Media Release: Generous training subsidies served up for spring

SKILLS Development Scotland and the Scotland Food and Drink Skills Academy have teamed up to provide a range of excellent training courses at half the normal cost to help Scottish food and drink companies weather the recession.

Gerry McBride, who is food and drink manager at SDS, explains: “At SDS, we are very aware of the challenging environment in which businesses are operating and have a number of resources at our disposal to help them through the economic downturn.

“Our Flexible Training Opportunities Fund is one of these and I am pleased to announce that eight courses provided by the SFDSA have now been pre-approved for this programme.

“This means Scottish food and drink companies with up to 150 employees are eligible to have 50 per cent of these course costs paid by SDS.

“There’s a limit of £5,000 support for any one company, but the programme is supremely flexible so businesses can spend that amount on up to ten employees, invest heavily in just one or two, or a number of variations in between.

“The only other criterion is apply by March 31, but – with courses pre-approved – the process really couldn’t be easier.”

The SFDSA delivers skills development solutions that meet the needs of employers in food and drink production, manufacturing and processing and has worked with a number of training providers to come up with a choice pick of courses –  including the inspirational Mary Portas Guide to Successful Retailing and several aimed at developing managers.

John Nixon, who is manager of the SFDSA, adds: “The courses that have been pre-approved have been developed by highly experienced training providers and have been selected for their ability to make a dramatic difference to efficiency, productivity and profitability.

“For those that are new to the SFDSA this is the perfect opportunity to give us a try, while existing users have a strong incentive to return.”

The Flexible Training Opportunities Fund is operated by Skills Development Scotland with support from the European Social Fund to help small to medium enterprises become more resilient.

Applications must be made by March 31, with courses undertaken by June 30 in order to quality for the 50 per cent discount. The maximum support available for any one business is £5,000, and the limit for any one training session is £500.

To find out more and book your place on the SFDSA’s pre-approved courses, visit and select the Ask Morag feature on the home page.

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Contact: Skills Development Scotland press team