Last updated: 16.12.14

Multimillion-pound fund for UK's small engineering firms

Small and medium-sized engineering firms in the UK are being offered a share of a £10 million fund to develop training and boost skills among the younger workforce.

The move forms part of a £30 million government initiative to provide employers with the opportunity to ensure their employees are equipped with the training required to see them succeed.

Engineering companies with less than 250 employees will be eligible to apply for a share of the first £2.5 million tranche that has just been released.

The government is positive that successful bidders will receive their funding offer within less than five weeks of applying.

As part of their total project costs, businesses will be able to include the costs of staff wages. The minimum threshold for funding has also been reduced from £40,000 to £10,000, making it more accessible to smaller companies.

Last year, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills released a report that pointed out the lack of engineering skills among the younger workforce.

The new training fund arrives in response to the report and aims to rectify the skills shortage issue, with the first two tranches of funding specifically designed to improve engineering careers and develop more female engineers.

On the other hand, the final tranche is targeted with small and medium-sized companies at the forefront. 

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."

Virtual College produces a range of e-learning courses and packages to help young people improve their skills. For more information click here.