From my previous article, it became very clear that the Automotive Body Repair Industry might be in serious trouble! If you want your business to survive the next decade, you have to start cutting costs.  

Start by revisiting the company’s wage bill and determine the efficiency and effectiveness of every employee as well as the influence everyone has on the production and profitability of the company. 


 How can the merSETA assist me with training and developing to improve production and profitability? 


 A percentage of the Company’s Skills Development Levy is paid to the merSETA. Engaging with the merSETA and knowing the service the Client Liaison Officer (CLO) of the merSETA can render to your company might be a starting point to increase production and profitability. 


 How would the merSETA CLO assist me? 


 The CLO will help you to register a Skills Development Facilitator (SDF) for the company and also introduce the SDF to the National Skills Development Management System (NSDMS). By using the system the SDF of the company then gets clued-up with regards to the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP), Annual  Training Report (ATR), the Grants Policy for Apprentices/Learners/ARPL-assessments and Skills Programmes.  Also how to get your hands on the money available to train and develop the Human Capital in your body shop. 


 How much money is available in the different Grant categories? 


 Please visit the merSETA -website in this regard: and search for “Grants Criteria Guidelines,” Document number: DGD-GL-00. Basically it boils down to:  

Apprenticeships: R 165 000.00 

Learnerships: R 19 068.17 per learner per level 

Artisan Recognition of Prior Learning (ARPL) R 40 336.52 (Pre-assessment, gap training and trade testing). 

Skills Programmes: R 308.00 per credit (a registered Skills Programme  – maximum 80 credits). 

All of the above skills training done is reflected in the company’s BBBEE, EE, WSP and ATR, and may also be presented to an OEM. 


 Does the company qualify for an Annual Tax Allowance when employing an Apprentice?  


 If an apprentice is registered with the merSETA and has a contract number, the bookkeeper of the company can inform SARS about an apprentice being employed: Name, ID and merSETA contract number. The company then applies for R40 000 Annual Tax Allowance per apprentice employed.  

Looking at the following example, a company could have benefited financially in 2019/20: 

Employing an apprentice: 50% of the Grant money after signing the MOA with the Merseta. 

Applied for 2 B/A Journeyman (ARPL) Trade Test. 

Applied for 3 General Workers in the Spray Painting Section to be trained in a Skills Programme (73 credits) and 2 Bodyshop Assistants to go through a preparatory Skills Programme which will bring them to B/A Journeyman-status (73 credits). 

Now let us do sums: 

Apprentice: R80 000.00 

ARPL (2): R80 673.04 

Skills Training:              R112 420.00 

Tax Allowance:              R40 000.00 

Total:                           R313 093.04 


 What is the National Skills Development Plan (NSDP) 2030?  


 The slogan of the NSDP is “Our Future – Make it Work”. The emphasis in the Government Notice No375 of 7 March 2019 is placed on our collective responsibility. All South Africans seek a better future for themselves and their children. The NSDP is key to enabling government and social partners to contribute towards economic growth employment creation and social development. 


 What is the real purpose of NSDP 2030?  


 Improving the educational system in terms of developing both basic skills and technical skills, with a specific focus on historically disadvantaged individuals. 


 How would the NSDP impact on my body shop?  


 The NSDP 2030 asks not only for more training opportunities for employed staff of the body shop, but also of a workplace to create training options for the unemployed. All training undertaken in the workplace should be relevant for improved employability and career progress of participants (unemployed as well as employed). 


 How is education and the workplace linked in the NSDP 2030? 


 The NSDP pleads for improving the relationship between education and training in the workplace. Workplace-based learning is the way to introduce students from training institutions into the world of work. 

Assistance in the form of money available in grants. Make a difference! 

In my next article on Human Capital Development, I’ll look at the changes announced by The Department of Higher Education and Training (NAMB), with regards to the ARPL-process for Panelbeaters and Spraypainters (Previously Sect. 28). 

I will also touch base with the New Vehicle Damage Quantifier Qualification for Estimators in the Body Shop. 

If you have any specific questions about training, please drop me an e-mail: or invite me to visit your company, or call us on +27 (0)12 379 8684 or  +27(0)82 414 5557.  

GroetnisOom Frik