Funds totalling £10m available to boost Scottish workers’ skills

John McDonald of Opito
John McDonald of Opito

A £10million fund has been launched to help Scottish firms boost staff knowledge and skills.

Employers can apply to the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) if they are subject to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy.

The one-year pilot fund aims to up-skill and re-skill employees regardless of their age, with individual organisations across the private, public and third sectors able to apply for up to £10,000. They can partner with colleges to deliver in-work training.

Employability and Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “This unique pilot scheme will enable Scotland’s employers to make training and skills development available to their staff, addressing knowledge gaps and improving productivity.”

The FWDF is a Scottish Government response to the levy put into effect earlier this year.

Chief executive of Colleges Scotland Shona Struthers said: “We understand the needs of employers and are looking forward to continuing to work with them to identify specific requirements and develop tailored training, ensuring greatest added value.”

John McDonald, chief executive at oil and gas skills, learning and workforce development body Opito, said: “The funding announcement will go some way to supporting businesses, which is a step in the right direction, but it would be positive for Scottish businesses to see more funding initiatives to support apprenticeship training.”