NEWS & RESOURCES

Flexible AI Upskilling Fund pilot: Expression of Interest

This new pilot scheme will support small and medium-sized enterprises in the Professional and Business Services sector by match-funding AI skills training for their employees. It aims to boost AI adoption and productivity by encouraging greater employer investment in skills and training. It will assess whether training SMEs in AI maximises its value, particularly through government match-funding, and if improved skills lead to AI adoption and productivity gains. Despite AI’s potential to significantly enhance the UK economy, evidence suggests that a shortage of AI skills, especially in smaller businesses, is impeding adoption due to limited upskilling investment.

Funding Availability

£6.4 million of grant funding is available in the financial year 2024-2025. Through this pilot programme, eligible business can apply for funding for up to 50% of the cost of AI skills training. This is training which supports employees to develop their technical skills and/or understanding of AI to be able to develop, deploy, or use AI in their role.

Eligibility and Application Process

The funding competition will be open to applicants who are:

  • registered and operate in the UK
  • employ between 1-249 employees in the UK
  • defined as an SME per the SME Action Plan
  • have been operating for at least 1 year
  • able to match-fund 50% of the cost of the training
  • operate in the Professional and Business Services (PBS) sector (see the guidance attached for definition).

How to Apply

Additional eligibility and full application criteria will be set out when the funding competition opens in May. If you are interested in applying to the programme, you may register for the Expression of Interest through Find A Grant website.

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