New Initiative Launched with £250m For Staff Training in England

The Employer Ownership of Skills pilot

The Employer Ownership of Skills pilot offers all employers direct access to public investment; up to £250 million over two years to design and deliver their own training solutions. The Government are inviting proposals from employers for the first phase of the pilot, covering up to £50 million. It asks employers to set out how they would use public investment, alongside their own, to improve the skills of their current and future workforce.

Employers Take Ownership of Skills Development

Skills are essential for our future prosperity.. This prospectus invites employers to come forward with radical proposals that test the full potential of employer ownership. The overall aim of the pilot is to find more effective and sustainable ways to improve skills in the workforce and to use these improved skills to drive up productivity and growth. The Government are looking for proposals from employers that support the following key objectives:

  • Increase the impact of work readiness, workforce development and Apprenticeships activity
  • Employers are better able to secure the training they need by having the influence they require overquality and content and can shape training provision to meet their needs
  • Collaboration amongst employers to address cross-sector or supply chain skills challenges is increased
  • Employer leadership, commitment and investment in skills is increased, including the involvement of employers who do not have a track record of investing in skills.


The aim of the pilot is to raise the contribution of skills to economic growth. It is therefore primarily targeted at private sector businesses, although proposals from public and voluntary sector employers will be considered. This opportunity is open to all employers irrespective of size and sector. Whilst bidding organisations can be based anywhere, the benefits of proposals must focus solely on England.

The Government want to see significant and scalable proposals for skills investment and therefore the minimum cash investment from Government will be £250,000 for collaborative proposals involving SMEs, and £1 million for individual or consortia bids involving large employers (defined as employing
250 employees or above). The Government will continue to assess the appropriateness of the eligibility criteria throughout the pilot.

Questions and Guidance

Full investment criteria, application forms and guidance will be available towards the end of February 2012 on the pilot website here:-


Questions and enquiries regarding the Employer Ownership of Skills pilot can be submitted to:-