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Apply for the Flexible Workforce Development Fund

Up to £15,000 towards training for apprenticeship Levy-paying employers and £5,000 for SMEs in Scotland.

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For the first time, the Flexible Workforce Development Fund is available to all Scottish employers, including SMEs.

The fund allows you to address priority skills gaps and invest in your workforce through training and personal development. Read on to find out what funds are available and how to apply.

"Opportunities for training are essential for both employers and employees, and in August we doubled funding for our Flexible Workforce Development Fund to £20 million for 2020/21 ensuring businesses across Scotland can continue to invest in their workforce."
Jamie Hepburn, Skills Minister
  • The Scottish Government announced the fund in their response to the UK Government apprenticeship levy, where they set out how they will use Levy funding to support skills, training and employment in Scotland across the private, public and third sectors
  • With greater flexibility, employers can now choose between colleges, Open University and private training provision administered through SDS
  • The fund is in addition to apprenticeship support which all employers in Scotland can access.

How much is available?

  • Levy-paying employers can access up to £15,000 with wider access through colleges or Skills Development Scotland (SDS) in 2020/21
  • SMEs will be able to access up to £5,000 through college and Open University training in 2020/21
  • The fund can be used to completely cover training or to partially cover training at a higher cost

Information for Levy-paying employers

  • Levy-paying employers who are eligible for the fund still have the ability to invest in the development of their supply chain
  • Levy-payers can give up their access to the fund and nominate up to two of their supply chain companies
  • For the first time, Levy-payers can now source training through private providers administered by SDS


  • Employers can submit one application only to the fund within the application period - this includes Levy-paying SMEs
  • The fund does not support the provision of industry qualifications or training where there is a statutory obligation required by law
  • Employers must be based or operate within Scotland, wholly or partially

How to apply

For Levy-paying employers who are interested in using private training provision administered through SDS -  expressions of interest are open. Fill out an enquiry form.

If you're a SME employer you can apply through the Open University, or if you want to use a local college to access training you can find a list of college contacts, and further guidance on the Scottish Funding Council website.

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