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Upskilling and reskilling opportunities for employees with Edinburgh College

Posted: 2nd December 2020

More employers across Edinburgh and the Lothians can now tap into funding to provide upskilling and reskilling opportunities for their staff through the Edinburgh College Flexible Workforce Development Fund.

For the first time, the fund will now be available for both levy payers and SMEs, across the private, public and third sectors.

Of this, an extra £4 million will be available to support SMEs through Edinburgh College – opening up new training and upskilling opportunities for SMEs.

Edinburgh College Principal Audrey Cumberford said: “The announcement of this additional money by Scottish Government for the Flexible Workforce Development Fund is welcomed news for the college sector, and for SMEs across our region and the entire country.

“Since the inception of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, Edinburgh College has delivered first-class bespoke training and upskilling to organisations across a wide range of sectors which has led to incredible results and the establishment of long-term training and other business support partnerships.

“We are delighted that we can now extend this work to small and medium-sized businesses and we look forward to working with some of the most innovative and exciting firms Scotland has to offer, to provide bespoke training programmes to suit their needs, at a time when workforce training and development is crucial as the nation recovers from the current economic downturn.”

Business, Fair Work and Skills Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Opportunities for training are essential for both employers and employees, and in August we doubled funding for our Flexible Workforce Development Fund to £20 million for 2020/21 to ensure businesses across Scotland can continue to invest in their workforce.

“As this fund adapts and responds to the impacts of the pandemic, we will also see the introduction of additional delivery partners including the Open University in Scotland and private training providers for employers who require more specialist training.

“By strengthening and upskilling the existing workforce, in partnership with colleges, we can retain jobs and support employers as they pivot and adapt to a new and very different working environment as a result of the pandemic.”

Andrew McRae, FSB’s Scotland policy chair, said: “This new funding could help many Scottish smaller businesses, and their staff teams, navigate the current crisis and ensure they’re prepared to take advantage of the recovery when it comes.

“FSB has been making the case to open up this cash pot to local firms, and we’d encourage all sorts of smaller operators to investigate how to access this support to build their business and develop their employees.”

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund helps businesses continue to invest in their workforce, and business support and is available for all of Scotland’s employers who are subject to the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy.

In August, the Scottish Government announced immediate investment in jobs to provide the foundations for a strong economic recovery from coronavirus (COVID-19).

As part of this, the fund, which is now in its fourth year, was doubled to £20m for 2020/21.

Find out more about the Flexible Workforce Development Fund on the Edinburgh College website: http://www.edinburghcollege.ac.uk/newsandevents/flexible-workforce-development-fund/

To enquire about the fund, contact our team: enterprise@edinburghcollege.ac.uk.

Business Comment

Business Comment is the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce’s bi-monthly magazine. It provides insight on Edinburgh’s vibrant business community, with features on the city’s key sectors, interviews with leading figures and news on new business developments in the capital.
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