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Flexible Workforce Development Fund

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) is a Scottish Government initiative that enables employers to address priority skills and skills gaps in their organisation by accessing funding to create training programmes that meet their needs. These programmes can be delivered in partnership with their local college, The Open University in Scotland (OUiS) or an independent training provider. SFC administers the scheme on behalf of colleges and OUiS, while Skills Development Scotland (SDS) administers the scheme on behalf of independent training providers.


Information for Employers

The FWDF is open both to UK Apprenticeship Levy paying employers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland. Apprenticeship Levy payers have access to a £13 million fund in 2020-21 through the college sector and can access training up to the value of £15,000. Where specific training needs cannot be provided via a local college, Levy payers have the option to access funding through an independent training provider (via SDS), the total fund available through this route being £2 million. SMEs can work with either their local college or with the OUiS to access training up to the value of £5,000.

We have also collated a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document [PDF] which includes links to the colleges and OUiS websites.

For further details on the funding route most appropriate to your business please see the Frequently Asked Questions at the link above. Once you have identified the appropriate route the college, OUiS or SDS will guide you through the application process.

By accessing the FWDF, employers in Scotland:

  • Have the flexibility to choose the training that best meets their needs.
  • Can use the Fund to address priority skills gaps.
  • Can access tailored training in high-quality learning environments.
  • Engage and motivate existing employees by offering them high quality training to bring the greatest benefits to your organisation.

Information for Colleges, The Open University in Scotland and Independent Training Providers

The FWDF provides an opportunity for colleges, the OUiS and independent training providers to engage with local employers and to develop a deeper understanding of the skills needs in their regional economies. By engaging with this initiative, colleges, the OUiS and independent training providers can play an important role in supporting economic recovery and growth. Through the FWDF in 2020-21, the Scottish Government has made £17 million available for colleges, £1 million available for the OUiS and £2 million available for independent training providers. Allocation of this funding is detailed in the guidance notes below.

SFC would encourage colleges, the OUiS and private training providers to promote the FWDF to employers across Scotland in any way they can. In addition, Colleges Scotland has produced a set of case studies to show how the college sector is using the FWDF.


Should you have any questions that are not currently addressed in the FAQs, or if there are any issues you would like to raise, please email our dedicated email address: