May 2017


Business encouraged to take advantage of Skills Challenge funding

Warwickshire County Council is tackling skills shortages in the workplace head on by making five-figure grants available to businesses which take up the Skills Challenge.

In 2017, many businesses regard skills shortages as one of the key barriers to growth. So the council has launched the Skills Challenge whereby expressions of Interest (EOI) are invited from businesses to deliver projects which address a proven skills shortage or gap in Warwickshire.

Grant-funding worth £20,000 to £40,000 is available to successful applicants. EOIs are welcome from all businesses or organisations representing businesses, such as sector bodies, trade associations and town-centre management groups.

"Many businesses feel that major skills shortages and gaps are holding them back," said Warwickshire County Council's head of transport and economy Mark Ryder. "We want to try to help alleviate these difficulties, so we are keen to hear from businesses and work with them to develop effective solutions.

"We hope to receive a lot of EOIs, which need not be fully-formed bids but can be just ideas which we can then help advance.

"This new grant funding is being made available to tackle specific skills challenges. Getting more young people into employment with relevant skills is in everyone's interests, as businesses receive an opportunity to train talented recruits while those young people get a great start to their career path."

Skills Challenge projects can be occupation or sector-specific or in a particular geographic area. For example, the challenge may be to train computer programmers, increase the number of applicants for jobs in the construction industry or provide more apprentices (of various types) to work in Rugby town-centre.

EOIs must demonstrate the Skills Challenge with relevant research, data or other information. Education or training-providers may partner business organisations submitting bids e.g. lead on writing the bid/manage delivery of the project if it is successful.

EOIs must also outline specific outcomes to be achieved by the proposed project with those outcomes appropriate to the needs of businesses to benefit, e.g. new skills achieved through training/recruitment of an apprentice or other young person aged 16-24/achievement of higher-level qualification by existing employees.

EOIs may be submitted at any time until Saturday 30th September. Organisations submitting successful EOIs will be invited to develop full proposals and decisions on full proposals will be made within 20 working days.

Delivery of activity in successful applicants must be complete by 31 July, 2018.

For more details, please e-mail


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