Upskilling and reskilling opportunities for employees

Upskilling and reskilling opportunities for employees
Training possibilities at FVC

More employers across Forth Valley can now apply for funding to provide upskilling and reskilling opportunities for their existing staff.

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) helps businesses continue to invest in their workforce and is available for all of Scotland’s employers who are subject to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy. For the first time, the fund will now be available for both levy payers and SMEs, across the private, public and third sectors.

In August the Scottish Government announced immediate investment in jobs to provide the foundations for a strong economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19). As part of this, the FWDF, which is now in its fourth year, was doubled to £20m for 2020/21, with £13 million made available through the first phase to allow colleges to provide additional support for levy paying employers.

The second phase of the fund, backed by £7 million, will also be utilised to respond directly to the impacts of the pandemic, and will open to applications from Monday 16 November 2020.

Of this, £5 million will be available to support SMEs through a college and Open University in Scotland partnership, while Skills Development Scotland will offer a new option which will test the use of private training providers for levy paying businesses who require specialist training.

Business, Fair Work and Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Opportunities for training are essential for both employers and employees, and in August we doubled funding for our Flexible Workforce Development Fund to £20 million for 2020/21 to ensure businesses across Scotland can continue to invest in their workforce.

“As this fund adapts and responds to the impacts of the pandemic, we will also see the introduction of additional delivery partners including the Open University in Scotland and private training providers for employers who require more specialist training.

“By strengthening upskilling the existing workforce, in partnership with colleges, we can retain jobs and support employers as they pivot and adapt to a new and very different working environment as a result of the pandemic.”

Dr Ken Thomson, Principal of Forth Valley College, said: “The announcement of this new money for the Flexible Workforce Development Fund is absolutely great news for the college sector. Forth Valley College have been working with our partner employers and stakeholders year on year since the fund was set up in 2017, training and upskilling their staff through various courses and it has proved to be a real benefit to them.

“This new funding will now allow small and medium sized businesses to access college training which can enhance workforce skills, and at this time, will be vital for our economy as we emerge from the current crisis.”

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said:“This new funding could help many Scottish smaller businesses, and their staff teams, navigate the current crisis and ensure they’re prepared to take advantage of the recovery when it comes.

“FSB has been making the case to open up this cash pot to local firms, and we’d encourage all sorts of smaller operators to investigate how to access this support to build their business and develop their employees.”

Find out more about the FWDF at FVC by visiting here and find out the types of courses your business could access here