Flexible Workforce Development Fund

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!

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.

Businesses who have benefitted from the FWDF in 2020/21

During 2020/21 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.

Use the interactive map below to see the training undertaken by each of these companies. You can do this by clicking or tapping on the markers within the map.

FWDF Case Studies

College deliver training to world-renowned The Turing Trust

Borders College Department of Enterprise and Business Innovation (DEBI) recently carried out an Emergency First Aid at Work course for the remarkable and world-renowned charitable organisation The Turing Trust, based in Loanhead.

Founded in 2009, The Turing Trust is a legacy for Alan Turing, who is famously credited as being the father of modern-day computing science. Its aims are to collect computing devices from individuals and organisations and prepare them for educational training opportunities and skills development, both in the UK and Africa.

All the devices are fully prepared with educational assets before shipping, and are sent to many schools in Ghana, Malawi and Kenya to assist their educational needs with great effect. They have succeeded in sending over 5,000 computers to date, with their staff of 100 volunteers doing fantastic work.

The Turing Trust Group

Alan Turing’s great nephew James Turing, who is founder and CEO of the charity, also attended the course on the day along with several of his colleagues.

Funded through Flexible Workforce Development (Phase 2 SME) funding, the Emergency First Aid at Work course was well received and was really enjoyed by the team. They fully committed with enthusiasm to learn the skills presented, and added further value to the life skills they already possess.

All participants successfully achieved their qualification and will be awarded an Emergency First Aid at Work certificate, which is approved by the Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland and is valid for three years.

College upskill local electricians in the installation of EV charging equipment

Here at Borders College, we were delighted to be able to undertake face to face delivery again and have the opportunity to upskill our local electricians in the installation of EV charging equipment. This was made possible using the equipment that was funded through the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

The candidates commented on the training saying:

“The course was very informative and the day was engaging and well structured. I enjoyed learning locally.”

“The course fits in with the ideas for my business and I felt I was supported well throughout, a good mix of tutorial and practical work. It was nice to meet other contractors and discuss their ideas on Electric Vehicle Charging too.”

College upskill local electricians in the installation of EV charging equipment

Electrical Engineering Lecturer Dale Clancy said:

“It was great to get some local contractors into the College again after the success of the 18th Edition course we have provided. It is positive to be able to continue to build on what we deliver in the Borders to help support the local electrical industry.”

Electrical Engineering Lecturer Brian Ker added:

“The candidates were very professional and well informed which is something we have become used to in the Scottish Borders. It was encouraging to see local contractors still continuing to work to an excellent standard and gaining an additional qualification at Borders College.”

If you are interested in any training or would like to talk to us about a Training Needs Analysis please contact debi@borderscollege.ac.uk . We are always happy to help.