Skills Development Fund

Our Skills Development Fund is a £5m investment in projects which transform individuals and communities through developing skills. The Fund supports projects which further our Group purpose – of helping people, organisations and economies to develop their skills for growth.

The Skills Development Fund (SDF) is a proactive commissioning grant maker, which actively identifies organisations or programmes that deliver against the Fund’s mission and key themes.

It seeks to make highly strategic and restricted grants, making commitments over the long-term (three-to-five-years typically). The SDF will fund both new and proven interventions, which deliver against its objectives.



'To support individuals who experience disadvantage to develop the skills they need to progress into a job, on the job and onto the next job'

Our investments are focused around the following areas:

  • Supporting women and girls to develop their skills
  • Skills interventions to help to prevent offending and reoffending

Find out more

To learn more about our Skills Development Fund, please see our Skills Development Fund page.

Investments so far

So far we committed almost £1 million to seven projects in the UK and internationally.

Projects supported include:

SDF-Thumbnail-AfriKids-175px jpg


Since 2002, Afrikids Ghana has been delivering vital holistic services to children in Ghana's Upper East Region. The organisation tackles complex issues such as child trafficking, child labour and child abuse. Providing access to education and primary healthcare, vocational training and income generating activities, Afrikids ensures lasting solutions for the region's vulnerable children.

Through the Skills Development Fund we support their ‘Transforming Futures’ programme to provide training loans for 67 young women in teaching and nursing in Ghana. Afrikids would help them secure employment and provide support to the young women whilst they are employed. The women would be required to repay the loans, and the repayments would then be re-loaned to allow more women to take part in the programme.

Find more about AfriKids >
SDF-Thumbnail-An-Cosan-175px jpg

An Cosán

An Cosán's mission is to empower through education by providing people of all ages with pathways to learning, leadership and enterprise. An Cosán offers a variety of programmes in early years education and care, parenting, community, further and higher education.

Through the Skills Development Fund we support their ‘Virtual Community College’ programme which supports 30 - 36 women to complete a Social Enterprise & Leadership accredited programme, delivered through an innovative cross-border programme (Virtual Community College - VCC).

Fund more about An Cosán >

SDF-Thumbnail-Global-Generation-175px jpg

Global Generation

Global Generation is an educational charity that works together with local children and young people, businesses, residents and families in Camden, Islington and Southwark to create healthy, integrated and environmentally responsible communities. They offer practical experiences and employment pathways to young people, often from disadvantaged backgrounds, and give them the social, emotional and practical skills to make a difference in the world.

Through the Skills Development Fund we support:

  • Ninety young people on the ‘Global Generation WORKS’ training and employment programme who are not in education, training or employment or who have special educational needs, and who are aged 16 to 25 years, to move into work experience and employment in Horticulture and Hospitality or related industries.
  • Eighteen young people on the ‘Alumni Enterprise’ programme (who are locally located in King’s Cross) and who have previously taken part in one of Global Generation’s programmes, to develop social and environmental initiatives (60% will be girls and young women from disadvantaged backgrounds).

Find out more about Global Generation >

SDF-Thumbnail-Manipal-Foundation-175px jpg

Manipal Foundation

Manipal Foundation has been providing funding support for social initiatives in India since its inceptions. Over the years the impact of the Foundation's support has touched thousands of lives in Healthcare, Education, Livelihood activities and Women Empowerment.

Through the Skills Development Fund we support their ‘The Virtual Classroom’, a flagship programme, which commenced in 2014. Tuitions are imparted to the students of classes 9 and 10 to enable them to pass and score well in the class 10 Board exams; the minimum qualification to obtain a secure, lower level government job.

Find out more about Manipal Foundation >

SDF-Thumbnail-NEF-175px jpg

Near East Foundation

The Near East Foundation helps build more sustainable, prosperous, and inclusive communities in the Middle East and Africa through education, community organizing, and economic development.

Through the Skills Development Fund we support their ‘Master Trainers’ programme to train 24 local Master Trainers at four CBO-operated Siraj Centres that will deliver services (business development and employability skills) to 6000 vulnerable and marginalised refugees and Jordanians, particularly women, adolescent girls, youth and refugees.

Find out more about Near East Foundation >

SDF-Thumbnail-St-Giles-Trust-175px jpg

St Giles Trust

St Giles Trust are a ‍char‍ity putting experience to work on society's most complex problems. They help people suffering disadvantages such as experiences of prison, homelessness, long term unemployment, addiction and severe poverty.

Through the Skills Development Fund we support their ‘Employability Skills for Peer Advisors’ programme. The project developed accredited employability training aimed specifically at ex-offenders, with a view to addressing the barriers ex-offenders face in gaining employment, especially those with complex needs and multiple offending backgrounds.

Find out more about St Giles Trust >

SDF-Thumbnail-The-Change-Foundation-175px jpg

The Change Foundation

The Change Foundation engages with marginalised and at-risk young people, facing some of the world’s toughest challenges through the power of sport and dance.

Through the Skills Development Fund we support their 'Generation Storm' project, which is a mentoring programme to help young women leaving care, aged 16 -21, to make positive transitions into education, work or training. It provides them with a range of skills that challenge and inspire them to think positively about their future through weekly sessions in fitness, well-being and mentoring.

Find out more about The Change Foundation >