Government announces £10m fund to progress women in engineering

£10m government fund for women in engineering

Policy Brief on Employer Ownership: developing women engineers-published June 2014 as part of Engaging the public in science and engineering and improving the quality of further education and skills training.


This funding opportunity arises from a recommendation in the ‘Perkins Review of Engineering Skills’. A key element of Perkins analysis on how to increase the number of engineers was to focus on the gender imbalance and to increase the proportion of women working in engineering roles.

This is the second of 3 planned funding calls to develop and increase the stock of engineers, the third call is expected to focus on developing engineering skills in small companies. The budget for this call is £10m.


This call is specifically targeted to support those employers who wish to help women to progress as engineers with the funding to support:

  • Conversion training, to encourage employers to bring more women into engineering
  • Progression training, to encourage employers to invest in the progression of women through an engineering career

Applications can be submitted up to the 5th December 2014, applicants must first register on the BIS’s e-Tendering Portal.

This round is open to any company which directly employs people in engineering occupations, where company growth is being held up by skills gaps or shortages in engineering. Engineering as defined in the Royal Academy of Engineering Report ‘Jobs & Growth’.

Developing Women Engineers funding can be used for:

  • Career Progression – enabling women currently in engineering occupations to progress their careers
  • Conversion training allowing women to transfer from other occupations into engineering to fill gaps and increase the talent pipeline
  • Returner training enabling women to return after a career break or period outside engineering

Other specific actions could include, for example:

  • Pre-apprenticeship Level 2 programmes to help women into apprenticeships
  • Mentoring and support to help women returning or progressing their career
  • Tailored training to meet specific personal and career needs
  • Management and leadership

Applicants must be able to demonstrate that the training outcomes for women are additional to those that would have occurred anyway. The training must support to progression to professional levels and equates to Levels 2-6 of the Qualifications and Credit Framework.

All learners must be employed in England and must be aged 19 and over, apprenticeships and traineeships are excluded. Higher education such as degrees, postgraduate diplomas and certificates, HNDs, HNCs, Diplomas and Certificates in Education are also excluded.

Funding will be awarded based on eligibility, meets the aims of the engineering project, requires Government support, offers value for money and that the employers contributes a minimum of 50% of the allowable costs.


The fund will be open for 24 weeks from 23rd June to 12 noon on Friday the 5th of December 2014.

Bids can be submitted any time Monday 10.00 am to Friday 12.00 noon each week during the open call. Applicants will receive a decision within 5 weeks of their application being submitted.


The eligibility criteria is as follows:

  • Organisations must be registered as a company in the UK but their corporate headquarters do not have to be in the UK
  • Organisations must directly employ people in engineering occupations
  • The usual place of employment for all the employees being trained must be England
  • Applications must be from single companies (applications from groups of companies, sectors organisations, sector skills councils, National Skills Academies or training Providers will not be accepted)
  • The proposal is not supported by any other public funding

Companies may apply for more than one project on separate applications. Training that is only specific to the applicants own business is not allowable.


The maximum Government contribution will be £1.6m, the minimum will be £40,000

The total grant allocated is available over financial years 2014/15, 2015/16 and 2016/17. Funding for the final year will be provisional as the department does not have a budget beyond the current Spending Review period.

A Skills 4 Ltd brief for organisations and employers operating in the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering sector. For further information please contact:

Lynn Tomkins
07460 897261.

Full details can be found at:

Photo by ThisIsEngineering

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