UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund will address a series of long-term challenges. Working4U will lead on the People and Skills and Multiply interventions to support West Dunbartonshire’s long-term economic development, create pathways for future opportunities and economic prosperity. With a focus on reducing levels of economic inactivity through investment in bespoke intensive life and employment support tailored to local need and improving employment outcomes for specific cohorts who face labour market barriers. This includes investing in meaningful participation that boosts people’s ability to use maths in their daily life, at home and work – and enable adults to achieve formal qualifications that can open doors for them (such as career progression, or progression to further study).

Both Scottish and Local Government are committed to the shared ambition of No One Left Behind, to deliver a Scottish approach to employability that focuses on the needs of the individual first and foremost. A person-centred approach that is more flexible and responsive to the changing labour market, tackles inequalities and grows Scotland's economy is needed now more than ever to shape a collective economic and wellbeing response.

Tackling child poverty is one of several overarching priorities and fair, sustainable work is central to improving the lives of families. These factors, combined with a recognition that many of those further away from jobs will now face additional challenges in the labour market has introduced further impetus.

The employability response to the challenges must address the needs of individuals of all ages and circumstances, and needs to build on the well-established services managed by Scottish and Local Government and others across the Scottish employability landscape.

The UK Government and the Scottish Government have allocated funding to West Dunbartonshire Council to support local residents who meet the relevant eligibility criteria included in the following funding streams:

  • UK Shared Prosperity Fund
  • No One Left Behind
  • Child Poverty

Scotland’s Approach to Service Design recognises that meeting the needs of people who face the barriers identified by each of these funding streams can be done most effectively when public, private and third sector organisations work together in partnership.

The combined aim is to support local residents to access services that support them to achieve their employment goals through a person centred approach. There is a strategic focus across both funds on Child Poverty and supporting economically inactive residents to access employability services and local delivery will align to these priorities.

West Dunbartonshire Council is keen to work with organisations that can deliver innovative employability services for local people that aim to support participants in their journey into sustained employment.  The Council aims are to work together, building on local insight and knowledge, aligning with long term strategic plans for local growth, targeting people most in need, investing in skills and supporting people on their employability journey.

Please see our Working4U Employability Grants Programme Privacy Notice to see how any data collected from you will be processed.

Working4U Employability Grants programme
Milestone Date

Information session for potential applicants

Friday 15th September, 2023, 11am – 12.30pm Attendees must book their place using the Eventbrite Booking System:

Eventbrite- Employability Grant Programme Information Session  

Grant opens for applications

 Monday 11th September 2023

Application deadline

 Noon, 29th September 2023

Assessment panel

 w/c 2nd October 2023

Application outcomes notified

 w/c 9th October 2023

Award letter issued

 w/c 9th October 2023

Delivery Starts

 From October 2023

Delivery end

 31 March 2024 dependent on contract awarded

Projects must deliver activity that is in line with UK, Scottish and Local Government ambitions, the No One Left Behind approach and UK Shared prosperity vision.

West Dunbartonshire Council anticipates supporting a range of projects. 

As 100% of the funding available through UKSPF and No One Left Behind is revenue funding and only available in September 2023 to March 2024, projects should be exclusively revenue based. Projects that focus on capital activity will not be supported.

In selecting the bids, West Dunbartonshire Council will prioritise those that have the greatest potential to deliver against local priorities and growth.

Consideration should be given to specific client groups who, for whatever reason, may face challenges in securing access to training and employment opportunities and development services.

Proposals around employability and training should be aware of the current labour market in West Dunbartonshire and ensure that proposed activity is complementary to potential opportunities.

Proposals are sought that recognise the challenges and take into account the need for economic renewal, the cost of living crisis and supporting identified groups.

Limited connectivity and digital skills have contributed to the challenges facing people seeking and staying in work. This is likely to remain a challenge. As such, we encourage applicants to consider how these challenges can be overcome within the context of the activity they are proposing.

