Log In or Sign Up
Up to £10,000 and a Free Learning Programme for Community Businesses
September 6, 2019

The Community Business Trade Up Programme, run by the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE), in partnership with Power to Change, will open for applications from Tuesday 17 September until Wednesday 27 November 2019. 

The programme supports the leaders of community businesses with:

  • A fully-funded learning programme (12 learning days, spread over nine months)
  • A Match Trading™ grant of up to £10,000
  • A community of supportive peers

The learning programme will help the leaders of community businesses to develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to increase their impact, with a focus on increasing their sales and income from trading. It will run from April to December 2020, and there are places for 80 community business leaders across England who will learn in groups of 10. The programme is delivered by the School for Social Entrepreneurs at seven locations across England.

The Match Trading grant, created by SSE, is a new type of grant funding that pound-for-pound matches an increase in income from trading. By rewarding sales growth, Match Trading incentivises social organisations to develop their trading base, so they can build stronger futures. The first cohort of the Community Business Trade Up Programme achieved a typical 92% increase in income from trading.

Alastair Wilson, CEO of School for Social Entrepreneurs, said: 

“We’re delighted to partner with Power to Change for a third year, so we can jointly support a further 80 community business in England to grow. Community businesses strengthen local economies and enrich the fabric of society. But running them can be challenging. We’ll help community business leaders develop the skills, strengths and networks they need to improve their sustainability and impact, with the support of Match Trading grants and a learning approach we’ve refined over 21 years.”

Jenny Sansom, programmes manager at Power to Change, said: 

“This programme will give a really important step up for relatively new community businesses and help them to focus on their trading activities and long-term sustainability. The first cohort of this kind of funding enjoyed a 92% increase in trading, which is a huge impact. I’m delighted to be opening up this programme for a new group of community businesses.” 

The Community Business Trade Up programme has already supported more than 200 community business leaders since 2017.

Community businesses from across England can find out more and apply now until 27 November 2019.

Power to Change and SSE will be hosting a free webinar about the programme on Friday 4 October at 11am. To register follow the link below

free webinar about the programme

Opportunity for Education and Skills Training Providers to bid for European Social Funding in four Local Enterprise Partnership Areas
September 3, 2019

Bidding process for £4.2m of funding opens on Monday 2 September 2019.

Earlier this year, the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) ran a successful European Social Fund procurement, where 47 providers secured a total of £309 million to deliver high quality education and training across 34 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).

These contracts started on 01 April 2019 and will run until 31 July 2021. However, there were a small number of areas where none of the providers that bid for funding met the required criteria.

The ESFA is now running an additional targeted procurement worth £4.2 million, so that people living in these areas have the opportunity to benefit from the ESF by learning the skills they need to get on the path to a great career.

The LEP areas are:
Skills Support for the Unemployed
  • York North Yorkshire & East Riding LEP
Community Grants programmes
  • Greater Lincolnshire LEP (Transition Area)
  • North East LEP (More Developed Area)
  • The Marches LEP (More Developed Area)
  • The Marches LEP (Transition Developed Area)

To access the invitations to tender, interested parties need to

 register and follow the on-screen instructions.

The deadline for bids is Wednesday 2 October 2019 at 17.00. Once the procurement has closed, the ESFA will send award notifications to successful providers. We will then enter a 10-day standstill period, in accordance with procurement practise.

Apply for Funding: T Level Teacher Regional Improvement Projects (TRIPs)
August 21, 2019

The Department for Education is working in partnership with the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) to offer high-quality professional development support to teachers, trainers and leaders delivering T Levels from 2020 onwards.

Through the T Level Professional Development offer there is an opportunity for 2020, 2021 and future T Level providers to participate in sector-led, collaborative action research projects, known as Teacher Regional Improvement Projects (TRIPs).

TRIPs should aim to develop teaching practice in preparation for T Levels and ultimately ensure that learners undertaking T Levels develop the knowledge, skills, behaviours and competencies required, and understand how they are applied in the occupation they want to progress into.

50 collaborative TRIPs will be funded across England. 31 TRIPs were commissioned in June 2019. Profiles of the 31 TRIPs are available on the ETF website

This inviation to tender is for the remaining 19 TRIPs, which can be delivered on a national or regional level.

£45,000 will be awarded to each TRIP.

£20,000 is for project funding while the remaining £25,000 will be allocated for TRIP participants to access remission funding to allow them to participate in the wider T Level Professional Development offer.

