Updates on coronavirus (COVID-19): Get the latest information on the response to the outbreak, including guidance for individuals, training providers and employers.


SDS COVID-19 Relief Grant Scheme

Find out if you're eligible and how to apply for our COVID-19 Relief Grant Scheme.

Skills Development Scotland, on behalf of Scottish Government, has launched a Grant Scheme for Modern Apprenticeship (MA) and Employability Fund (EF) learning providers.   

The funding support is designed to assist eligible providers with the costs of providing continuity of contracted services for apprentices, learners and employers during the pandemic.   

What does it provide?  

The Grant-in-Aid scheme offers eligible SDS MA and EF contract holders a monthly grant payment. The scheme initially covered the period of April to June 2020 and has now been extended to include July and August 2020.

Support is calculated each month as 1/12th of the contract value, minus payments already made and paying 40% of the balance, capped at actual costs. 

Some providers have already claimed over the calculated monthly payment and will therefore not receive any relief payment for the month concerned. 

Who can apply?

Contracted MA and EF training providers who are continuing to deliver contracted and supported services for apprentices, employers and learners during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for the relief funding.   

For the purposes of the grant eligibility, this will be evidenced by at least one FIPS claim for each month. Providers will also show, through completion of a template, that they are continuing to work with 60% or more of their apprentices or learners, and for MA providers also evidencing contact with 60% of available employers. 

When is it available? 

Applications for support for the months of April, May and June 2020 must be submitted by noon on 30 June 2020. Payments will commence following a review and approval of the application.

Applications for support for the months of July and August 2020 can be made from 1 July until noon on 27 August 2020.

How can I apply? 

For applications covering April, May and June 2020:

Applications have now closed.

The control sheet for June can be accessed in our publications area.

For applications covering July and August 2020:

The new Instruction document provides guidance and outlines the full process and requirements for each step.

Instructions, Application form, Terms and Conditions and control sheets for July and August can be accessed in the publications area.



Can I apply if my business is gaining other financial COVID-19 relief including furlough?

Yes, however, the Scottish Government policy intention is that this relief measure should add value to existing UK or Scottish Government COVID-19 relief funding.  Providers must make a self-declaration stating that the SDS relief funding is not being used for the same underlying costs covered by other COVID-19 relief measures.  

How can providers demonstrate they are working with 60%+ of individuals or employers to be eligible to apply?

The simple to use template application form provided should enable providers to demonstrate that they are eligible.  

Can I claim for all three months?

Providers who meet the grant conditions for all three months will be eligible. 

When will I hear if an application has been successful?

SDS will endeavour to review applications as quickly as possible.

How do I get support for my application?

The Guidance provides support to complete an application. A link to a presentation will also be made available and any questions should be submitted to NTPContracts@sds.co.uk

Why do I need to provide my company’s financial information?

The funding has been made available through the Temporary Framework for State Aid Measures to Support the Economy in the Current COVID-19 Outbreak and so has to adhere to the financial information requirements needed for all State Aid funding applications.

Why is the scheme not available to all MA learning providers?

The Scottish Government’s policy intention is to support those providers who are continuing to deliver contracted services to learners, apprentices and employers during the pandemic. 

It has been created to add value to existing UK and Scottish Government support and those providers who are not eligible are encouraged to consider the other forms of support available.

Why are existing payments discounted from the capped amount?

In the case of MAs, due to the payment plan requirements allied to the framework demands, as well as the effects of the pandemic, some providers are continuing to deliver contracted services but unable to claim milestone payments. The relief offers a means of supporting providers in such a situation.   

What effect does this have on my contract?

The payments will be deducted from your overall contract value.

Can I apply for relief to cover April, May and June after the 30th June deadline given for the initial offer?

No, the extension period enables eligible contracted providers to apply for relief for the months of July and August only.

If I have applied for the Relief Grant in April, May or June, what information do I need to supply if I am applying for July or August Relief Grant?

If you have made an application for the April - June Relief Grant, you must complete an Application Form (Part 2 Grant Need and Activity Sheet) with projected costs for July and August only (Rows 14 to 24).

If any other information in your April to June application has changed, then you should update those sections as well, e.g. if you have applied for any other Covid-19 relief funds. 

After the end of each Active Financial Period, a Control Sheet with activity not recorded on FIPS should be returned no later than 15 days after Active Financial Period End. 

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