The Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) recently announced a £7.4 million pilot scheme to subsidise the cost of AI skills training for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the Professional Business Services (PBS) sector. £6.4 million of grant funding is available. 

Through this pilot programme, eligible business can apply for funding for up to 50% of the cost of AI skills training. This refers to 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.

The flexible AI upskilling fund pilot aims to increase AI adoption and productivity by incentivising greater employer-led investment in skills and training. Evidence shows that a lack of AI skills in businesses is hindering AI adoption, in part due to low investment in AI upskilling in UK businesses, particularly in smaller companies.

Funding will be allocated through a competitive application exercise to be run in May 2024. Depending on demand, a second competitive application exercise may be run later in the year. 

Funding is for the procurement of AI skills training only, and not for the cost of: 

• Purchasing AI technologies

• Business advice and consulting

• Recruitment activity

• Salaries, including work placement or internship salaries

• Capital expenditure

For full elgibility criteria and information of how to submit an expression of interest click here.

The Chamber team working on the LSIP are interested in hearing from employers about how they approaching AI. If you have anythin to share with us please contact or call 01772 706582.

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In partnership with

Lancashire Local Skills Improvement Plan
North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
Department for Education

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