As part of its SME Skills Development Support Programme, the merSETA Governing Board approved a web-based training voucher project, launched on the 15th of October 2007 and will run until 31 March 2010. Using a web platform, SMMEs can apply on-line for training vouchers that can be presented to pre-approved providers for accredited skills programmes. The dedicated website is www.mersetatrainingvouchers.org.za and applicants who do not have internet access may apply via a dedicated call centre on 0861 10 12 10. This project is for SMMEs (employing less than 150 employees on a permanent basis) in the manufacturing, engineering and related services sector whether paying the Skills Development Levy (SDL) or exempted by SARS. Companies can apply for vouchers worth up to R100 000 per SME company. Where ALL the training has been successfully completed, and the R100 000 is exhausted; the company may apply for additional funding. The courses offering is wide and ranges from ABET to technical / industry specific courses. Funding is on a first come, first served basis; to a maximum of two vouchers per employee at a time. merSETA is proud to have exceeded its target for the 2009/10 financial year of enrolling at least 4, 000 employed workers on skills programmes and to have at least 5, 714 learners successfully complete learning programmes through the implementation of the Voucher Implementation Programme. To date, 20 095 learners have been registered and 11 670 have completed and many more still in the process of being trained. This has been across 1, 242 small and medium companies in the sector. Indeed, it has been a very successful year. The funds initially set aside for this project have been exhausted. We have temporarily suspended the project while we attempt to raise additional funding. Should you wish to be contacted when the project re-opens; kindly visit the voucher website www.mersetatrainingvouchers.org.za, click on the ‘Courses’ tab on this website, and complete the “Did not find what you were looking for” block and complete the fields required. merSETA wishes to thank all who have made this project a success, and we wish to partner again in the near future in “Closing the Skills Gap” even further.