Get in touch

Get in touch


0800 783 6000

Opening hours for calls are 9am to 5pm


Or tell us what support you need


Check out the top questions employers ask

Read FAQs

Need more support

Skills support request form
Quick find tool

Be rewarded for reducing waste and going greener

Are you an employer with fewer than 100 employees? Then you can apply for up to £5,000 with the Low Carbon Skills Fund. The fund can help you cover employee training costs in areas such as renewable energy and low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency, waste management and reuse, and reducing carbon in supply and energy management.

How it works

We refund up to 50% of employee training costs, up to a maximum of £1,000 per employee. It's an opportunity to further develop within your industry and help Scotland become more sustainable. 

Eligible training includes:

  • Renewable energy, low carbon technologies and microgeneration
  • Energy efficiency, environmental and clean technologies
  • Waste management and reuse
  • Reducing carbon in supply and energy management.

Key criteria

Your business needs to employ fewer than 100 people. You can receive up to a maximum of £5,000 for training.

“The Low Carbon Skills Fund aims to increase expertise in an important growth area of the nation’s economy. It can offer real benefits for small businesses of all types, from improving energy efficiency to adopting new technologies and increasing productivity. These are all important growth opportunities.”
Gordon Cunningham, Low Carbon Executive at Skills Development Scotland

How the fund is helping organisations

We're working with lots of companies across industries including the food and drink, tourism and creative sectors. We're keen to hear from more. Here are just two examples of the types of organisations who have accessed the fund.

Creative Carbon Scotland

In 2013 and 2015 we supported Creative Carbon Scotland to receive training in sustainable events management and environmental management accreditations.

This has allowed them to offer support to four of the Edinburgh Festivals as they work towards an International Standards Organisation certification developed for the London 2012 Olympics.

CCS said: “As a small charity, support from Skills Development Scotland gave us a great opportunity to benefit from training in a brand new field. It put us well ahead of the curve.” 

Renewable Installation Solutions

David Mawhinney is the owner of Glasgow-based Renewable Installation Solutions Ltd.

"The Low Carbon Skills Fund has really helped us grow our business," he said. "We have taken on three engineers, we hope to take on another three soon.

"We'd like to put them all through the same training as us - but we could only achieve this with the type of funding offered by the Low Carbon Skills Fund."

Image: George McBride and David Mawhinney of Renewable Installation Solutions Ltd.

Outline of the application process

Who can apply

You can apply for Low Carbon Skills Funding if all of the following can be confirmed: 

  • The total employee headcount of your business is under 100
  • Your business is based in Scotland, and the participating employees are Scottish residents
  • Your business or enterprise is a private sector, voluntary or community (not-for-profit) organisation
  • Your business is privately run, and its staff development costs are not funded by the Public Sector
  • Your training plans are fully eligible, as stated above
  • You are able to provide SDS with evidence to confirm the status of your business
  • You accept the terms and conditions outlined in the Rules and Guidance document.

The incentive is also open to businesses operating as sole traders. You are defined as a sole trader if you are trading as an individual, carry unlimited liability, and are personally responsible for your business.

Information you need to apply

Read the Rules and Guidance for full details on information you need to apply.

You do not need to finish the form in one sitting, and can save and complete it later at any time.

Social share

Stay in the loop

Sign up to our newsletter for monthly business updates.

Your details will remain completely confidential and we won't share them with any third parties.