No doubt you’ve heard of the Workforce Development Fund, but do you really understand what it is and how it can help your business?
What is the Workforce Development Fund?
The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) has been initiated by the Department of Health and Social Care to provide £3 million in funding for employers in the care industry.
It was created to support the provision of high quality care, and offers staff in a care industry a route for continuous professional development. Your business may be able to access this funding to contribute towards the training of your current staff and new hires.
You can use the Workforce Development Fund to claim back the costs of adult social care qualifications, such as our adult care apprenticeships.
How Can My Business Claim the Workplace Development Fund?
If you’re an apprenticeships levy payer…
Employers who pay the apprenticeship levy cannot access the Workplace Development Fund. This is because they are expected to fund apprenticeships from their levy pot.
Your business is likely a levy payer if your annual payroll bill exceeds £3m. This affects only 2% of UK businesses.
If you’re not sure how to access your levy pot to fund apprenticeship training, please see our levy guides here.
If you don’t pay the levy…
Employers who don’t pay the apprenticeship levy will be able to access funding from the Skills for Care Workforce Development Fund.
For apprenticeships, the government will still pay 95% of the required training and assessment costs. Ordinarily, as en employer, you’d then have to contribute the remaining 5% yourself.
However, if you are in the care industry, you may be able to claim the 5% employers contribution from the WDF funding pot, meaning you may be able to train your staff with adult care apprenticeships, at no cost at all to your business.
What Else Can the Workplace Development Fund Help With?
The WDF doesn’t just fund the total cost of your apprenticeships, it will also help you as a business to claim for any of the associated costs with training your staff through an apprenticeship.
That means you can even use the fund the time your apprentice spends completing off-the-job training, as part of their apprenticeship.
All apprentices are required to spend 20% of their time completing off-the-job training, usually this is carried out in a college or learning centre.
The Workforce Development Fund can help you to recoup the costs of wages spent during this off-the-job training, up to the advertised funding value.
Overall, it makes taking on apprenticeships in care an extremely lucrative prospect for your business – after all, it’s designed to encourage the very best standards in care.
Choosing a Learning Provider for your Workforce Development Fund Apprenticeships
An essential stipulation of the Workforce Development Fund is that employers have complete free choice over who they choose to work with as an apprenticeships training provider.
Here at NTG we’re experts in delivering adult social care apprenticeships, and we can offer a level 2, or level 3 qualification depending on what suits your staff best.
If you’re interested in working with us as your partner, give us a call on 01244 678 100, or contact us through Facebook messenger and we’ll talk you through the most effective way of getting all the funding your business is entitled to.
Can My Business Use the Workforce Development Fund and the Government Incentives for Apprenticeships?
As part of the government’s COVID-19 business recovery plan, employers can take advantage of various financial incentives to encourage them to take on more apprentices.
The government has introduced a new payment of £1,000 to employers for every apprentice they take on over the age of 25, and £2,000 for every apprentice under the age of 25.
Employers will also be able to claim a £1,000 bonus payment for taking on any 16-18 year old apprentice.
These financial incentives are aside from any funding you might claim otherwise from the Workforce Development Fund, so there may never be a better time to take on and train through apprenticeships!