Further information on available CPD can be found on the ETF websiteOnly providers who participate in TRIPs will be eligible to access remission funds. 

Each TRIP must involve a minimum of four organisations; one of which must be a 2020 T Level provider. One organisation must be appointed as the project lead.  

Each TRIP is managed and supported by one of the three Knowledge Hubs operating in their area:

For further information and to apply to deliver a TRIP, please download the following documents:

TLPD TRIP guidance to applicants – August 2019 .pdf

TLPD TRIP guidance to applicants – August 2019 .docx

The deadline to apply is 12pm Friday 11 October 2019.

Applications should be submitted to the T Level Knowledge Hub in the lead organisation’s region, using the contact details above.

If you are interested in being involved in a TRIP and would like some further guidance on delivery and sourcing project partners, please contact the T Level Knowledge Hub in your region please contact projects@aoc.co.uk

Leeds City Region LEP: £2m for Leadership and Management Skills
August 8, 2019

DWP call to run a project to deliver activities to support the leadership and management skills of women in SME businesses in the Leeds City Region LEP area.


Projects are sought which will support female participants within SMEs to develop the Leadership and Management Skills to support business growth and facilitate progression into management positions and business continuity where there are skills shortages.

Activities should concentrate on business productivity, skills needs and succession planning. Every business is different and training needs to be flexible to respond to these differing circumstances. Support should also be tailored and relevant to support women-owned and BAME owned businesses and to female and BAME employees.

It is also anticipated that the Leadership and Management skills provision will have a particular emphasis on future workforce planning and ensuring participation in the business from those from disadvantaged groups.

All activities must complement and avoid duplication with other provision, thereby adding value. Successful candidates will be required to ensure that ESF provision will clearly add value and not duplicate any provision that can be arranged locally through existing mainstream institutions.

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the Leeds City Region LEP area.


Approximately £2m of ESF is available.


Full application deadline: 29 October 2019

Completion date

Projects must be completed no later than 3 years and 6 months after the proposed project start date, however the ESF Managing Authority reserves the right to vary the maximum duration in exceptional circumstances. All ESF Projects must be completed by 31st December 2023. Project costs cannot be incurred beyond this date.

Full Application Submission

To apply for funding under this call you will need to complete and submit your Full Application via the ECLAIMS IT System.

Full Applications submitted in the ECLAIMS IT System after the call closing date shown above and on the call specification will not be appraised.

If you do not already have access to the ECLAIMS IT system, please request an ‘ECLAIMS External Access Form’ by emailing E.CLAIMSSUPPORT@dwp.gov.uk

You will need to request an External Access Form for each person in your organisation who requires access.

It is your responsibility to ensure you request and activate your ECLAIMS access in sufficient time. We strongly advise that you obtain and activate your ECLAIMS access at least 2 weeks prior to the advertised call closure date, if not sooner.

The published ESF Online Full Application Guidance also provides step-by-step advice on how to complete your Full Application using the ECLAIMS IT system. ESF Online Full Application Guidance.

Technical Support

If you encounter any technical difficulties completing or submitting your Full Application via the ECLAIMS IT system, please send an email to E.CLAIMSSUPPORT@dwp.gov.uk

The technical support operating hours are Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm and it is your responsibility to ensure you seek and technical advice in sufficient time to complete and submit your Full Application before the published call closure date.

The Managing Authority reserves the right to reject applications which are incomplete or not submitted in a timely and compliant way.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the Call Specification or ESF Online Full Application Guidance, please contact esf.2014-2020@dwp.gov.uk. This address should not be used to request technical support.

Workshop for Potential VocTech Impact Applicants: Lincoln
June 9, 2019

The UFI Charitable Trust are looking to offer grants for innovative uses of digital technology that enable large numbers of adults to access and develop the skills they need for work.

They are running pre-application face to face workshops to hear more about funding and discuss applications with Ufi staff. You must log in to your Ufi account in order to register for a workshop.
£1.6m Boost to Provide Young People with Personalised Careers Guidance
May 7, 2019

Schools and colleges will benefit from a further £1.6m investment in personal careers guidance for young people – a vital part of careers education that enables students to set achievable goals for their future.

This is part of an overall £2.5m fund which was first announced by The Careers & Enterprise Company in November 2018 and will support thousands of young people through organisations such as Achieving for Children and the Association of Colleges.

