LIFT Skills

LIFT Skills will fund support for employees of rural businesses to gain skills to progress at work.

LIFT Skills will provide grants which enable organisations, already embedded in their local communities and with a track record of success, to deliver tailored and personalised support for employees in rural businesses who have skills gaps and need to access training and training support. Funded projects will support micro-enterprises and SMEs in rural areas to upskill their workers for business productivity and growth. 

Available Funding

LIFT Skills £440,000
Grants from £5,000 to around £50,000 are available. However, the maximum LIFT grant you can apply for is limited to 50% of the costs of delivering your project. You will need to have identified the remaining 50% of your project funding before your project starts.

LIFT and Local Action Groups would like to see activity such as:

In line with their local development needs the following activities are some of the priorities for Local Action Groups. But other activities that address the aim of LIFT Skills will also be considered and can be approved for funding:

  • Training to address skills shortages in particular sectors or local areas which are not currently being addressed
  • Leadership and management training in SMEs (we are mindful that a call is due to be published in this area and therefore this particular activity may not be required, but we could enhance rural access to the provision offered)
  • Digital skills
  • Project management skills
  • Basic skills including literacy, numeracy and ESOL
  • Information about learning and skills
  • Brokerage of opportunities between learners and employers 

There is more information about the sorts of activity we would like to fund in the Applicant Handbook or  contact LIFT

Outputs LIFT Skills is looking for

LIFT Skills is looking to fund at least 57 projects* that will contribute to the aim of supporting 713 people from rural areas (354 men and 359 women).

*Projects full or partially implemented by social partners and non-governmental organisations.

Output subcategories are as follows:

  • Participants over 50
  • Participants who are Ethnic Minorities
  • Participants with Disabilities
  • Participants who live in single adult households with dependent children
  • Participants without basic skills
  • Number of projects full or partially implemented by social partners or non-governmental organisations


We anticipate the following as a results of LIFT funding, the breakdown is as follows

  • Participants gaining basic skills
  • Participants gaining level 2 or below or a unit of a level 2 or below qualification (excluding basic skills)
  • Participants gaining a level 3 and above or a unit of a level 3 and above qualification
  • Employed females gaining an improved labour market status