Employer Ownership Fund

The Government has announced a £250 million fund to improve workforce skills to drive jobs, productivity and growth over the next two years in England. It will do this by giving employers direct access to funding to design and deliver training solutions that more effectively meet their business needs.

This initiative will put funding for training directly into the hands of employers, working collaboratively with other partners including SSCs, unions and training providers to scale up partnerships to really address their skills issues. Individual and large employers can bid for a minimum of £1m, and SMEs at least £250,000. Any employer in any sector can bid but private sector bids are particularly encouraged.

Employers are invited to submit radical proposals setting out how they would use public investment, alongside their own significant contribution, to improve the skills of the current and future workforce. This could be through supply chains, sectors, business clusters or a locality.

Eligible Costs

The fund is to pay for individual participation in training or development, not significant development or infrastructure costs although some development costs can be included.  Proposal themes include:

  • Apprenticeships and other skills development opportunities including developing new and innovative recruitment strategies or Apprenticeships, and training not on the Qualifications and Curriculum Framework
  • Training and skills development to help people into sustainable employment opportunities including internships, pre-employment training mentoring and IAG for schools and colleges
  • Employer leadership and commitment including funding to test new employer designed and delivered training and employment programmes and new delivery methods
  • Collaboration including partnerships between large and small employers in a supply chain.

Key Dates

Application forms and full guidance
End February 2012

Register intention to bid
(there is no Expression of Interest stage in the pilot)
13 April 2012

Full bid submitted
26 April 2012

Decisions and feedback
June/July 2012

Contract start date
August 2012

Contract end date
End July 2014 or potentially beyond

Read the prospectus and FAQs at http://www.ukces.org.uk/employerownership . Full guidance on investment criteria will be published at the end of February 2012. If you wish to discuss this with a member of our team please contact us at info@skillsforjustice.com