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Fund title: VocTech Challenge Grant Fund 2021

Focus of fund/fund aims:

This challenge is focused on adults impacted by the digital divide and furthest away from learning so they can gain the confidence they need to get skills for work

Application deadline:

29 July 2021

Fund description:

The VocTech Challenge Grant Fund 2021 aims to help improve the confidence of those most at risk of economic and digital exclusion so that they can get the skills they need for work. This comes as a result of research which has identified lack of confidence as a major barrier to vocational learning for those most at risk of being excluded from the labour market.

This targeted grant call is looking for projects that use technology in ways that support learner confidence.

Eligible projects must have an impact on learners disproportionately affected by the digital divide and further exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects must have already done some initial work to build relationships with a group or groups of learners that are experiencing digital disadvantage and have clear issues of lack of confidence relating to employment.

The fund has two parts:

Part A: an initial £10,000 grant to support “design thinking” – the ‘Define Stage Gateway’

Part B: VocTech Activate (grants of between £15k – £50k to test early stage ideas) or VocTech Impact (grants of up to £150k for VocTech solutions that can deliver benefits to a large number of learners).

Access to part B is only available to projects who engage fully in the design thinking element and have a clear, user-centred plan at the end of that phase that is ready for immediate development.

Applications will be accepted from:

  • Entrepreneurs, teams or organisations that want to apply their talent and technology to address UK vocational learning issues.
  • Start-ups, early-stage ventures or teams working within an existing large organisation and looking to develop a radically new approach.

Organisations must be registered, including registered charities, Community Interest Companies, social enterprises, not-for-profits, private companies, community associations, FE colleges and public bodies.

Further information: