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Support for employers to train and develop staff through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund is to be extended with a further £10million investment.

The pilot fund, launched last year, is part of a range of support for employers subject to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, which includes the expansion and diversification of Scottish Apprenticeships.

SME opportunities and increase in funding cap

Through the extension, funding available to eligible levy paying employers across the private, public and third sectors is also set to increase from £10,000 to £15,000.

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund provides employers with financial support to up-skill and re-train employees in partnership with colleges.

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. Find local college details by clicking here

The Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board were consulted throughout the pilot stage advocating some of the changes which have been introduced including increasing the cap and greater flexibility for the fund to support larger employers’ supply chains, which will support SMEs.


Building on offer

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said:

“Available to support all employees of all ages and across the private, public and third sectors, I would encourage all those who are subject to the apprenticeship levy in Scotland to get in touch with our colleges to learn more about the opportunities available to them to improve and diversify their skillset and benefit from new training opportunities.

“The Scottish Government will continue to support investment in skills and training to meet the changing needs of employers, the workforce, young people and Scotland’s economy.”

Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said:

“We are delighted that the college sector will continue to exclusively administer and deliver the £10 million Flexible Workforce Development Fund which supports levy-paying employers to undertake training and development as this helps to increase productivity, fill identified skills gaps, and upskill and retrain the existing workforce.

“Year 2 will build on the progress made in the pilot year and add some positive developments which will be of benefit to levy-paying employers, including an increase in the cap and greater flexibility with the option to utilise some or all of the fund in their supply chain. The fund is already helping employers and colleges work together to enhance training and continuous professional development for staff and keep pace with new technology and changing markets.”

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