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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common enquiries we get from employers. If your question isn't among them then get in touch.

Can you help me recruit?

Yes. There are creative and exciting ways to fill skills gap and build a future workforce such as Modern Apprenticeships and the Certificate of Work Readiness. Visit our recruitment section for a full rundown on how and where to advertise your vacancies, including the support on offer from partner organisations such as Jobcentre Plus

What funding is available to help me recruit?

Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive targets support at unemployed young people. It offers employers up to £4,000 when their company commits to a new job or new Modern Apprentice. If the company pays the young person the living wage there will be an additional payment of £500. This incentive is not a handout to companies – it is a co-investment in young people with a view to helping businesses grow.

There is also additional in-work support through Open Doors Consortium. Skills Development Scotland will make available funding of up to £500 per young person to the organisations within the consortium who deliver support. This additional package offers specialist employer services such as accredited training, job coaching, purchase of basic workplace clothing and mentoring.

Can you help me figure out the training my business needs?

Skills for Growth combines free consultancy from Investors in People with free support from your employer engagement adviser. They work with you to identify priorities, objectives and challenges for your organisation. They can produce a people and training action plan, signpost you to any training required, help you maximise funding and provide a process for measuring progress.

How do I become a training provider?

You’ll find helpful information at Skills Development Scotland, where you can register on the National Learning Opportunities Database, help us deliver one of our National Training Programmes or apply to become an Individual Learning Account approved provider.

Can I get funding for training courses for my staff or myself?

Get in touch with us and our skilled employment advisers can let you know about what incentives, grants and funding are available in Scotland and talk you through options if your funding is coming to an end.

What can Skills Development Scotland do for me?

We can offer support, guidance and access to training and funding initiatives to help you grow your business or manage change such as redundancy. If you want to invest in skills, then we’re your one-stop shop. Here are some of the ways we can help.

Can you help me find a young person to fill a vacancy?

Yes we can. Have you considered taking on a Modern or Foundation Apprentice? The Certificate of Work Readiness is also designed to provide you with job-ready recruits who are trained to your specific standards. Through our network of partner organisations we can point you to training, colleges and recruitment initiatives that are creating strong links between the classroom and the world of work.

Can you help me develop my company and staff?

We can provide support and let you know about Skills Development Scotland products and services when appropriate, including Modern Apprenticeships. In addition, we can work with you in partnership with awarding bodies and training providers. Get in touch and we’ll help you plan your skills, identify your objectives and develop a plan to help you achieve them.

Are Flexible Training Opportunities still available?

They no longer are available. However, in partnership with the Scottish Government, Skills Development Scotland continues to offer a wide range of other forms of support benefiting small businesses from Scotland’s Employer Recruitment Incentive to help in taking on a Modern Apprentice, or business consultancy available through Skills for Growth.

Our dedicated team of Employer Engagement Advisers can also offer advice and support, and SDS continues to work with employers and industry bodies on identifying the most effective forms of public sector assistance.

Below are some Frequently Asked Questions to explain how this affects your business.

Why are FTOs no longer available?

Due to budget restrictions, FTOs can no longer be financed. Other forms of support and advice for small businesses are still available as outlined above.

I submitted an application for an FTO before the fund closed but SDS has asked for further information before it can be progressed. Will my application be approved?

Yes, provided it meets the incentive terms and conditions.

I have already received an award but haven’t yet submitted a claim form. Can I still do so?

Yes you can. The closure of FTOs has no effect on your existing application. The claim form accompanied your award email, and this must be submitted within 20 working days of completion of training, with as much supporting evidence as possible.

I have already received an award and submitted my claim form but haven’t yet received payment. Will I still receive it?

Yes you will. Again, the closure of Flexible Training Opportunities has no effect on your existing application.

Will FTOs be available in the future?

Unfortunately, FTOs will no longer be available. SDS will continue discussions with the Scottish Government in identifying and developing the most appropriate forms of support for businesses of all sizes, with all the latest information available on

What's next?

If you still have questions, our employer helpline may be able to help. Call 0800 783 6000 to speak to an adviser.

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