The Scottish Funding Council has released guidance for apprenticeship levy-paying employers in Scotland who want to access the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) in the 2019-2020 academic year. In this third year of the fund, £10 million will be made available, with employers able to access £15,000 each.
Employers should note the FWDF cannot be used for training they are legally obliged to provide. However, we have confirmed that qualifications in social services, including those which meet SSSC registration requirements, are eligible. This would include SVQs or professional development awards (PDA) in social service and healthcare subjects, for example.
The fund is open to employers who pay the apprenticeship levy and an organisation can make one claim per year. Levy-paying employers can nominate up to two supply chain organisations, for example care organisations they commission to provide services on their behalf, to access the fund. The table below shows an example. Levy-paying employers can also include employees of supply chain organisations in training that they arrange through the FWDF.
|Example 1||Example 2||Example 3|
|Levy paying employer||£0||£0||£5,500|
|Supply chain company A||£15,000||£9,000||£3,000|
|Supply chain company B||£0||£6,000||£1000|
Here are some key points you should be aware of.
- Training or qualifications can be delivered by colleges only.
- The fund provides an opportunity to promote equality at work and employers should consider prioritising the needs of particular groups to gain qualifications including older workers, workers with a disability or workers with care experience.
- In making an application to the FWDF via a college, employers must demonstrate why the training is required and the impact it will make to the provision of high quality services.
- Training which is credit-rated and certificated should be prioritised, for example SVQs and PDAs.
- The fund can be used as part-payment of a programme of training.
- Training can take place over the 2019-20 academic year (from August 2019) and must start by 31 August 2020 to be included as part of the 2019-20 funding round. Training should be finished by December 2020, although if this is not feasible (as in the case of SVQs) the college can discuss with the Scottish Funding Council.
- The fund does not prohibit employers from accessing other funding sources including modern apprenticeship funding or Individual Training Accounts (although they can’t be used in combination with these sources to pay for a programme arranged through FWDF).
Have you used the Flexible Workforce Development Fund to support your employees in their career?
Tell us how you’ve used it by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have used the fund to support career opportunities for employees we may get in touch to ask if we can share your experiences to help others.