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Workforce Development Fund

WDF is a funding stream from the Department of Health and Social Care which is claimed from 鶹Ƶ for Care by the adult social care sector in England.

It funds qualifications and apprenticeships which started on or before 31 March 2024 and which will complete by 31 March 2025.

To claim funding, an organisation must provide an adult social care service and directly employ paid care staff within England.

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) can be used to support the development of individuals who have been recruited from abroad and those who are working on a Health and Social Care Visa.

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Our  key statistics shows who claimed the money from the Workforce Development Fund in 2022-23 and what they claimed for. 

 

An independent evaluation of the funding found that employers who contributed to the evaluation said that the quality of care they provide has improved as a direct consequence of the Workforce Development Fund.

Employers also reported that they can more effectively meet the specialist or personalised needs of the people who receive their care and support, that the Workforce Development Fund has helped them to address skills gaps and that staff morale has improved.

 

What can be funded

You can claim up to £2,035 per learner per funding year through the Workforce Development Fund. You can claim funding for the same learner in multiple funding years, to support their personal development and career progression.

Claim funding towards the cost of listed qualifications and apprenticeships. This includes money towards the cost of course fees (or employer contributions) and associated costs such as employees’ salaries whilst they are undertaking training, coaching and mentoring costs, venue costs for the training or wage replacement costs.

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Find out which qualifications and apprenticeships can be funded through the Workforce Development Fund. 

 

To be funded qualifications and apprenticeships must have started on or before 31 March 2024 and must complete by 31 March 2025.

In 2024-25 the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is planning to launch a new learning and development fund: the Adult Social Care Training and Development Fund. The new fund will not be administered by 鶹Ƶ for Care. DHSC has published about the new scheme.

 

Applications

Claim directly from 鶹Ƶ for Care

All employers will claim WDF directly from us. Find out how to claim.

Application deadline

To benefit from the 2024-25 WDF you must:

  • complete/submit a declaration form before 28 February 2025
  • ensure your Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS) account meets WDF requirements by 31 March 2025
  • claims must be submitted to 鶹Ƶ for Care by 31 March 2025.

 

Further information

You can claim money from the WDF for learners completing the Adult Care Worker, Lead Adult Care Worker, Lead Practitioner in Adult Care and Leader in Adult Care apprenticeship standards. What you can claim for is different depending on whether you are a levy paying or non-levy paying employer.

  • I'm a levy payer, what can I claim for?
    As a levy paying employer, you’ll use your levy pot to pay for the training and end-point assessment costs of the apprenticeship (up to the Government apprenticeship cap) – you can't claim WDF for this.

    You can claim WDF towards any other associated costs of the apprenticeship up to our advertised funding value. For example, the learner is required to complete 20% off-the-job learning to fulfil the criteria of the apprenticeship, WDF can be used to cover wage replacement costs (if required).
  • I’m a non-levy payer, what can I claim for?
    As a non-levy payer, the Government will contribute 95% of the training and assessment costs, up to the Government apprenticeship cap, and you can’t claim WDF for this. The remaining 5% and any additional cost will be met by you, the employer – you can claim WDF towards this cost.

    You can also claim WDF towards any other associated costs of the apprenticeship, up to our advertised funding value. For example, the learner is required to complete 20% off-the-job learning to fulfil the criteria of the apprenticeship, WDF can be used to cover wage replacement costs (if required).

Engaging with End-point Assessment Organisations (EPAO)
All employers of apprentices need to engage the services of an EPAO to deliver the end-point assessment to their apprentices. Early engagement with the EPAO significantly increases the chances of a successful outcome for the apprentice. 

Download the leaflet to help with the process.

Employers can claim from more than one source of public funding but you must ensure that you aren’t claiming the same cost from more than one source. For example, if the course fee has been covered from one source of public funding, or paid for by the apprenticeship levy, it can’t be claimed via the WDF.

Employers have free choice in choosing a learning provider to deliver learning and development to their staff.

You can use our endorsed provider directory to find a learning provider.

Please note: learning providers can’t promise ‘free’ training funded by the WDF. All WDF claims are made by the employer to 鶹Ƶ for Care. 

 

Dowload the eligibility criteria for the WDF and your responsibilities as an employer.