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February : Important details regarding Mandatory Grant Applications

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18 February, 2014
FP&M Seta

30 April is the new submission date for Mandatory Grant Applications

Firms in the clothing, footwear, forestry, furniture, general goods, leather, packaging, print media, printing, publishing, pulp and paper, textiles and wood products sub-sectors, registered with the Fibre Processing and Manufacturing (FP&M) SETA have until Wednesday, 30 April 2014 to submit their application for Mandatory Grants for the financial year 2014/15.

This application must include a Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) for the period April 2014 - March 2015 and an Annual Training Report (ATR) for the period April 2013 - March 2014. Firms with 50 or more employees must also submit a PIVOTAL Training Plan and Report as part of their submission.

It is important for both internal and external Skills Development Facilitators (SDFs) to note that all mandatory grant applications must be submitted online via the FP&M SETA Management Information System (MIS) which can be accessed via the "Stakeholder Login Page" on SDFs must register on the MIS in order gain access to the system and should allow for at least 48 hours for the registration to be completed. It would be advisable for SDFs to commence with the process of gathering the relevant information to be captured in the application well in advance. The format used in 2013/14 will provide a good starting point as the MIS application format is similar to the 2013/14 format. The same OFO codes (Version 2013) will also apply.

The workplace skills planning process should include a training needs analysis to establish skills currently available in the organisation, future skills needs of the organisation and skills development programmes that will address the gap between current skills and future skills needs. Consultation with all stakeholders (e.g. employees) is an important aspect of the workplace skills planning process as satisfactory consultation will result in greater buy-in from all parties and ultimately the successful implementation of the WSP.

SDFs should also gather information and evidence of training that was conducted during the 2013/14 financial year. The Annual Training report should reflect all training conducted by the firm (internal training) and/or external providers (external training) from 1 April 2013 to 31 March 2014. The Annual Training report is a reflection of the commitment that the firm has made towards the development of its employees as well as unemployed learners and is a valuable source of information to the SETA to establish training expenditure trends in the FP&M sector.

PIVOTAL Plans and reports (for submission by firms with 50 or more employees) are key to unlocking discretionary grant funding opportunities in 2014/15 and should reflect all planned and completed interventions relating to PIVOTAL (professional, vocational, technical and academic) learning programmes that result in qualifications or part qualifications. This include planning for and reporting on tertiary studies, learnerships, apprenticeships, internships and credit bearing skills programmes.

The Department of Higher Education and Training has placed great emphasis on Work Integrated Learning (WIL) which involves structured programmes that integrates theory and practice in the workplace as part of vocational, occupational and professional programmes. The purpose of WIL is to develop applied competence and increase employability of learners/graduates. The FP&M SETA has identified WIL as a skills development priority and has allocated discretionary funding to encourage the placement of graduates and learners from Further and Higher Education and Training Institutions in manufacturing firms. Firms in the FP&M sector are encouraged to include WIL initiatives in their PIVOTAL Training Plans to demonstrate their shared commitment to this important initiative.

30 April 2014 is around the corner and the FP&M SETA is eager to assist you with your mandatory grant submission. Contact us on Johannesburg (011) 4031700, Cape Town (021) 4620057 or Durban (031) 7024482 or visit our website: