This blog was written by Suzanne McQuade, Business Relationships Manager (Scotland) for the Open University. The Open University is a principal partner of the SCDI Highlands & Islands Business Excellence Awards – book your table now to join us, and host Alistair McGowan, on 24 June. 

How SMEs can develop in-demand skills

Through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Scotland can now access funded training up to the value of £5,000, delivered by The Open University in Scotland.

Many of Scotland’s SMEs need to upskill and reskill their workforce – now more so than ever due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) is a Scottish Government initiative with the latest phase launched to help SMEs develop skills to boost productivity and growth post pandemic.

What training is available?

SMEs will be supported to develop a bespoke training plan, with the courses being delivered online through the OU’s innovative learning platforms. It is a highly flexible way to access the training businesses need – in the workplace or from home.

There is a lot of choice with course types at Scottish Credit & Qualifications Framework Level 10 (undergraduate) and Level 11 (postgraduate), including short courses, modules, microcredentials, as well as industry recognised or accredited provision.

What are the benefits to SMEs?

The FWDF enables SMEs to address critical skills shortages, supporting them to restart, recover and renew in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Organisations can upskill and reskill the workforce, getting them ready for any challenges that lie ahead and importantly, to equip them to respond to new opportunities and realise their potential. The impact of the training also means that SMEs do not need to rely on hiring new staff or take on temporary workers to plug skills gaps and incur the associated costs.

Top tips:

  • Understand your organisation’s needs.
  • Empower your organisation’s talent pool.
  • Consider new opportunities for employees.
  • Be proactive: take a long-term approach to investing in skills.

 

Find out more about the Flexible Workforce Development Fund

Principal Partner for the SCDI H&I Awards