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Apprenticeship Challenge Fund

Available: CLOSED 

Region : UK

An Apprenticeship Challenge Fund is currently in development to promote greater collaboration between employers and suppliers, whilst maintaining the employers’ role at the centre of the apprenticeship system and creating room for the Department for the Economy (DfE) to take a more creative and innovative approach to solving problems, which could include, but not be limited to:
  • Shared Apprenticeship Models
  • Apprenticeship Brokerage Service
  • Employer Apprenticeship Mentoring Programmes to give managers the skills they need to effectively manage apprentices/apprenticeship programmes gaining maximum benefit for the employer
  • Apprentice Mentoring Programme to help new apprentices integrate into businesses
  • The removal of monetary and non-monetary barriers to recruitment; Identify monetary/non-monetary barriers 

What support is available?

The Challenge Fund will have a budget of up to £0.5m. Successful applicants will receive one-off awards of up to £50,000 although there is an option to increase for proposals with multiple partners or features.

Funding will be via a grant to successful applicants following a competitive assessment process. Eligible costs will be identified in a Letter of Offer to successful applicants, but could typically include staff costs, the costs involved in collaboration/engagement, marketing etc.

Why create a Challenge Fund?

The Challenge Fund will provide a short to medium-term benefit, and assist with mitigation of the impact of COVID-19 on the skills pipeline by expanding apprenticeship provision into new sectors, places, or types of employer.

DfE will assess the outcomes and benefits of successful proposals and consider how they can support DfE's strategic objective to increase participation in the apprenticeship system in the longer term.

How do I apply?

It is anticipated that the Challenge Fund will open for applications in October 2020 with awards made in November 2020. Successful applicants must complete all funded activity by 31st March 2021.

The application process is planned to launch soon.

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