Additional resources are available to providers, the Working4U bus can be utilised and we are keen to incorporate this resource into our plans.

Projects should benefit the residents of West Dunbartonshire Local Authority Area and aligned to the below activity;

  • Stage 3 Vocational Training and Qualifications - focus on the provision of qualifications and vocational licenses that assist people to secure employment, focusing on those in the criminal justice system, Parents with a disability, people with long term health conditions (physical and mental), people aged 50+ and economically inactive people.
  • Stage 4 of the Employability pipeline, development of job matching and intensive job search, focusing on those in the criminal justice system, Parents with a disability, people with long term health conditions (physical and mental), people aged 50+ and economically inactive people.

The West Dunbartonshire Employability Grant Programme aims to support unemployed people to move towards and into work. It is an approach which recognises that to help local people to develop the skills and confidence employers are looking for we all need to work together at a local level to provide the best possible services to those who need them most.

The national funding for employability has changed significantly with the Scottish Government and also the UK Government choosing to distribute funding at a more local level and through a local strategic employability partnership. The Strategic Employability Group will decide on the local priorities and areas for action but will also ensure that local employability providers continue to have the opportunity to access funding for services through a co-commissioned process. The key Scottish Government policy framework for this approach is called No One Left Behind. The UK Government have launched UK Shared Prosperity Fund which succeeds the old EU Structural funds supporting the levelling up opportunity and prosperity vision to overcome geographical inequalities. Both approaches will guide the future direction and delivery of employability services in the years to come.

This guidance document and the associated grant application form outlines the West Dunbartonshire Strategic Employability Group intentions, principles and priorities to be met through the new West Dunbartonshire Employability Grant Programme supporting employability and skills provision in 2023 and 2024.

Grant Guidance

The closing date for applications is NOON Friday 29th September 2023.  Bids must be submitted using the appropriate Employability Grant Application Form:

Bids must be submitted to West Dunbartonshire Council using this email address:

Bids submitted in any other format will not be accepted.

West Dunbartonshire Council Employability Grant Award is a competitive process and West Dunbartonshire Council will not enter into discussions with bidders.



To find out more about Employability Grant funding in West Dunbartonshire, the Call for Bids and how to apply, please register for this free Eventbrite online webinar:

Date of Webinar:

Friday 15th  September 2023 - 11am - 12.30pm

Attendees must book their place using the Eventbrite Booking System:

Eventbrite - Employability Grant Programme Information Session  

Eventbrite - Employability Grant Programme information Slides


We try to ensure that all the required information is provided in the grant guidance. However, below you will find some questions that have been asked that are not covered within the grant guidance document, with associated answers:

Question Answer

Can signatures be typed in on the application or do you require a hard signature then a scanned copy via email?

Please do not submit scanned copies of applications. Completed applications should be submitted as a word document attachment to an email.

Please sign your application using a digital signature.
Is there a cap on the financial award per organisation? The cap will be based on the overall funding available. Please refer to the West Dunbartonshire Employability Grant Guidance document on the Working4U Employability Grants programme webpage for further information about available funding.
Can an organisation bid for more than one stage?

Yes, however a separate application has to be submitted for each stage.

Are we allowed to pay participants a training allowance? Yes but this must be included in your costs.
Delivering two cohorts for the same programme but different dates in the funding period, for example a cohort of 15 starting on December 20th and then another cohort on February 1st.  Should we put one grant application in and provide two different start and end dates with the total number of participants and pricing related to two different group deliveries, or should we just put in two separate applications for the same course but different start dates? Two cohorts of the same programme can be included in the one application as long as the overall programme meets the grant delivery start/end date timescales within the grant guidance.
Can I submit a bid to deliver multiple qualifications in a variety of sectors? Yes, however a separate application has to be submitted for each application proposal.
Is there a cost to organisations for Advice Pro access, licenses and/or training? There will be no cost to individual organisations.  Training and ongoing support will also be provided at no cost.