How do I apply for Skills Bank?

Apply online

If you know which training and Training Provider you want to use, you can apply online. 

Give us a call or email

If you would like advice on the best course for you or aren’t sure whether Skills Bank is right for your business, you can speak to the Growth Hub Gateway who can offer you advice and support you with your application:
Call: 03330 00 00 39

Applications for Skills Bank need to demonstrate the following:

    1. The business has clear growth/business development plans which involves upskilling the workforce.
    2. The projected company turnover over the following five-year period is clearly expressed.
    3. Immediate and/or emerging skills needs are clearly identified and correspond to the planned actions being taken to expand the business.
    4. Training requirements do not (ordinarily) include ‘licence to practice’.
    5. Training requirements do not displace existing skills provision which is available through other routes.
    6. There must be an explicit link between growth/developments in the business and the training identified.

Please refer to the important guide to accompany the application which will help in the completion of the application

These notes are intended to provide additional context to those questions within the Sheffield City Region Skills Bank Employer Application form where there may be some scope for interpretation.

Q15b Actual number of staff & Q15c Actual number of staff within South Yorkshire.

  • Some companies will have operations outside of Sheffield City Region (SCR) and to assess the application Skills Bank needs to understand the size of the organisation in its entirety (Q15b) as well as the size of the operation within this region.
  • The SCR Skills Bank programme only supports employers within the region and therefore the response throughout the application should relate to the operation within the Sheffield City Region.

Q19 Provide a brief description of your business and the sector in which you operate ….

  • The response should outline the main products or services, the key features of the business, the most and least lucrative elements of the business, the relative strengths of the business, provide some context of the market place and its buoyancy, the key threats including competition and the business opportunities.

Q19b (Optional) If excessively damaged outline how the pandemic has affected the business, and measures in place to mitigate damage ….

  • Skills Bank recognises that all business has been affected by the pandemic to some degree and the applicant may wish to use this question to explain how the pandemic has effected them if this would improve our understanding of the business, its current ambitions and the training sought.
    The question is optional and only relevant where the impact is severe or the effects of the pandemic are material to Sills Bank’s understanding of the application.

Q20 Please provide a summary of your business projections ….

  • The applicant should make clear what growth / developments the company are projecting in quantitative terms.
  • The projected turnover with timescales (e.g. at 1 year, 3rd year and 5th year must be included in the response irrespective of weather growth in turnover is anticipated or not.
  • The response should be appropriately detailed e.g. the contribution to the business from sales of specific product lines, exports within specified countries etc.
  • The response should contain sufficient information to show that the company’s ambitions are realistic and include the actions that the company is taking to ensure that the proposed developments /growth will happen.
  • The response should demonstrate that the company has some control over the factors that are pivotal to their current and future development/ growth.
    This response will be reviewed alongside the response given to question Q27.

Q21 Provide a brief description of the training and explain how this training will support the measures you are taking to develop/grow/safeguard your business ….

  • The response should provide a brief description of the training, show how the training fits with the intended learners job role and include the expected impacts on the business from the training.
  • The response should explain how the training will directly or indirectly enable the company to implement the actions it is taking to develop the business which were outlined at question 20.

Q27 & Q28 Indicate how your business will develop/grow as a result of this investment …

  • A number of options have been provided at Q27 to indicate how the growth / developments in the company can be categorised.
  • For each option ticked a clear explanation to justify the selections are required at Q28.

For example, if “accessing new markets” has been selected it should be clear in the response in Q28.

    • what markets the company currently operates in?
    • what the proposed new markets are and what might they be worth to the company?
    • what actions the company are taking/will take to break into these markets?
    • what makes the company think that they will fare well in these new markets and they can set aside any competition?

Note that the response is not enhanced by the number of options selected at Q27.

Supporting the Sheffield City Region and the local economy broadens the Skills Bank programme beyond supporting a business as a standalone enterprise. Skills Bank will takes account of the added value a company might bring to the region by referring to SCR’s Social Values. The Social Values pertinent to Sills Bank have been compressed into question 29 & 31 and the response to these questions may provide an uplift to the overall level of financial support offered to the applicant.
There are 5 social values which will be considered separately by the Skills Bank panel and each one of these may have a cumulative effect on the total uplift offered.

Q29 & Q31 If you are contributing Social Value ….

Supporting supply chains
Collaborating, sharing research, knowledge and capacity building across supply chains can provide mutual benefit and create added value to the economy of the region. Four of the prompts at Q29 are about supply chains. Note prompt D is specifically where the applicant has recently increased or is increasing their use of local supply chains.
As with all the other prompts selected there needs to be a clear explanation including the impacts at Q30 to provide the credibility and substance.

Promoting environmental sustainability
There are four prompts at Q29 to help categorise the applicants engagement with the environmental agenda. Understandably the prompts will mean different things to different industries and therefore the response in Q30 will need to be explicit on what environmental actions have/are being taken, why they are being taken and the expected impact of those actions.

Raising Aspirations
Those companies actively engaged with schools and training providers including the apprenticeship programme should capture this in the four prompts at Q31 and explain those selections fully at Q32.

Supporting disabilities
Skills Bank would wish to recognise those companies who are improving how they recruit, retain and develop disabled people and if prompt f is selected at Q31 this should be clearly explained at Q32.

Supporting community groups
Where companies are actively engaged with local groups and wider society then skills Bank would wish to understand and recognise this. Any selections at Q31 will need to be fully explained at Q32.

These Social Values have been condensed within two questions for ease on the form however each of the values will be considered on their own merit and provide five distinct opportunities for recognition by the panel.

Q30 & Q32 provide evidence on how you are supporting ALL the activities you selected ….
The responses in questions 30 and 32 should address each prompt selected in questions 29 & 31 respectively and provide sufficient detail to demonstrate the level of engagement and commitment the company has in each of the Social Values selected. The response should explain the nature of the companies active engagement in the agenda and refer to a track record to help substantiate the response.
In those instances where a company may be making advancement in these agendas and be without a track record then the applicant’s response should demonstrates a level of commitment and a meaningful plan of action to engage in a particular agenda.

Once you have submitted your Skills Bank application, we will contact you if we require any further information.

Your application will initially be reviewed for suitability to Skills Bank. If you are applying to one of our two new Coronavirus-related programmes we will respond as soon as possible with an application decision.

If approved, we will build your Skills Deal and your application will then be appraised by the Skills Bank Appraisal Panel who will assess your business case for development and/or growth and to what extent training will contribute to growth and impact your business.

If your application is successful, we will email the Skills Deal to you and the Training Provider within 5 working days Any applications for the new rapid response strand of activity will be fast tracked to ensure businesses are supported as quickly as possible.

Your Skills Deal will include;

An outline of the training offered

The name and contact details of the Training Provider Cost of the training

The amount that you will have to pay

If unsuccessful, we will contact you within 14 working days of receipt of your application. You will have the opportunity to resubmit your application following further guidance from a Skills Advisor who can be contacted through the Growth Hub Gateway on email:

For further guidance on the application process, contact the Growth Hub Gateway on email Alternatively, you can request a call back at a time convenient to you here.

The Sheffield City Region Skills Bank project is delivered by Calderdale College on behalf of The Sheffield City Region Mayoral Combined Authority.