New training fund will be a bonus for Forth Valley business

Local businesses can benefit from the Flexible Workforce Development Fund

New training fund will be a bonus for Forth Valley business

More than 700 companies in Forth Valley may be eligible to access up to £10,000 for training thanks to the Flexible Workforce Development Fund.

Created by the Scottish Government the fund is open to applications from all organisations across the private, public and third sectors in the Forth Valley area who pay the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy if they pay more than £3million in salaries a year.

Those who meet this criteria, are eligible to apply for vocational and professional development training offered by Forth Valley College – their regional college – in areas such as people skills, human resources and digital skills.

However, the clock is ticking to apply, as the Scottish Government have set a deadline of Friday December 15, 2017 for businesses to apply for funding.

Jennifer Tempany, Forth Valley College’s Head of Business Development, said: “There could be as much as £500,000 worth of funding available in the Forth Valley area and it is understood there are at least 705 firms who meet the criteria to apply.

“All they need to do is contact us here at Forth Valley College – their regional college – and we can help them in their application to claim the training grants, which could be up to a maximum of £10,000.

“It is an excellent opportunity for our local businesses to upskill their workforce in key areas and here at Forth Valley College they can be confident they will receive the best and most professional training possible to help their employees enhance their professional ability.”

Dr Ken Thomson, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “Scotland’s further education sector has always worked very closely with business partners and stakeholders to meet industry demand for skilled workers. Forth Valley College and others have been very successful in developing a very high standard of work-based skills training and providing industry with competent, professional and qualified employees, who can hit the ground running when they leave college. We have a unique understanding of the businesses we work with and recognise what our partners’ needs are and tailor our training to their exact specifications and requirements. We are sure the new Flexible Workforce Development Fund will help to enhance these partnerships, strengthen our links with business and welcome new companies to come along and see how we are making learning work here at Forth Valley College.

“This training initiative recognises the flexible approach of colleges and how we can react to change and evolve at pace to deliver courses that will benefit employees and employers alike. We are looking forward to welcoming professionals from business throughout the Forth Valley area over the next six months, who will be undertaking courses as a result of this fund. We are very confident that our track record for high standards, flexible approach and reputation for delivering top class training will allow us to deliver the training afforded by this fund in the best possible way.”

Commenting on the launch of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, Shona Struthers, Chief Executive, Colleges Scotland said: “This initiative will help build skills, growth, equality of opportunity and productivity in the workplace, and I am delighted that it will be delivered through Scotland’s college sector.

“We are 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.”

To find out more please contact Forth Valley College in the first instance on 01324 403146 or visit the website page at www.forthvalley.ac.uk/workforcefund

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