UIF commits R11.9 million to Scaw Metal to save jobs

SEPTEMBER 19, 2016

The Unemployment Insurance Fund has recently signed a R11 958 732 agreement with MerSETA to fund the training of 325 employees  from SCAW METAL for a period of six months.

This follows the approval of Scaw Metal’s application to the CCMA in March 2016 when the company faced possible retrenchments due to difficult trading conditions in the steel industry.

Scaw Metal has received the first payment of R1.993 million from UIF and this will be used to pay salaries of  325 workers participating in the Training Lay Off scheme (TLS).  The Training Lay Off will run for six months and UIF will pay 75%  of an employee’s basic salary up to a maximum amount of R 9 358.00 per month.

In the previous financial year UIF committed R46 391 283.20 towards the scheme and paid R8 377 104.82 to various companies participating in TLS. According to Mpumi Mnconywa, Chief Director: Labour Activation Programme 2 703  learners have been registered in the previous financial year with some already completed their training programmes through various Sector Education and Training Authorities.

 “Training Lay-Off’ is a temporary suspension of work of a worker or a group of workers that are facing a risk if retrenchment due to their company being in distress as a result of economic conditions.

Under the scheme workers agree to forego their normal wage to attend the training programme and accept a training allowance during the training period. Employers gain a recovery period by  reducing payroll costs for a stipulated period whiles improving the skills of their workers at limited costs to the company.

UIF uses its excess funds to fund poverty alleviation schemes, and last year it allocated more than R 400 million towards the schemes. The Fund has signed funding agreements with23 Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Colleges to train 356 learners in Building and Civil Construction at a cost of R1,8 million per TVET College.

“We also renewed our agreement with the Transport Education and Training Authority to train 152 learners in Scuba Diving, Pilots, Professional Driving and other allied trades”, said Mnconywa.