The government has announced a new round of government skills funding for small and medium sized engineering firms in order to help their businesses grow.
The funding is part of a plan from the government to put employers in the driving seat when it comes to skills and help support British engineering to grow and compete.
Funding is available for engineering companies with fewer than 250 employees, who will then be able to apply for a share of the first £2.5million of a £10 million match funding pot to develop innovative company-specific training. The plans are for the funding offer to be available to successful bidders within less than 5 weeks of applying.
Nick Boles, Skills Minister, 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. 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, the Manufacturing organisation, added:
“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.