Workforce Development Fund (WDF)

Skills for Care

The Workforce Development Fund (WDF) is one of the most substantial sources of funding for employers in the health and social care sector.

What is the Workforce Development Fund (WDF)?

The Workforce Development Fund is a pot of money from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), to support adult social care employers in England fund the development of their workforce.

The WDF is meant to help employers make sure their workforce has the appropriate skillset, and to create opportunities for developing employees’ skills and qualification through apprenticeships and training. 

The WDF is managed by Skills for Care, who – in some cases through regional partnerships – distributes the funding to adult social care providers who wish to reclaim workforce development costs.

What does the WFD fund?

Employers can apply to the WDF to fund a selection of qualifications and learning programmes, including apprenticeships, diplomas, courses, and certificates. Skills for Care maintains a list of qualifications and learning programmes that can be funded by the WDF.

The WDF is a retrospective fund, which means that you can reclaim costs for learning trajectories that have been completed and certificated in that funding year (April to March).

At Kemble Training, we offer several apprenticeships and programmes that are eligible for funding from the WDF.

Who can claim funding from the WDF?

All organisations that directly employ adult social care and bank staff in England, including volunteers and workers recruited from oversees, can claim from the WDF.

How can I claim funding?

There are two ways to claim funding from the WDF. If you are located in a ‘local authority area’, you can apply directly via Skills for Care. If you are not located in one of these areas, you will have to apply via an employer-led partnership in your area.

1. Claim funding directly from Skills for Care

If your organisation is located in one of the local authority areas, you can claim funding directly from Skills for Care. To do so, your Adult Social Care (ASC) Workforce Data Set (formerly known as NMDS-SC) will need to meet certain requirements. The ASC-WDS is a national database of information about social care organisations. Find out more about applying for funding directly from Skills for Care.

If you prefer to apply for funding from the WDF via a partnership, you can join a national partnership.


2. Claim funding through a partnership

Skills for Care uses a network of large organisations and regional employer-led partnerships (a collection of social care employers) to distribute the WDF to local social and healthcare providers.

To claim your funding via a partnership, you must first join a partnership. You can find a partnership in your area via the Skills for Care website.  To be eligible for funding you have to ensure that your organisation’s Adult Social Care (ASC) Workforce Data Set (formerly known as NMDS-SC) meets certain requirements. Find out more about applying for funding via a partnership.

Information about the Workforce Development Fund (WDF)

WDF Information leaflet

FAQ - Claim via partnership

WDF Eligibility Criteria

FAQ - Claim at SfC