Flexible Workforce Development Fund

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund is now open to SMEs across Scotland, allowing them to access up to £5,000 of college and Open University training.

The fund is flexible and allows employers to choose the training that will bring the greatest benefits to their organisation, and can be used to completely cover training or to partially cover training at a higher cost.

Full details of the Fund can be found on the Scottish Funding Council website, along with guidance and a list of college contacts, including for North Highland College UHI who will be providing training in this area.

Training will also be made available via the Open University in Scotland and further details can be found on the Open University website.

Those wishing to apply should contact the relevant college for information and details of what is required in support of an application. We have summarised below some key points regarding the Fund:


  • Available to all SMEs (less than 250 employees) in Scotland across private, public and third sectors
  • SMEs will need to provide evidence of their status as a business (e.g. business bank account, VAT registration, etc.)
  • Employers who are both Apprenticeship Levy payers and SMEs may access either Phase 1 (Levy payers) or Phase 2 (SME) funding through the FWDF but not both
  • Levy-paying employers can access up to £15,000, either through colleges or through private training provision via Skills Development Scotland

What kind of training can / cannot be covered?

  • Training that will have a demonstrable impact on productivity
    or meets a skills need that has occurred due to COVID-19 can be accessed via the FWDF
  • The FWDF will not cover:
    • Training which is a statutory requirement for continued employment
    • Lessons towards attaining a driving license category A or B
    • Outward bound type courses, leisure or sporting activities other than those that lead to a recognised coaching or teaching qualification
  • Where employers can evidence additional training needs, over and above those usually provided to meet statutory requirements, as a result of COVID-19, this training can be provided

Please note that SMEs are being advised to make an application as soon as possible to access the Fund, as funding is being made available on a first-come, first-served basis.

As ever if you have any queries or require guidance around this or any other form of support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and one of our team will be happy to assist.

Contact us direct if you have any questions or concerns and we will do our very best to help.

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