Flexible Workforce Development Fund

Support provided by Scottish Government

What does this involve?

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) provides employers in Scotland who are UK Apprenticeship Levy-payers with flexible workforce development training opportunities within the high-quality learning environments available in Scotland’s colleges. It is also open to SMEs across the private, public and third sectors.

Eligible employers can use the FWDF to address priority skills gaps in their organisation by accessing up to £15,000 in funding to create tailored training programmes with their local college.

SMEs will be able to access up to £5,000 of college and Open University training.

The fund is flexible and allows employers to choose the training that will bring the greatest benefits to their organisation, while motivating and engaging their employees. The fund can be used to completely cover training or to partially cover training at a higher cost

Colleges should work with UK Apprenticeship Levy-paying employers in their region to identify the training they require that will help make a demonstrable return on investment. The analysis should form the basis of the employer’s application, and colleges should work with employers to support the application process.

Levy-payers can now also  source training through private providers administered by Skills Development Scotland. 

Am I eligible?

The FWDF is available to all UK Apprenticeship Levy-paying employers in Scotland across the private, public and third sector. It is also now open to SMEs (November 2020). If you are an employer with a wage bill of over £3 million, then you may be eligible to apply for the Flexible Workforce Development Fund to meet your skills gaps.

Employers must provide evidence of their Levy-paying status as part of their FWDF application.

The FWDF does not support provision of industry qualifications/ training where there is a statutory employer obligation as required by law.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Employers in Scotland who are UK Apprenticeship Levy-payers or SMEs and would like to access workforce training opportunities to up-skill or re-skill their employees.

How long does this take?

Training programmes will vary in length depending on your requirements.

Important information

Employers operating on a Scotland-wide basis or across more than one college region may only submit one FWDF application to the college of their choice. On their application, employers are required to formally declare that their application is on behalf of the whole company and is their sole FWDF application.

The fund is in addition to apprenticeship support, which is available to all employers in Scotland, and Individual Training Accounts (ITAs), which provide eligible individuals with the opportunity to undertake learning opportunities to develop their skills for employment.

The FWDF may be particularly beneficial in addressing skills gaps and training needs of the older workforce and those with protected characteristics.

Next steps

Applications are now open – please contact your nearest college to register your interest and discuss your training needs.

For Levy-paying employers who are interested in using private training provision administered through SDS, you need to fill out an enquiry form.

For all other FWDF enquiries, including SME applications and how to apply, please visit the Scottish Funding Council website.

Support provided by Scottish Government

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