The Scottish Government has recently confirmed the 2018/19 roll-out of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF), which was piloted last year. This fund is available to all apprenticeship levy-payers from the private, public and third sector. North East Scotland College (NESCol) is now accepting applications for employers in the region to take advantage of the new increased cap of up to £15k to up-skill or re-skill their existing workforce.

In a change to the fund, levy-payers can now nominate up to two of their supply chain companies to receive all or part of their allocation or can include any supply chain company staff within the overall training plan.

Iain Cocker, business development manager comments: “This is good news for Levy payers throughout Scotland and for the college sector. The establishment and continuation of the FWDF has stimulated college engagement with a broader range of levy-paying companies. During the pilot last year NESCol delivered approx. £700,000 worth of training to 78 companies across Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire. It is our aim to build on these relationships moving forward, helping employers increase productivity by addressing identified skills gaps and delivering customised workplace training.”

Apprenticeship levy paying employers in Scotland have the flexibility to choose the training they need. One of the organisations that benefitted from the FDWF in 2017-18 was financial services business Mattioli Woods.

Mattioli Woods’ training manager Fiona Treadwell said: “Mattioli Woods was able to utilise the funding available via the FDWF to take advantage of IT and time management courses. Delivered by NESCol to seventeen employees, the training has enabled us to upskill our workforce, improving efficiency.”

Training must be contractually agreed by July 31, 2019 and must have started by September 30, 2019. The College will allocate funds on a first-come-first-served basis so to avoid disappointment levy-payers should contact NESCol by mid-December. Further information can be found at

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