Government reopens training fund for SMEs

Scottish firms can apply for up to £15,000 and up-skill their workforce.

Thousands of businesses can now apply for up to £15,000 to help retrain and up-skill their workforce.

The Scottish Government’s Flexible Workforce Development Fund provides workers in companies of all sizes with access to training courses through local colleges, the Open University in Scotland and Skills Development Scotland (SDS).

Now entering its sixth year, the fund is open to organisations who pay the UK Apprenticeship Levy and small-to-medium size enterprises (SMEs).

The initiative is part of the new National Strategy for Economic Transformation, which outlines how the Scottish Government will work to develop the best economic performance possible over the decade ahead.

Youth Employment and Training Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “We know times are tough for many businesses, so this funding will help them to continue investing in their workforce – addressing skills gaps and improving productivity.

“For the first time, all eligible employers can access training available via local colleges, Skills Development Scotland and the Open University, tailored to their needs.

“I would encourage all employers to find out more about the opportunities available to them.”

The fund was first introduced in 2017-18 and aims to provide employers with flexible workforce development training opportunities tailored to their needs.

Employers can contact the SDS or the Scottish Funding Council for further information on this year’s fund.

Apprenticeship Levy-paying organisations will be able to access up-skilling support to the value of £15,000, while non-levy paying SMEs up to £5,000.

An independent evaluation of the fund was carried out in academic year 2021-22, with the results set to be published this autumn.

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