Government Fund Provides Positive Change For Scottish Businesses
Specialist recruitment agency, Change Recruitment are championing the merits of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) and are encouraging other Scottish businesses to apply for funding before the deadline for applications for academic year 2021-22 at the end of July 2022.
Available to all Scottish employers and a Scottish Government initiative, the FWDF enables employers to address skills gaps in their workforce by accessing funding to create training programmes to meet their ever-changing needs.
National skills agency Skills Development Scotland (SDS) administers the scheme on behalf of independent training providers while the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) administers the programme on behalf of colleges and The Open University in Scotland.
The Flexible Workforce Development Fund has been a huge benefit to our business over the past two years.
Change Recruitment HR Manager
Glasgow-based Change Recruitment are a beneficiary of the programme and HR Manager Deborah Gillespie (pictured) believes the funding has helped the business progress during an extremely challenging period due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deborah said: “We are a recruitment business who, thanks to the FWDF, have been able to invest in some sector specific and market leading training.
“The Flexible Workforce Development Fund has been a huge benefit to our business over the past two years.
“It has given us access to training for our colleagues that otherwise we would have struggled to invest in, particularly against the backdrop of the pandemic.
“Not only are we able to invest in our colleagues in such a positive way, but access to this training has led to an upturn in performance in some areas.
“And has also provided a huge amount of learning for all our colleagues in areas such as wellbeing and diversity and inclusion, which is at the top of our priority list as a business.”
Available to all businesses in Scotland, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), the aim of the Fund is to up-skill and re-skill employees to support inclusive economic growth in Scotland.
In addition to the apprenticeship support, which is available to all employers in Scotland, and Individual Training Accounts (ITAs) which support eligible individuals to take up learning opportunities to develop their skills for employment, the Fund provides funding to UK Apprenticeship Levy-payers and SMEs in Scotland which they can use to access flexible workforce development training opportunities.
Skills Development Scotland’s Skills For Growth Manager Gary Gray (pictured) says the versatility of the programme is its greatest strength and means it can fit the requirements of every business in Scotland.
Gary said: “The Fund, which is available to all businesses in Scotland for them to upskill and reskill their workforce, is split into three sections.
“There is a section that supports businesses that are classed as SMEs and they can receive up to £5,000 worth of support from the college network or through the Open University in Scotland.
“For businesses, who are levy payers they have a choice: either they can access £15,000 of support through their local college.
“Alternatively if the college doesn’t offer what they’re looking for then they’ve got the option of coming to Skills Development Scotland to get £15,000 worth of grant support, which they can use with the private provider network to tailor a training package that suits their needs.
“The Fund gives businesses real flexibility in how they want to approach the way they upskill and reskill their staff depending on the size of their organisation.”
Applications are processed on a first come, first served basis, so organisations are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Businesses keen to explore the benefits of the FWDF can visit the landing page or access further information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.