Update in light of COVID-19: Groundwork is in contact with funders in relation to making reasonable adjustments for applicants/grantees where possible in light of these unprecedented times. We will provide updates as we get them. If you have any queries please do get in touch with our team on Please try to avoid contacting us by phone, given connectivity issues of home working.

Groundwork London and Groundwork South are administering Community Training Grants in the Dorset LEP (Local Enterprise Partnership), funded by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund. We are also administering ESFA Training Grants in North and East LondonSwindon and Wiltshire and Thames Valley.

About ESFA Community Training Grants

The focus of these grants will be to fund projects which support participants who are over 16 years of age, eligible to work in the UK and either unemployed or economically inactive.

Successful applicants are expected to be able to help move individuals into work, or closer to employment, by providing vocational training, advice, guidance and information.


Third sector and small organisations can apply for grants between £5,000 and £20,000. Applicants must be from either third sector organisations or small organisations (less than 49 employees), and have an annual turnover of less than €10 million Euros, please see currency convertor.

This is a rolling programme, so you can apply at any time. The deadline for your application to be considered in our next round of decision meetings has been extended by two weeks and is now 9am, 26th October 2020. If you submit your application by 9am, 19th October 2020, we will be able to give you feedback on how your application could be strengthened, giving you time to update and resubmit prior to the deadline.

We regularly offer applicant workshops which are an opportunity to learn more about the programme and ask us questions, if you would like to attend one, please contact

Please note we are expecting competition to increase as the programme continues, so we recommend applying as soon as possible.

Community Training Grants in Dorset

The Community Training Grants aim to support individuals through a range of formal and informal training opportunities, which includes both tangible skills as well as softer outcomes, such as confidence and anger management etc.

Dorset includes the following local authorities:

  • Dorset Council
  • Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch Council

How to apply

Before beginning your application, we suggest that you read through the guidance documents provided below. These documents are designed to help you put together a strong application, and to ensure that your organisation and project meets the eligibility criteria.

The prospectus provides a comprehensive overview of the scheme:

ESFA Prospectus

The application questions allows you to read through the questions before applying. Please note, you cannot use this document to apply, but must use the ‘Apply for a Grant’ link:

Application Questions

If you have any additional questions please check our FAQs:

Application FAQs

The application guidance notes provides a detailed description of what we expect from your answers:

Application Guidance Notes

Start your online application by completing a short eligibility checker:

Apply for a Grant

Why we want to help Dorset

Whilst Dorset has low unemployment rates, there are still communities and groups who are far from the labour market. In the rural parts of the LEP area there are difficulties with access to employment and training as a result of the low population density. With the urban areas within Dorset, such as Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch there are hard to reach communities with residents who may be second or even third generation unemployed, and so face challenges in order to engage with training and jobs.

About the Funders

The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is accountable for funding education and skills for children, young people and adults.

The European Social Fund (ESF) invests in opportunities across the European Union, with a focus on improving employment and education.

ESFA and ESF are co-financing Community Training Grants to offer skills, training and employment opportunities for individuals who are unemployed or economically inactive.

For more information contact – 020 7239 1390.

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