Funding Alerts

Digital Skills Innovation Fund

by | Sep 12, 2018 |

Of interest to organisations dealing with Digital Skills, Underrepresented Groups, Disabled People, Older People

Over £1 million will be available via the Digital Skills Innovation Fund for initiatives which will help boost the digital skills of underrepresented groups and disabled people.


The Fund is open to bids from Local Enterprise Partnerships and combined authorities. If submitted by a LEP, the bid should identify a lead Local Authority through which the grant can be awarded.

What For?

The purpose of the £1 million Digital Skills Innovation Fund is to pilot or scale up innovative programmes that aim to address local or regional digital challenges while supporting people from underrepresented groups and/ or disadvantaged backgrounds into digital roles. It also aims to encourage partnership working between LEPs, employers, training providers and others to identify and act on opportunities to address local skills challenges and gaps in provision, and to identify and share good practice.

Research reveals 17 per cent of women make up the tech workforce and are underrepresented in the uptake of digital qualifications. Unemployed adults are five per cent more likely to lack the basic digital skills than the national average.

The funding will be used to help women, disabled people, people from minority backgrounds or those living in lower socioeconomic areas to succeed in digital roles such as data analysts, programmers, cyber security specialists, software developers and marketeers.

£1 million Digital Skills Innovation Fund will help people from underrepresented groups gain the skills they need to work in digital roles.

A new £400,000 Digital Inclusion Fund has also been launched to help older and disabled people acquire digital skills. Innovative projects are expected to include the teaching of basic skills such as booking GP appointments online, using apps to communicate with friends and family, and making the most of search engines.

How Much?

It is anticipated that the Fund will make 2 – 4 programme grants of between £200,000 to £500,000, up to a total of £1 million.