Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF): evaluation

Independent evaluation of the Flexible Workforce Development Fund.

2. Study Method

The study comprised a mix of:

  • Secondary desk based research, including a review of Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) documentation and data provided by the Scottish Government, Scottish Funding Council (SFC), and Skills Development Scotland (SDS). This included:
    • A review of the evaluation of the FWDF pilot year, FWDF application forms and guidance notes, raw data from colleges and The Open University in Scotland (OUiS) via SFC and from SDS on employers/employees supported and training provided, SFC Further Education Statistics (FES) returns; and
    • A review of a wide range of published policy and strategy documents which are available at the hyper links cited in the report.
  • Primary research included:
    • Telephone and video-conference interviews with 45 organisations (60 individuals) between January 2022 and March 2022 including partners, colleges, OUiS, independent training providers and stakeholders to explore their experiences of the FWDF.
    • 203 telephone interviews with Levy-payer and SME employers between April 2022 and June 2022 (undertaken by Research Resource as part of this research project) to gain an insight into their experiences of the FWDF.
    • 173 responses to a SNAP online survey of employees that participated in training supported by the Fund. The survey was live between May 2022 and June 2022. The sample for this survey was drawn from employers taking part in the employer interviews, who consented to share the link for the employee survey directly with their employees. This was valuable in gaining, for the first time, an insight into employees' experiences of the training provided by the FWDF.

The data emerging from these methods provide a valuable insight into how employers, employees and stakeholders experience the FWDF, however as this was not a representative sample, the findings from this evaluation cannot be generalised to all of those engaging with the FWDF.

Steering Group meetings were held on 15 March 2022 to update on progress and agree next steps, and on 12 July 2022 to present evaluation findings and draft conclusions and recommendations.



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