Further Funding announced for Scottish employers

Further Funding announced for Scottish employers

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, Jamie Hepburn MSP launched Year 2 of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund on a visit to Ayrshire College’s Ayr campus on 18 July 2018, announcing that a further £10million will be invested in 2018-19 to extend the Fund.

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) is available to private, public and third sector organisations which are subject to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy. If eligible, employers can now apply for up to £15,000 free training (an increase from the £10,000 available in 2017-18) to support the development of their workforce.

The objective of the Fund is to develop the skills of existing employees. It can be used for a wide range of training, including management digital and technical skills.

Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills Jamie Hepburn said, “The Scottish 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 would 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 diversify their skillset and benefit from new training opportunities.

“The Scottish 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.”

Feedback of the benefits of the fund has been positive, with 28 Ayrshire companies commissioning training so far through the Fund.

Colin Glencorse, Business Manager at KA Leisure said “The training has had an extremely positive effect on our employees. We’re focusing on softer skills, such as customer service and leadership training, which is providing the opportunity for our employees to progress within the company”.

GE Caledonian is looking forward to benefitting from training from August this year. Stephen McNab Apprentice Leader, MRB, Conformation and Documentation Leader at GE Caledonian said, “We welcome the Minister’s announcement for further funding this morning. GE Caledonian has already benefitted through training that introduces our employees to the latest composite technologies. This will help us to meet the future needs of our business.”

Lorna Gibson, Strategic Development Officer at Costley and Costley Hoteliers said, “We have a training programme funded by FWDF starting in August which we are really looking forward to. It will make a big difference, particularly for our younger staff to focus on bespoke hospitality training. In the future we hope to add management training too.”

Director of Industry Programmes at Ayrshire College, Stuart Millar said, “Ayrshire College is delighted with the announcement of the 2018-19 Flexible Workforce Development Fund. In 2017-18, the College is delivering training courses to around 3,000 employees in Ayrshire’s largest businesses. The 2018-19 fund will build on this success and help to maximise the economic benefits that a skilled workforce brings to businesses in Ayrshire.”

For more information on the Fund, please contact Wendy McFarland, Business Solutions Manager on 01292 293457 or email wendy.mcfarland@ayrshire.ac.uk

18 July 2018


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