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Funding news - 11/09/2017

Scottish Government Launches £10 Million Flexible Workforce Development Fund

A fund that will bring together the college sector with industry in order to provide support for in-work training in Scotland.

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) is part of Programme for Government, and an element of the Scottish Government's skills offer in Scotland. It is part of a wider offer of training and support that aims to provide a clear and distinctive response to the introduction of the UK Apprenticeship Levy.

The purpose of the Fund is to provide employers with flexible workforce development training opportunities to support inclusive economic growth through up-skilling or reskilling of employees. The Fund will address the issue of skills gaps and will consider the potential training needs of older workers in cases where a full apprenticeship may not be appropriate.

The Scottish Government will provide £10 million to the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) for the FWDF to be made available through regional colleges and Scotland’s Rural College. Scotland's employers can apply for part of this Fund to partner with colleges to deliver in-work skills training. 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.

This initiative will support the delivery of SFC's strategic outcome of greater innovation in the economy. It also supports the Scottish Government's strategic priority of high quality learning in a learning system which is connected for the learner, including learning which prepares people for the world of work and successful long-term careers, prioritising provision that meets known skills gaps in the economy.

Launching the Fund, Minister for Employability and Skills Jamie Hepburn 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.

"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."

Employers can make an application to access FWDF once, within the application window - which started from the FWDF launch in September and closes on 15 December 2017.

Source: Scottish Government, 08/09/2017

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