The fund supports the development of innovative, cost effective models for personal careers guidance. The funded projects will be used to develop practical guidance and case studies to support best practice across all schools and colleges.

Personal careers guidance provides young people with dedicated time with a qualified career adviser, allowing them to identify their ambitions and what is important to them, to help individuals make informed decisions about their futures.

The government’s Careers Strategy launched last year highlights the importance of personal guidance in enabling schools and colleges to successfully and affordably deliver the Gatsby Benchmarks – a framework of guidelines that define the best careers provision in schools and colleges.

This year’s recipients include Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, Sussex Learning Network and the University of Bath. Providers will be using the funding to invest in guidance that is delivered in 1:1 settings as well as via digital platforms such as video and SMS, and projects will consult widely with young people, careers leaders and parents. There will also be a strong focus on helping disadvantaged young people and those with a range of additional needs.

The funding will support:

  • the provision of personal guidance to young people
  • staff delivering personal guidance qualified to Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF) level 6 or above to have access to relevant continuing professional development
  • staff delivering personal guidance at lower levels of qualification to be qualified to QCF level 6 or above through the bid
  • staff supporting guidance to have access to relevant training and development, which may include both unaccredited learning and qualifications at the relevant QCF level
  • the development of a pipeline of qualified career guidance professionals for the future.

A full list of recipients is available at the bottom of the page.

Claudia Harris, Chief Executive of The Careers & Enterprise Company, said: “Personal guidance is a vital part of careers education. This funding will make sure even more young people are given the opportunity for high quality personal guidance. This work is a team effort as we work closely with career guidance professionals and careers organisations through the sector to maximise the investment, and show the impact that well-developed, sustainable personal career guidance programmes can have on young people.”

A selection of the organisations supported, and the programmes developed through this funding are summarised below.

Sussex Learning Network and Elev8Careers (£297,400)

This funding will ensure that over 5000 young people receive Personal Guidance which provides a young person with space to be heard and can also inspire and direct and support them to continue in some form of education or enter into employment. Personal Guidance will be delivered by qualified advisors in 1:1 settings, as well as via online conferencing, video, text, email etc. with additional careers information, advice and guidance available via social media channels for parents, teachers and young people.  Our programme seeks to support all young people to develop and realise their aspirations. We will also support careers staff to access their level 6 qualifications and deliver CPD to teaching staff to ensure they are more aware of the challenges young people encounter and are better able to advise and guide them to ensure they fulfil their potential.  In addition, a significant number of learners will also be able to access a suite of other interventions known to raise aspiration, improve retention and improve levels of attainment: undergraduate role models; mentoring; peer to peer project working; transition support; workshops with relevant alumni; coaching; subject support – specifically maths; grit and resilience.

Sarah Williams, Director of the Sussex Learning Network, said: “We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to reach out to many of our schools across Sussex and offer all of their learners direct personal guidance. We are certain this will massively help our young people make informed choices about their futures and help them to determine what pathways they wish to follow in their lives.”

Minsthorpe Community College (£191,148)

The Encompass Careers Alliance (ECA) aims at improving the already strong careers education that exists in the five cornerstone schools of the ECA in order to create a sustainable and scalable programme that any school can embrace. The intention is for this programme to become a blueprint that can be adopted by any school either as a stand alone or in a partnership. Each partner school will mentor a further five other schools, building an alliance of 30 schools all working together to provide quality, one-to-on careers guidance. This will be led by both Personal Guidance Professionals and upskilled teaching staff who will be trained through a cost effective CPD programme.

Ray Henshaw, Principal of Minsthorpe Community College, said: “Our improved education and skills system must be supported by high-quality careers provision. We know that young people who are uncertain or unrealistic about career ambitions at the age of 16 are three times more likely than their peers to spend significant periods out of education, employment or training. Good careers advice is particularly important for young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, who may have less informal information, contacts and social capital on which to draw. The ECA promises to transform the advice that young people across the region receive and Minsthorpe is delighted to be at the cutting edge of such an innovative programme.”

4YPUK (£163,834)

Over the next 18 months, this research project will involve 10 partner schools and colleges to focus on evidencing high quality practice and models in place of delivering careers personal guidance services. The programme will consult widely with young people, careers leaders, parents and other partners to identify gaps in current delivery, and trial new delivery models. This will include upskilling staff to gain careers qualifications and expand the high-level personal guidance expertise available to young people. Further opportunities will be explored with The Careers & Enterprise Company, local authorities and wider partners to create a supportive careers community so that individual careers professionals based in a school have access to CPD.

