Training fund to support businesses now open for applications

North Highland College UHI are inviting local businesses to apply for The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) to help reskill or offer skills development opportunities for their staff. 

A Scottish Government initiative, the FWDF is open both to UK Apprenticeship Levy paying employers and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland. Apprenticeship Levy payers can access training up to the value of £15,000, while SMEs can access training up to the value of £5,000.

Principal, Debbie Murray said, “North Highland College UHI is delighted to be able to offer training to qualifying businesses, through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund again in 2022. It is a great opportunity for the college to support a range of training opportunities to our employers in Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross”

The Business Development Unit at North Highland College UHI has been engaging with employers to develop a deeper understanding of the skills needs in the local economy. Throughout the 2020-21 FWDF period, the team worked with nine businesses that have benefited from the funding through a range of training courses for their staff.

Andrew Mackay, owner of The Caithness Collection said, “Getting the FWDF investment in our business has been crucial for us. It has helped us come out of a business period where we have been closed 8 months out of 13 which is very scary and allowed us to continue to invest in the team. We were able to build their confidence to re-emerge from furlough and be assured in their ability to serve the general public and give our customers the standard of service that we all wish for.”

Laura O’Kane, general manager at Northlands Creative accessed the fund and said, “The funding provided by the Flexible Workforce Development Fund has been invaluable to our organisation. Being an extremely small business, we have limited spend on training, but with the funding received we have been able to give our team the skills and confidence to return from furlough. It has been a great success and even inspirational!”

If you are interested in accessing the fund for your business, please register your interest and we will get in touch to confirm your eligibility and discuss your training needs.