When linking Skills Development to BEE, it can become a whirlpool of confusing terminology – and not to mention all the hoops you have to jump through to try and implement them. We believe that it is easier than it sounds, and the benefits outweigh the implementation procedure by far. One of the best ways to benefit from this exercise is by applying for Discretionary Grants.
What is a Discretionary Grant?
In terms of the Skills Development Regulations, a Discretionary Grant is a grant paid to applicants at the discretion of the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). Discretionary Grants are aimed at encouraging stakeholders to contribute towards Skills Development, such as Skills Development projects linked to scarce and critical skills within your relevant industry.
The SETA allocates most of the funding to PIVOTAL programmes that can result in a part qualification or full qualification (i.e. any program that is linked to an NQF qualification).
These include, for example:
- Work Integrated Learning
- Skills Programmes
VERY IMPORTANT TO NOTE IS THAT DISCRETIONARY GRANTS ARE ALLOCATED AT THE SOLE DISCRETION OF THE SETA ACCOUNTING AUTHORITY, DEPENDING ON THE AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS, AND ADHERENCE TO SPECIFIC CRITERIA AS PER THE RELEVANT SETA’S DISCRETIONARY GRANTS POLICY AND GUIDELINES.
THIS MEANS THAT A DISCRETIONARY GRANT IS NOT A GIVEN, WHICH IS WHY EXTENSIVE PLANNING AND SKILLS AUDITS ARE REQUIRED FROM AN ORGANISATION OR BUSINESS TO ENSURE THAT THEY LINK ALL SKILLS PROGRAMMES TO THEIR INDUSTRY’S SCARCE AND CRITICAL SKILLS.
The Purpose of the Discretionary Grant
- Enable the SETA to implement the Sector Skills Plan.
- Assist the SETA to achieve its objectives in relation to the development of the sector.
- Enable the SETA to address the scarce and critical skills in the sector.
Who Qualifies for Discretionary Grants?
- Employers that are up-to-date with their Skills Development Levy payments – including those who are exempt in terms of the Skills Development Levy act.
- Discretionary Grants are available to employers, training providers, workers, and the unemployed.
- Accredited Education and Training Providers and emerging Training Providers within the scope of the SETA.
- Associations or organisations that meet the criteria for the payment of such a grant.
- An employer, if the employer has submitted an application for a Discretionary Grant in the form determined by the SETA.
- If the employer has submitted an application for a Discretionary Grant in the form determined by the SETA for learning programmes registered in terms of Regulation 2 of the Learnership Regulations 2001 by other SETAs.
How to apply?
- All planned training, PIVOTAL and non-PIVOTAL, must be noted on your WSP/ATR (the due date for submission is 30 April annually). The SETA will not approve your Discretionary Grant if you have not submitted a WSP/ATR.
- Submit the Discretionary Grant application using the prescribed SETA Discretionary Grant application form. Alternatively, visit the SETA website.
- Applications for Discretionary Grants must be made and approved by the SETA before any training or other activity related to the Skills Development project that is being applied for, can commence.
- The Discretionary Grant applications must be submitted to the SETA by the date specified in the Request for Proposals.
- After a SETA has approved the Discretionary Grant, they will contact the organisation or business and set up a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), that stipulates the amount of the grant given as well as the terms and conditions of such a grant.
Ultimately a Discretionary Grant is there to assist organisations and businesses in addressing any scarce and critical shortages within their organisation by lending a financial helping hand. This will also greatly support a business that has a BEE Certificate, as the Skills Development Element is a critical part of BEE. This will boost your BEE level, while providing financial peace of mind.
SDF CORP WILL BE COMPLETELY OPERATIONAL DURING THE COVID-19 LOCKDOWN TO ASSIST ALL CLIENTS AND BUSINESS WITH THEIR SUBMISSIONS AND REQUIREMENTS DURING THIS TIME. OUR TEAM WILL BE HAPPY TO ASSIST YOU VIA EMAIL, SKYPE, AND TELEPHONE TO ENSURE CONTINUOUS OPERATIONS.