Challenge Fund opens to employers in the Creative Industries

By Erika Cook

As part of Creative Skillset’s Skills Investment Fund (SIF) programme, the Challenge Fund is a direct route for employers to apply for co-investment to deliver creative and practical ways to boost skills and develop diverse new talent. It will address identified skills gaps and shortages to meet the growth needs of the industries.

The SIF is funded by voluntary industry contributions with Government match funding industry pound for pound to support the provision of training. Employers who contribute to the SIF can make applications ranging from £10,000 to £1million. The Challenge Fund welcomes and encourages applications from a range of large and small employers, either individually or in consortia for single sectors or across sectors.  

Employers must evidence that the activity could not take place without the support of the Challenge Fund and that it does not duplicate existing projects. Activities may include, but are not limited to, the following:

•Work experience



•Intensive training schemes

•Management and leadership programmes

•Shadowing and mentoring programmes

•Professional development of employees and freelancers

For employers who would like to consider alternative options offered by the SIF, the following are also available:

•Trainee Finder – employers can access the best new entrants from a diverse talent pool and also receive match funding  

•Commissioned Training – created for individual or groups of employers who have identified collective industry training requirements and can then procure training from approved central resources.

About the author

Erika Cook is PR for Creative Skillset.  

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