Low Carbon Skills Fund

Applications for Low Carbon Skills Funding for the financial year 2016/17 are being accepted from Friday 22 April 2016.

1. Benefits of Low Carbon Skills Funding

The Low Carbon Skills Fund gives Scottish businesses with under 100 employees the opportunity to apply for up to £5000 towards 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.

We refund up to 50% of employee training costs, up to a maximum of £1000 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 re-use
  • Reducing carbon in supply and energy management.

2. Key criteria

To be eligible for this incentive your business needs to employ less than 100 people. You can receive up to a maximum of £5000 for training.

3. Outline of the application process

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.

To ensure more businesses can access Low Carbon Skills Funding, and to provide greater flexibility with claims, the rules and application process have been updated for 2016-17. Summary and changes include:

  • Funding will be allocated on a first come first served basis [SDS reserves the right to close the incentive to new applications during the 2016-17 financial year]
  • An online application process to replace paper forms
  • NEW: SDS will pay a maximum contribution of 50% of training costs
  • Maximum amount payable for one training opportunity is £1000
  • NEW: Claims must, other than in exceptional circumstances, be submitted within 40 working days of completion of each episode of training
  • No limit to the number of training opportunities a firm can apply for
  • Maximum level of payment a company can receive is £5000
  • No backdated applications allowed for training already completed.


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.

How the fund is helping businesses

George McBride (L) and David Mawhinney (R) of Renewable Installation Solutions

David Mawhinney is 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.