Dee Thomas, Project Director 4YPUK, said: “The 4YPUK Careers team are delighted to have secured this Personal Guidance funding. We strongly believe that all young people deserve access to high quality personal careers guidance. This careers management programme will equip them with robust research and decision-making life skills to progress in their journey towards adulthood.”

University of Bath (£119,912)

The University of Bath will support six schools to develop an integrated, whole-school model of delivering cost-effective and targeted personal guidance, using the Careerpilot website and associated tools as key resources. All students in the pilot groups will be prepared for personal guidance through Careerpilot online workshops, access one-to-one professional personal guidance of varying intensity determined through a new, electronic Triage Tool and receive follow-up through school-tutor processes. Disadvantaged students will receive the most intensive and sustained personal guidance support. To build expertise within each school one member of staff will receive training and mentoring to achieve the Level 6 Diploma of Careers Guidance and Development. The project will be delivered in 6 schools, across 5 Local Authorities and 2 Career Hubs in the South West of England Area.

Mike Nicholson, Director of Undergraduate Admissions and Outreach at the University of Bath, said: “The University of Bath, on behalf of a unique partnership of twenty universities, is delighted to have been awarded this funding so that the Careerpilot Team can develop a whole-school model of
delivering excellent, efficient and targeted personal guidance to young people. We hope that this will provide a model that can be applied more widely to support students make more informed choices about their opportunities for progression to further study or employment.”

EKC Group (£115,440)

This funding will help to ensure students with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) receive high quality, relevant advice and guidance on progression pathways. The careers education programme will be accessible and engaging for students with a wide variety of complex and profound needs, including Global Learning Delay. Delivered across a network of colleges, it will benefit more than 400 learners while also ensuring at least 40 teaching and careers advice staff are trained in new ways of providing this specialist support. The programme will also ensure the wider Further Education sector benefits from a range of resources and good practice material for other providers to base their programmes on.

Lauren Anning, Executive Director Student Experience and Wellbeing of EKC Group, said:“There are so many opportunities and pathways open to young people which means it is imperative they get the most bespoke advice and guidance possible. This funding will help ensure some of our most vulnerable learners get the specialist advice they need to achieve their progression goals. We will be leading the way, delivering an innovative new careers education programme that will also deliver a legacy of resources.”

Doncaster Chamber of Commerce (£36,356)

The programme will offer a unique partnership complementing network and industry contacts and knowledge with quality personal guidance delivery. The core delivery of the programme will build social mobility networks around targeted disadvantaged students in Key stage 4 and into Key stage 5. The programme will enable those students to access key influencers and employers in the local labour market. They will use the personal guidance process to interpret LMI and analyse the implications for personal pathway planning.

Andy Hibbitt, Education and Skills Director, Doncaster Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to have received this funding that will enable us to extend our work with young disadvantaged students to help raise their career aspirations. By teaming up with local leaders and careers guidance professionals, we will deliver bespoke packages of support for each individual child to guide them on their career journey towards their first job. Through our extensive work in local primary and secondary schools, we are fully aware of the huge potential of Doncaster’s young people and this funding will go some way to providing opportunities and unlocking this potential.”

Career North Ltd (£35,075)

Career North Ltd will deliver The Focused and Achieving More from Education Programme in five schools. The programme will provide group guidance to all pupils in Year 7 and pupils will self action plan and request follow up personal guidance as necessary. Career North will contribute to emerging practice through early intervention and improving triage through pupil and tutor Career Champions. Staff will be trained and supported to facilitate earlier integration of careers within the curriculum and more robust referral processes. Young people will also be better prepared to receive personal and tailored guidance. Careers professionals teaching Group guidance will engage all pupils with SEND, looked after children and those at risk of disengaging,

Paul Scarborough, Headteacher Up Holland High School, said: “It was great news to hear that Career North has successfully tendered funding to build capacity in personal guidance through their FAME programme. We place great importance on providing all of our pupils with access to information about the full range of opportunities available to them at the end of Year 11 and the high quality personal guidance they receive enables them to make sense of it. Starting earlier at Key Stage 3 will increase the impact and reach of personal guidance and we are looking forward to the programme commencing with our new Year 7 pupils in September.”


