There are several changes to the Skills Development element of the BBBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) scorecard. These changes create an opportunity for companies to up-skill black employed and unemployed people and, in doing so, touch many more lives through learning and education.
Skills Development under the amended BBBEE codes now make up 20 points on the scorecard and is one of the priority elements. This means that employers need to attain a sub-minimum of 40% of the maximum 20 points i.e. 8 points. Failure to meet the sub-minimum points will result in the company dropping one level on the scorecard.
The skills development target-spend has changed from 3% of leviable amount to be spent on skills development for black employees to 6% of leviable amount to be spent on skills development for black people. Whilst the target has essentially doubled, companies can now use their skills development spend on black unemployed people outside their organisation as well. For example, companies can offer bursaries to black people. Previously this was counted toward Socio-Economic Development. By compiling the skills reports, namely; Annual Training Report (ATR) and Workplace Skills Plan (WSP), companies can claim back a portion of their levies as well as apply for funding to subsidise their training investment.
Another significant change is that the adjusted recognition for gender has fallen away. Under the amended codes of the EAP (Economically Active Population) targets have now come into effect. The EAP includes people ranging from 15 to 64 years of age who are either employed or unemployed and who are seeking employment.
The target-spend for training black employees with disabilities remains the same although the weighting has increased. The scorecard is made up of various elements and each element has a certain weighting (points) attached to it.
Furthermore, the amended codes now also include other learning programmes such as internships and apprenticeships which were previously excluded. This aligns better with the Skills Education Training Authorities (SETA) and allows for easier implementation of skills programmes.
The target for the number of black employees on a learnership, internship and apprenticeship has dropped to 2,5 % of headcount, however with the implementation of the adjusted EAP, this does not translate into fewer ‘students’ required. It is important to note that this category includes employed learners (section 18.1) and unemployed learners (section 18.2). In other words, existing employees as well as unemployed learners that were issued with an employment contract for the purpose of the relevant skills programme.
The next category is the number of black unemployed people trained as per the Learning Programme Matrix which lists learning programmes that result in tangible outcomes.
In addition there are 5 bonus points for the retention of learners. This applies to whether your company has retained them or whether they found employment elsewhere, within a permanent capacity or on a fixed term basis.
Top Tips on Skills Development:
• Appoint a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) and submit skills reports (ATR and WSP). No points will be scored without this.
• Focus on PIVOTAL training – taking into consideration the company’s scarce and critical skills.
• Plan learnerships, internships and apprenticeships.
• Identify learning programmes for unemployed black people.
• Remember that stipends and salaries for employees in the above mentioned programmes count as skills spend.
• All plans to take into account EAP targets.
• Employ people with disabilities. It’s easier than you think.
• Where possible try to retain learners within the company or source employment at sister organisations, suppliers or partners. Alternatively track the learner’s employment by agreeing to stay in contact at least for a year after the programme has ended.