculum vitae
  • employee self-assessments
  • performance appraisals

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

  • How will these skills be acquired or retained?
  • Develop Human Capital Development Plan including post establishment, restructuring, recruitment of new staff, succession management, retention strategy
  • Describe Competency Profiles
  • What posts are required?
  • Develop a training plan
  • What roles must be performed by incumbents in these posts?

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

  • What competence requirements are required for all posts?
  • What should employees in these posts know, understand and be able to do?
  • What other competences should they have?
  • Identify training and non-training interventions to address skills gaps
  • Measure individuals against competence requirements
  • Does the person demonstrate the competence requirements required by the post?
  • Identify performance gap and training needs
  • What is the gap between what performance should be and what the individual’s performance currently reflects?

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

  • Where are the gaps in performance?
  • What competence is lacking or needs improvement?
  • Which new skills must be developed?
  • What is the cause of the performance gap?
  • Why is performance not what it should be?
  • If the cause of the performance gap is not as a result of a lack of skills, which in this case means that the person has the required skills and under performance is related to other factors, for example, inappropriate tools and equipment for the job, unsuitable disposition for current job, demotivated for example, due to remuneration, inappropriate supervision, amongst others. This requires a non-training intervention to address the causes of underperformance and is not the focus of a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP). It is wise to select the most appropriate intervention to address the skills need.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

  • What type of formal or informal training or other form of development intervention is best suited to developing this skills need?
    • Identify the most appropriate option, for example workplace based development intervention may be more appropriate
      • Formal mentoring
      • Coaching
      • Demonstration Workplace-based training
        • Formal or informal training is the most appropriate option. Identify the most appropriate learning route, for example:
          • Full time study
          • Part time studies
          • Internship
          • Learnership
          • Short course

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development course –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

  ‘…people are our most valuable asset …’

A well-known saying in human resources circles is that ‘…people are our most valuable asset …’, and though we all sometimes feel that this is not the case, any organisation is only as strong as its human resource complement.

The first step in identifying skills needs is to understand what the organisation actually needs to fulfil its mandate

The first step in identifying skills needs is to understand what the organisation actually needs to fulfil its mandate. The example above provides some key questions to ask when establishing the human resources needs of an organisation.

Short, medium and long term goals and objectives of an organisation are most commonly found in the strategic and business plan of an organisation.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Defining the needs of the organisation in the short, medium and long term

Most organisations translate these broader goals and objectives into departmental / directorate / unit goals and objectives. These are all critical sources to consult in defining the organisations needs in the short, medium and long term.

Organisations do not operate in isolation and are influenced by the external environment

Organisations however do not operate in isolation and are often influenced by the external environment.   The external and internal environment should both be considered in human resource planning. This enables identification of factors that will influence skills needs as the organisation grows and develops.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Factors that affect organisational goals and objectives

Political, economic and social factors as well as technological developments and environmental factors, legislative factors and various factors in the internal environment also similarly affect the goals and objectives of an organisation.

This could be a changing mandate, restructuring of an organisation, changes in systems and structures, staff turnover rates, challenges in finding the right skills sets, amongst others.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses!  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Strategic human resource planning requires a consideration of both these external and internal factors

Strategic human resource planning requires a consideration of both these external and internal factors that shape the skills needs of an organisation.

Job and competence profiling

Job profiles define the number and nature of positions required in an organisation to meets its short, medium and long term objectives.  Job profiles define the number of employees in a range of different posts, organised into different directorates, departments, units and or programmes in an organisation.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Job profiles define what an employee should do to contribute to the organization in meeting its goals and objectives

Job profiles also define what each employee should be able to do to contribute to the organisation in meeting its goals and objectives. A job profile is made up of the key work areas of an individual and is informed by the organisational strategy and business plan and the purpose of the job in achieving the objectives of the organisation.

Key performance areas (KPAs)

Most employees have a range of between 5 to 10 key work areas, also called key performance areas (KPAs) in certain organisations and are generally found in employment contracts. They describe the work that employees should be able to do to fulfil their role in the organisation.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Competence profiles

Competence profiles are developed from job profiles and define for each key work area, the:

  • knowledge – what people know and understand about their work, their organisation, the sector and broader environment in which they work
  • skills – what people are able to do with the knowledge and understanding in their workplace
  • work orientation – the values and attitudes with which people approach their work, drawing on their knowledge and understanding and ability to translate this into what they are expected to do in the workplace that will allow the individual to perform his or her role in the organisation.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Competence profiles are developed from job profiles

Competence profiles are not the same as job profiles. But they are developed from a job profile. One cannot do competence profiling without having done job profiling. One of the key challenges in many organisations is weak processes of job profiles which lead to weak processes of competence profiling. This in turn leads to poor skills auditing, and so has a significant knock on effect. Though time consuming, effective WSPs start with well-defined job profiles, which inform competence profiles which then forms the basis for skills auditing.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Applied competence in the National Qualifications Framework

Back in 1998, when the National Qualifications Framework (NQ)F was being developed and implemented, an applied
competence framework was defined against which to develop qualifications and to assess competence. This was called the applied competence framework in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF). While not generally used in defining competence at this point in time, it continues to provide a useful
framework for defining competence. Applied competence is a composite of practical, foundational and reflexive competence.

Want to learn more about what the workplace skills plan entails, what is meant by a skills development levy, and what one can do to get recognition of prior learning?  Enrol now on one of BOTI’s training and development courses –  BOTI offers business training programmes across South Africa. 

Enjoy this article on Workplace Skills Planning?  You might also like:  Achieve a level of comfort – understand how to assign the correct NQF level to your range of experience

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