The Skills for Jobs white paper set out the government’s blueprint for reshaping the technical skills system to better support the needs of the local labour market and the wider economy.
As part of this new approach, the Strategic Development Fund (SDF) was opened to collaborations of further education (FE) providers across all areas of England in spring 2022.
This followed a pilot year in which SDF was trialled in 18 areas across England.
The SDF provides capital and programme funding to:
support changes in local teaching and training facilities and provision so as to better meet the needs of employers
support local innovation and economic growth
develop a more efficient overall delivery infrastructure
What the Strategic Development Fund is
The SDF provides investment to enable areas across England to reshape their teaching and training provision and update their facilities in preparation for the rollout of Local Skills Improvement Plans.
The purpose of the fund is to:
support providers across an area to upgrade their facilities, equipment and curriculum to better meet the needs of their local economy
enable colleges and other FE providers to build their overall capacity to meet local skills priorities, and to drive more effective and efficient use of funds through a more coordinated FE offer
support ongoing FE provider quality improvement through FE workforce training, developing sector-led approaches to peer-to-peer support, sharing good practice, including two-way industry exchanges with FE providers
stimulate employer demand for and investment in skills leading to more sustainable provision, including by raising awareness about new technologies and driving the adoption of innovation in local businesses, especially in small and medium-sized enterprises
The deadline for applications for the second round of SDF was 13 May 2022.
Areas across England that will benefit from this funding will be announced in September 2022.
The second round of SDF consists of £92 million (£50 million of capital funding and £42 million of programme funding).
Each area could apply for up to £1.5 million of capital funding and £1.25 million of programme funding.
Further details of what the fund can support are in the application guidance (PDF, 486 KB, 35 pages).
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