The SNP Government is investing £10 million to extend the Flexible Workforce Development Fund pilot, to ensure Scotland’s workforce has the skills and training required to meet the changing needs of employers and the Scottish economy.
The Fund had a successful first year and is part of a range of support for employers’ subject to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, which includes the expansion and diversification of our Modern Apprenticeship programme.
To mitigate the impact of the UK apprenticeship tax and support the upskilling and reskilling needs of our existing workforce, second year funding is available to eligible levy paying employers will increase by £5,000 to £15,000.
Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn MSP said:
“The SNP Government has been clear in our opposition to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy. To help employers with the impact of this unwelcome UK tax on Scottish levy payers, the extension of our £10 million Flexible Workforce Development Fund will continue to support investment in workforce skills and training opportunities.
“Available to support all employees of all ages and across the private, public and third sectors, I encourage all those who are subject to the apprenticeship levy in Scotland to get in touch with our colleges to learn more about the opportunities available to them to improve and diversity their skillset and benefit from new training opportunities.
“The SNP Government will continue to support investment in skills and training to meet the changing needs of employers, the workforce, young people and Scotland’s economy.”
Shona Struthers, Chief Executive of Colleges Scotland, said:
“We are delighted that the college sector will continue to exclusively administer and deliver the £10 million Flexible Workforce Development Fund which supports levy-paying employers to undertake training and development as this helps to increase productivity, fill identified skills gaps, and upskill and retrain the existing workforce.
“Year 2 will build on the progress made in the pilot year and add some positive developments which will be of benefit to levy-paying employers, including an increase in the cap and greater flexibility with the option to utilise some or all of the fund in their supply chain. The fund is already helping employers and colleges work together to enhance training and continuous professional development for staff and keep pace with new technology and changing markets.”
Kenneth Gibson MSP added:
“With 590 private, public and third sector organisations across Ayrshire being subjected to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, I urge them to apply for the Flexible Workforce Development Fund. If eligible, they could receive up to £15,000 free training to support their workforce.”