Talking to people about Skills Development and Training is like trying to get a 3 year old to eat broccoli, some of them are easy, some you can convince, others will just not bite – although it is good for them. And small businesses tend to be the latter.

Through the past 15 years of dealing with small and big businesses with regard to Skills Development and Training I have found a few aspects which seems to pop up: 
During the past 15 years the following concerns are being raised by Business Owners and Management when confronted with the question on whether they should embark on the journey of Skills Development and Training for their staff members:

My employees will leave
Yes, I do hear about employees who leave for ‘greener pastures’ when they get trained, but I hear of more employees leave because they are un-happy. Yes, trained employees might leave for “greener pastures”, but most employees leave because they are unhappy. A counter question could be posed “what will happen if the employee does not leave”

Employees will normally stay with a company longer if that company invests in them. This does not necessarily mean an increase, but it does mean investing time or effort or money in them. And this is where training employees can come in handy. When you train staff, you invest in them as people, and you are investing time and money into them.

Training is expensive
Yes, training does cost money, but I am sure you are familiar with the quote “you cannot afford not to train your staff” and Zig Ziglar said, ‘the only one thing worse than training employees and losing them, is not training them and keeping them’. A trained employee is always a benefit to the employer

Investing in training is as good an idea as your marketing plan.
This has a ‘circle effect’ – you invest in training, the employee delivers better service, the clients are happy, your clients tell their friends and you get new clients. But the reverse is also true – your employees delivers bad service, you lose your current clients, and also they tell their friends and you lose out on those new ones too.

Give me the benefits:
When your annual total salaries for your company is more than R 500 000.00 you will be paying 1% of that amount to SARS with your PAYE and UIF.

Companies can claim back a portion of this by completing their Skills Report and Plan.

The biggest misunderstanding companies have is that they have to do a lot of training to claim these levies back – this is not true. A company needs to show in their report and plan that they do some training with their staff. This will be internal and well as external training. But all training forms part of your report and plan and will be looked at in consideration to your Levy grant.

Small companies can apply for ‘discretionary grants’ and get someone work for you while they are in training, and their training is paid for by a SETA. And no these are not only for electricians, plumbers and boilermakers, the same applies for learnerships, bursaries etc. which can be applied in various office-based courses too.

Investigate this some more
After 15 years of working with various sizes of companies in various sectors I can assist companies with different aspects of Skills Development.

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