From today, Scotland's employers can apply for part of a new £10
million fund to partner with colleges to deliver in-work skills
The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) will be available
to organisations across the private, public and third sectors who
are subject to the UK Government's Apprenticeship Levy.
The one-year pilot fund will focus on the up-skilling and
re-skilling of existing employees of any age, with individual
organisations able to apply for up to £10,000.
The FWDF was developed in line with the Scottish Government's
2016 consultation on the UK Government's Apprenticeship Levy, and
is part of a range of support for Scottish Levy payers, which
includes the expansion of our Modern Apprenticeship programme.
Minister for Employability and Skills Jamie Hepburn launched the
fund at a visit to ScotRail to meet staff undertaking training and
"This unique pilot scheme will enable Scotland's employers to
make training and skills development available to their staff,
addressing knowledge gaps and improving
"The Flexible Workforce Development Fund is part of Programme
for Government, and an important element of our skills offer in
Scotland. It is part of our wider offer of training and
support that provides a clear and distinctive response to the
introduction of the UK Apprenticeship Levy.
"Training and skills development is beneficial for employees of
all ages and levels and I would encourage all organisations subject
to the levy in Scotland to get in touch with our colleges to learn
more about the opportunities available to them."
John Kemp, interim chief executive of the Scottish Funding
"Giving employers and their staff flexible opportunities for
training to upskill and reskill is a positive step to address
skills gaps, and is great news for employees, Scotland's businesses
and the economy."
Shona Struthers, Chief Executive, Colleges Scotland, said:
"I am delighted that the Flexible Workforce Development Fund
will be delivered through the college sector. Scotland's colleges
already play a vital role in working with businesses to meet the
demands of the labour market by successfully developing and
delivering work-based skills and producing qualified workers across
"We understand the needs of employers and are looking forward to
continuing to work with them to identify specific requirements and
develop tailored training, ensuring greatest added value. The
Flexible Workforce Development Fund is a significant and welcome
addition to this partnership working."
John Gillies, the ScotRail Alliance's HR director, said: "At the
ScotRail Alliance we invest heavily in our people, all across the
business. Our modern apprentices complete the Gold Duke of
Edinburgh's award programme as part of their apprenticeship, giving
them skills for life as well as the workplace.
"We also promote opportunities for existing employees to expand
and develop their skillsets, allowing them to make the most of
their potential. Our team is our most important asset, so it's
important that we give them the right skills for the job."
Source - Scottish Government