A FUND worth £7 million to help companies train existing staff in new skills opens on Monday.

The Scottish Government fund is designed to strengthen skills as people adjust to new ways of working following the pandemic.

Employees will be able to “upskill” with the Open University and private training providers via the flexible workforce development fund.

The first part of the £20m fund opened in August, worth £13m, with the remainder opening on November 16.

Business Minister Jamie Hepburn said: “Opportunities for training are essential for both employers and employees, and in August we doubled funding for our flexible workforce development fund to £20m for 2020/21 to ensure businesses across Scotland can continue to invest in their workforce.

“As this fund adapts and responds to the impacts of the pandemic, we will also see the introduction of additional delivery partners including the Open University in Scotland and private training providers for employers who require more specialist training.

He added that upskilling the existing workforce will allow jobs to be retained and “support employers” as they pivot to new and different working environments.