Share this page


Employers looking to improve the skills of their staff have a new opportunity to access training in partnership with colleges thanks to the launch of a £10million fund.

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund will be available to organisations across the private, public and third sectors who are subject to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy.

Eligible employers can access the fund, which is administered by the Scottish Funding Council on behalf of the Scottish Government, by getting in touch with their local college.

Improving productivity

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.

Minister for Employability and Skills Jamie Hepburn launched the fund in September at a visit to ScotRail to meet staff undertaking training and skills development.

He said: “This unique pilot scheme will enable Scotland’s employers to make training and skills development available to their staff, addressing knowledge gaps and improving productivity.  

“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.”

Delivering work-based skills

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund 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 Modern Apprenticeships.

Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland said: “This initiative will help build skills, growth, equality of opportunity and productivity in the workplace, and I am delighted that it will be delivered through Scotland’s college sector.

“Scotland’s colleges already play a vital role in working with employers to meet the demand of the labour market by successfully developing and delivering work-based skills and producing skilled, qualified workers across all sectors.

“Our partnerships with business means that we understand the needs of employers, and can work effectively with them to identify their specific requirements and how these can best be met. The Flexible Workforce Development Fund is a significant and welcome addition to this partnership working.”

What's next?

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund is administered by the Scottish Funding Council. Employers can find out more on the Scottish Funding Council website or contact their local college for more information.

Back to News