Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF)

The Scottish Government, supported by Colleges Scotland, has just launched the latest round (fifth) of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund for 2021/22.

Photo of diverse staff team

Borders College receives an allocation for levy paying employers as well as one for Small to Medium Enterprises (those with less than 250 employees). Application forms are now available.  

If you are a Scotland-based employer who pays the Apprenticeship Levy, this funding stream may give you access to up to £15,000 towards employees’ training and development through Borders College.

If you are an SME then the FWDF may provide up to £5,000 to support the upskilling and reskilling of employees and improve productivity.

Applications are approved and allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. So be quick – once the funding pot allocated to each regional college is used up, you will have to go on a waiting list!

Businesses who have benefitted from the FWDF

Borders College Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation worked with employers across the South of Scotland and Central belt to offer training via the FWDF.

Training included digital skills, health and safety, customer service and first aid to support the upskilling of staff. However there was also a considerable amount of specialist training including LEAN Project Management, Drone Training, Floristry and Fork Lift Truck Driving. Other companies focussed on renewables and the move to net zero by undertaking training in EV Charging Installation, Mechanical Heat Ventilation Recovery and Air Source Heat Pump Installation.

Flexible Workforce Development Fund News

The key policy drivers for the FWDF are:

  • Supporting the needs of Levy-paying employers and SMEs in Scotland.
  • Supporting employer workforce development in line with the aims of the Scottish Government’s Labour Market Strategy, Disability Employment Action Plan, Race Equality Action Plan and the Gender Pay Gap Action Plan (particularly in the areas of upskilling/reskilling Scotland’s existing workforce) and the Fair Work Action Plan and consistent with the ambitions to raise productivity.
  • Supporting employers to adapt and respond to the impacts of COVID-19 and help employees to upskill and reskill to support Scotland’s economic recovery.
  • Supporting employers to identify and address skills needs resulting from the transition to net zero.
  • Ensuring the Fund further strengthens college engagement with Levy-paying businesses and SMEs

Eligible employers in Scotland have the flexibility to choose the training they need.

Employers can:

  • Use the FWDF to address priority skills gaps.
  • Access training in high-quality learning environments.
  • Engage and motivate existing employees by offering them high quality training to bring the greatest benefits to the organisation.

All training must be contractually committed by the end of July 2022, and training must have commenced prior to the end of August 2022 and been completed and fully delivered by 31 December 2022.

A Flexible Workforce Development fund application form is available from Borders College from today. Borders College, through its Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation, is looking forward to working with employers to meet their needs both locally and nationally, prioritise provision that meets known skills gaps in the economy and support the drive for inclusive, sustainable growth.

Contact should be made with Susan Rennie – Email srennie@borderscollege.ac.uk – or by calling 07971672475.

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