Flexible Workforce Development Fund


Employers can access funding to upskill and reskill their employees through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF).

The FWDF is a Scottish Government initiative that enables employers to address priority skills and skills gaps in their organisations by accessing funding for training courses that meets their business need.

Training is delivered by UHI North, West and Hebrides and throughout the UHI Partnership via funding administered by the Scottish Funding Council, so there’s no cost to the employer.

Who is eligible? content

Who is eligible?

Who is eligible?

The FWDF is open to both UK Apprenticeship Levy paying employers and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across the public, private and third sectors in Scotland.

  • UK Apprenticeship Levy paying employers can access training up to the value of £15,000 through UHI North, West and Hebrides. Employers must provide evidence of their levy-paying status. The Apprenticeship Levy is a UK tax on employers with an annual pay bill of more than £3 million.
  • SMEs can access training up to the value of £5000 through UHI North, West and Hebrides. An SME is defined as any business with less than 250 employees.
How can the FWDF help you? content

How can the FWDF help you?

How can the FWDF help you?

By accessing the FWDF, employers in Scotland:

  • Have the flexibility to choose the training that best meets their business needs,
  • Address priority skills gaps,
  • Access tailored training in high-quality learning environments,
  • Engage and motivate existing employees by offering high-quality training which brings the greatest benefit to your organisation.
How we'll support you content

How we'll support you

How we'll support you

UHI North, West and Hebrides has a diverse range of training programmes available for employers, with the choice of short courses or longer, part-time courses, and varying qualification levels. The offer ranges from ICT, business and management courses, through to health and safety and industry-specific qualifications. The College also works with employers to deliver bespoke training and can access training for companies with specialist needs through the wider University of the Highlands and Islands partnership.

  • We’ll confirm your eligibility for funding,
  • Support you to conduct an analysis of your training needs and identify courses,
  • We’ll walk you through the application process so it’s as smooth and hassle-free as possible,
  • When approved, we’ll organise the training and provide you with support so your staff have the best experience possible.

Applications for the FWDF are currently open, with training now available. All training must be contractually agreed with the College by July next year at the latest, commence by August and be completed by December.

What employers say content

What employers say

What employers say

North lands creative logo

North Lands Creative

North Lands Creative is a unique studio organisation and gallery in Lybster, Caithness. Our focus is on contemporary glass and we have a national importance in developing glass in the UK. Through the Alastair Pilkington Studio and Gallery, North Lands Creative facilitates and supports professional artists to make new artwork. It also offers a highly visible and accessible programme of talks, events and education activities around the studio and gallery that engages visitors with artists and art-making.

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!

Laura O'Kane, General Manager


Grey bar

Caithness Collection logo

The Caithness Collection

The Caithness Collection is a family-run group of three hotels in Wick, Thurso and Castletown, all in Caithness.

Training accessed so far includes:

  • Customer Service
  • Elementary Food Hygiene
  • Personal Licence
  • ILM

Getting the FWDF investment in our business has been crucial for us, it has helped 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 and give them the 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. Thank you very much, it’s been a great help.  

Andrew Mackay – Owner



Register Interest content

Register Interest

If you are interested in accessing the fund for your business, please fill out the form below. We will get in touch to confirm your eligibility and discuss your training needs. 


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