Upskill your team with government-funded AI training

10th Jul 2024

Take advantage of a new fund that will support eligible businesses, including many UK-based IP attorney firms, to access AI skills training for staff.

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The scheme will provide £6.4 million of matched funding and will cover up to half the cost of eligible training opportunities.

The aim of the fund is to ensure that in an era where AI has the potential to offer great value to businesses, individuals possess the skills to make the best use of it.

It is run by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), and the pilot scheme aims to:

  • Stimulate employer investment in AI training 
  • Measure the impact of AI upskilling on business productivity and outcomes
  • Address AI skills gaps in the UK workforce limiting AI adoption

What does the fund offer?

Eligible businesses can apply to the fund to access grants covering 50% of AI training costs. For example if a training programme costs £10,000, the fund could cover £5,000.

Training must be provided by one of the organisations listed here or by a body accredited by a listed organisation.

However, the fund cannot support other AI-related spending such as purchasing technology or accessing consultancy services.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be a representative of an individual business. The business must:

  • Be registered and operate in the UK
  • Employ between 1 to 249 employees in the UK
  • Be defined as an SME per the BEIS SME action plan: 2022 to 2025
  • Have been operating for at least 1 year at the time of application
  • Operate in the Professional and Business Services sector as defined by the SIC codes which can be found by clicking here. Legal services fall under SIC code 69.
Find out more about the fund

What do applicants need to do?

In addition to identifying the appropriate training they wish to undertake, successful applicants must agree to stay engaged with evaluation during the pilot scheme itself, as well as subsequently through to March 2027.

This will allow DSIT to gauge the effectiveness of the scheme. 

In addition to setting out the nature of the planned training, applicants will need to offer information on their current level of AI engagement, and identify any barriers to uptake that exist within their business.

The application period will remain open until 18th August.