West Lothian College Announces that Flexible Workforce Development Fund 2020-21 applications are now open.

Employers that are eligible to the FWDF are those across Scotland that are levy-paying employers in the private, public and third sector.

Levy-payers are required to provide evidence of their Levy-paying status as part of their FWDF application to colleges. This can be an Employer Payment Summary (EPS) or a P32.

The FWDF does not support provision of industry qualifications/training where there is a statutory obligation required by law. This remains the employer’s  responsibility and will not be provided through FWDF. However, where employers can evidence additional training needs, over and above those usually provided to meet statutory requirements, as a result of COVID-19 and as training is adjusted to meet (for example) physical distancing and hygiene guidance, this training can be provided.

The continued purpose of the FWDF is to provide Levy-payers with flexible workforce development training opportunities to support inclusive economic growth through up-skilling or re-skilling of employees. The Fund is in addition to apprenticeship support, access to which is available to all employers in Scotland; and Individual Training Accounts (ITAs), which provide eligible individuals with the opportunity to undertake learning opportunities to develop their skills for employment.

The FWDF may be particularly beneficial in addressing skills gaps and training needs of the older workforce and/or employees with one or more protected characteristics.

Scottish Government has identified some priority groups for the training and we would encourage employers to give consideration to specific groups such as older workers, those in low-skilled jobs, those working regularly with younger workers/apprentices, veterans/early service leavers and those who identify as belonging to equality groups e.g. women, disabled people, black and minority ethnic people.

West Lothian College will be aware of these areas when assessing the application.  The application form will require details of the projected development goal for the employees.

Applications are approved on a first come first-served basis and must be submitted before the end of December 2020, these are then assessed by the College to ensure that they meet the correct criteria.  Only one application per employer is allowed with each levy payer being able to access up to a maximum of £15,000 in 2020-21.

For further information or to arrange a meeting please contact Alison Simons –

asimons@west-lothian.ac.uk

 

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