UK Government allocates £6.4M for SMEs to train employees in AI

  • UK SMEs can access a £6.4 million fund to train employees in artificial intelligence (AI) skills.
  • The initiative aims to future-proof businesses and enhance productivity while reducing costs.
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across various sectors, including law, accountancy, and HR, are eligible to apply.
  • Each business can potentially receive up to £10,000 in financial support.
  • The DSIT highlights AI’s transformative potential, with examples such as using generative AI tools for document drafting and combating fraud.
  • Around 2,000 SMEs will receive grants, covering up to 50% of the cost of AI skills training.
  • The collaboration between DSIT, Innovate UK, and The Alan Turing Institute has resulted in the AI Skills for Business Framework, aiding companies in identifying necessary AI skills and knowledge.
  • Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan emphasizes AI’s broad applicability and the importance of this initiative in enhancing competitiveness in the digital age.

Main AI News:

UK SMEs have a golden opportunity to seize funding aimed at upskilling their workforce in artificial intelligence (AI). The Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) has unveiled a substantial £6.4 million fund designated specifically for this purpose. With the government’s call to “future-proof” businesses echoing across the nation, it’s evident that investing in AI skills is paramount for maintaining a competitive edge in today’s landscape of heightened productivity and cost efficiency.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are encouraged to vie for a portion of this funding, which is accessible until May 31st. Industries ranging from law and accountancy to scientific research and human resources stand to benefit significantly. Each eligible business can potentially access up to £10,000 in financial support.

The DSIT emphasizes the transformative potential of AI across various sectors. For instance, accountants can leverage generative AI tools like ChatGPT for drafting documents, while employees can innovate new software to combat fraud. Legal professionals, too, can harness AI for the efficient analysis of lengthy documents.

Approximately 2,000 SMEs will be recipients of these grants, enabling them to invest in AI skills training. Companies with fewer than 250 employees are eligible to apply, with successful applicants potentially reimbursed for up to half of their AI training investment costs.

To facilitate this initiative, the DSIT, Innovate UK, and The Alan Turing Institute have collaborated on the AI Skills for Business Framework. This framework helps companies identify the requisite skills and knowledge necessary for effective AI integration.

Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan underscores the broad applicability of AI across diverse sectors, affirming its potential to enhance productivity and reduce costs. Through this pilot program, SMEs keen on AI adoption can now realize their ambitions, with government support alleviating the financial burden of upskilling employees. Ultimately, this initiative aims to bolster efficiency, empowering businesses to maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly digitalized landscape.


The availability of substantial government funding for AI skills training for UK SMEs signifies a strategic move to equip businesses with essential capabilities for navigating an increasingly digital landscape. This initiative not only supports individual enterprises in enhancing efficiency and competitiveness but also contributes to the overall resilience and innovation potential of the market.