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07 September 2017

New workforce fund won’t be open to smaller businesses, warns FSB

Reference number: SPUR0709

The Scottish Government has launched a new £10 million workforce development fund which won’t be open to almost all Scottish small firms.

Andy Willox, the Federation of Small Businesses’ (FSB) Scottish policy convenor, said: “The development of this fund was difficult and the end result is a disappointment.

“The vast majority of smaller firms are excluded from this initiative. Many of the country’s biggest employers – including Scotland’s councils - wanted this fund to be open to all Scottish businesses, with more of the income raised from the Apprenticeship Levy allocated to its budget.”

Less than five per cent of the money raised from the Apprenticeship Levy in Scotland has been allocated to this project.

Andy Willox said: “Unfortunately this fund will do little to help smaller employers upskill their staff, especially those who are looking to address skills shortages as the UK leaves the EU. The Scottish Government should think again.”