Businesses urged to bid for skill boosting cash

Businesses across the country are being urged to bid for a share of a £150 million pot to create the training schemes they need to grow their companies.

The fund, launched on 19 November, forms the second round of the Employer Ownership of Skills pilot (EOP), which is already giving nearly £70 million to 35 companies for projects ranging from extending skills training to local suppliers to doubling the number of female apprentices.

Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said: “I would encourage businesses – large and small – to be ambitious and innovative in their vision for how the fund can help them grow, from creating new apprenticeship programmes to setting up specialist training academies.

“The Employer Ownership Pilot is not only strengthening individual businesses. It is showing us new ways to make sure the whole of the UK economy has the skills it needs to compete in the global race.”

Charlie Mayfield, Chairman of the UK Commission for Employment and Skills, said: “I would urge every business to consider how their involvement in the pilot might support them to improve the skills of our people to benefit our businesses, our economy and our society.”

The deadline for bids under round two of EOP is 28 February 2013. A total of 269 applications were received for the first round, with the successful bids spread across a range of sectors, regions and employer size.

Link: Prospectus for EOP round two