Flexible Workforce Development Fund
In December 2016 the Scottish Government announced the introduction of a Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) to provide Apprenticeship Levy-paying employers with workforce development training to upskill and reskill their existing workforce. Since it was piloted in 2017-18 the fund has expanded to allow small and medium enterprises (SME) to benefit from training, and from 2022-23 both Levy-payers and SMEs can access all available training routes.
The FWDF 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 and institutions
Information and guidance on how employers, colleges, OUiS and independent training providers can access the FWDF.
Priorities of the FWDF
The National Strategy for Economic Transformation (NSET), published in March 2022, sets out a vision for 2032 for Scotland to be a thriving, inclusive and entrepreneurial country delivering a just transition to a net zero, nature positive, wellbeing economy.
NSET aims to ensure that people have the skills they need at every stage of life to have rewarding careers that meet the demands of an ever-changing economy and society. It commits specifically to support and incentivise people, and their employers, to invest in skills and training throughout their working lives.
The FWDF is well placed to support the aspirations of the NSET.
SFC’s Review of Coherent Provision and Sustainability also recognises that learning throughout life will become increasingly important and the pace of change in the jobs market will require people to undertake more frequent reskilling and upskilling. The FWDF plays a key role in providing skills interventions that can be flexed to address the very significant employability and skills needs we recognise employers and employees will require over the coming period.