Organisation Funding
Minsthorpe Community College




Sussex Learning Network


Career North Ltd


Derbyshire Education Business Partnership Ltd


Medway Youth Trust


Bedford Borough Council


Career Connect


Doncaster Chamber of Commerce


Aspire-igen Ltd


University of Bath


EKC Group


Westminster Kingsway College


BAFTA Opens Applications for £12,000 UK Scholarships
March 25, 2019

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today opened applications to the BAFTA Scholarship Programme, which enables talented British citizens in need Home pageof financial support to take an industry-recognised course in film, games or television in the UK.

The BAFTA UK scholarship programme is open to British citizens in need of financial assistance to take eligible undergraduate and postgraduate courses in the UK. Each BAFTA Scholar receives up to £12,000 towards their annual course fees, as well as mentoring support from a BAFTA member, winner or nominee and free access to BAFTA events around the UK.

The scholarships are part of BAFTA’s charitable activity to support talented people at all stages of their career, regardless of their background or circumstances.
Read more

New Grants for Small Employment and Skills Organisations
March 1, 2019

New grants of between £5,000 and £20,000 are available for third sector organisations doing employment and skills work. They have been awarded by the ESFA under their Community Grants Scheme.

In Central and West London* the allocation of grants is being managed by Paddington Development Trust (PDT). The money is for third sector organisations that help unemployed people, be they on JSA or economically inactive, to get into, or to move towards, employment. This may be through good advice and guidance; outreach work; improving basic and digital skills; removing barriers; supporting work placements; improving confidence and motivation; skills training and jobs brokerage.
Read more

£38 Million T Level Capital Fund Launches
January 30, 2019

The first further education providers to teach T Levels are set to benefit from a £38 million funding boost to help build new classrooms, refurbish buildings and upgrade their equipment in readiness to deliver the new qualifications from September 2020.

The T Level Capital Fund was announced by the Chancellor in the 2018 Budget. It is designed to make sure young people taking the new technical courses have access to industry standard equipment and high quality facilities so they gain the skills and knowledge employers demand.

T Levels will be the technical equivalent to A Levels, combining classroom theory, practical learning and an industry placement. The first T Level courses in education, construction and digital will be taught by over 50 further education and post-16 providers from September 2020.

The T Level Capital Fund will be delivered in two parts. From today (Thursday 30 January), eligible further education providers are being invited to bid for funding to refurbish their existing buildings or to build new spaces. Funding for specialist equipment such as digital and audio visual kit, will be allocated to all providers in spring 2020.

Apprenticeships and Skills Minster, Anne Milton said:

T Levels are a once in a generation opportunity to transform technical education in this country. They will give young people the opportunity to gain the skills they need to get a great job, go on to do a higher level apprenticeship or further study.

It will be vital that they have access to the latest, high quality equipment and state-of the art facilities during their studies. The T Level Capital Fund will help those further education providers at the forefront of delivering these important reforms to be ready to teach T Levels from September 2020.

To support the further education sector to deliver the new T Level programmes, the government will provide an additional half a billion pounds every year once they are all fully rolled out.

The government is also investing £20 million to help prepare the sector for the introduction of T Levels. This includes the £5 million Taking Teaching Further programme, which aims to attract more industry experts to work in the sector, and the £8 million T Level Professional Development offer to help teachers and staff prepare for the roll-out of the new qualifications.

In December 2018, the government announced the next 7 T Levels to be taught from 2021 as: Health; Healthcare Science; Science; Onsite Construction; Building Services Engineering; Digital Support and Services; and Digital Business Services.

£1 Million Funding to Train Charities in Digital Skills
November 23, 2018

Government announces £1 million funding to support programmes helping charities to improve their digital skills.

  • £1 million to expand training programmes for charities to improve digital skill
  • Fund follows a commitment in the Civil Society Strategy to support charities to build their digital confidence
  • Training to enable charities to develop an understanding of how technology can make it easier for them to achieve their goals

Charities across England will have the opportunity to improve their digital skills through a new £1 million digital training fund for the sector, Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright announced today. The Digital Leadership Fund will give industry leaders’ free access to training or heavily subsidised courses to boost their digital skills and develop a wider understanding of how technology can help them fulfil their mission.

Training available for charity bosses will include learning how to maximise online fundraising tools, build a social media presence or modernise their operational delivery by embedding updated IT systems.

Training may also include learning how to harness emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, to achieve their charitable objectives.

Read more