Impact UK Location: Wath upon Dearne

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Policy Mechanism for Skills Development in Small Business: The Growth & Innovation Fund (GIF)

Summary of the impact

The UK lags behind many countries with respect to training and skills development, especially among smaller firms. Challenging conventional wisdom, research at Durham University Business School (DUBS) helped to shape a major new government policy designed to address this problem — the £50m per year Growth & Innovation Fund (GIF) pilot. Introduced in 2011, this is a competitive funding mechanism to encourage firms, especially small firms, to work together to facilitate skills development. The initial impact is upon the form of GIF as a policy mechanism, where firms are invited to bid collectively for matched funding to support activities to deliver training to networks. The subsequent impact is that of GIF in operation — where it has both reach in the substantial number of UK businesses affected, and significance as a new approach to solving a longstanding problem in skills deficiency among smaller firms. More specifically, it shaped government policy, including the form of delivery of training to the public and to businesses.

Submitting Institution

University of Durham

Unit of Assessment

Business and Management Studies

Summary Impact Type


Research Subject Area(s)

Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services: Business and Management
Studies In Human Society: Policy and Administration

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