Our Skills Development Fund is a £5m investment in projects which transform individuals and communities through developing skills. The Fund supports projects which further our Group purpose – of helping people, organisations and economies to develop their skills for growth.

An engaged community

Training/learning and development is integral to the organisation

Hallmark One

The programme is designed and delivered efficiently and effectively

Hallmark Three

The programme has an impact on the success of the organisation and its people

Hallmark Three

Themes & Conclusions


  • We continue to see apprenticeships as a foundation stone of many organisations’ learning and development programmes.
  • Organisations are now more open about how they are making the best use the apprenticeship levy.


  • Leadership continues to be the core element of a number of applications.
  • Clear examples of very senior managers who wanted to have direct involvement in their employees' learning and developmen

Preventative training – e.g. onboarding/compliance

  • An interesting and challenging issue has been raised by the significant number of applications describing ‘preventative’ learning and development activities.

Health & wellbeing at work

  • Organisations have invested in whole-life initiative designed to be of primary benefit to individual participants whether in the workplace or elsewhere.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI)

  • Research has demonstrated that a more diverse and inclusive workforce can boost business performance.
  • Site Visits often identified good practice in terms of EDI, although identifying best practice exemplars becomes more complex as the base-line standard continues to rise.

To read the stories of this year's
Award recipients, visit