Small and medium sized engineering firms funded to boost skills

Wed, 17 December 2014

From today (12 December 2014), small and medium sized engineering firms can apply for government skills funding to help their businesses grow.

The funding forms a part of the government’s work to put employers in the driving seat when it comes to skills and support British engineering to grow and compete.

Engineering companies with fewer than 250 employees will be able to apply for a share of the first £2.5 million of a £10 million match funding pot to develop innovative company-specific training. The funding is simple to apply for and successful bidders can receive their funding offer within less than 5 weeks of applying.

Skills Minister Nick Boles said:

A company’s greatest asset is its people and making sure they have the right skills is vital in supporting the long-term economic plan. This funding gives employers the power to unlock the full potential of their workforce by designing and developing training catered to their specific needs. I encourage all small and medium sized engineering firms to consider how they could use this funding to take their business to the next level.

The new fund forms part of a £30 million pound initiative that sees government and employers join together to invest in engineering skills that was announced as a response to Professor Perkins’ review of engineering skills. The first 2 tranches of funding were targeted at improving engineering careers and developing women engineers.

The final tranche is specifically designed with small and medium sized businesses in mind. The funding will be more accessible to smaller firms and will see the minimum funding threshold being lowered from £40,000 down to £10,000. Companies will also be able to include staff wage costs as part of their project costs.

Tim Thomas, Head of Skills and Employment Policy at EEF said:

We are delighted that this scheme has now been opened to SME employers and that the minimum grant, which a company would need to match with their own money, has been dropped to £10,000. This makes the scheme far more accessible and reflects more realistically the amount many smaller companies may be able to invest in skills and training. It recognises the fact that many SMEs want to do more and provides solid support to help them achieve this.

Applications will remain open until 27 February 2015, or until funds are allocated.

From: Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and Nick Boles MP 

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