International Skills Partnerships are an innovative way of addressing skills and employability challenges.

They bring together organisations from the UK and overseas with similar priorities to share their knowledge and expertise and devise new approaches to skills development.

Who can apply?

Our International Skills Partnership programme is open for applications from: 

  • Further education institutions
  • Training providers
  • Sector skills organisations
  • Employers
  • Awarding organisations
  • Skills agencies
  • Quality assurance agencies 
  • Government ministries
  • Universities.

Should you have any queries about eligibility please email us at

Application process

We invite UK organisations to apply to partner with relevant counterparts in specific countries.  Our application process requires UK organisations to select priority areas and activities for partnerships, on the preferences from overseas organisations we will try and match strong applications. Applications should act as international profiles, clearly stating the focus of the organisation and the strategic objectives that will be achieved as a result of international collaboration. 

As the application process is competitive it may be that an appropriate match is not found in the application round either due to the priority sectors or quality of application. Unsuccessful applications will be notified via email when relevant opportunities arise and invited to resubmit their application. 

We shortlist a selection of applicants and award them with a grant to carry out a project development visit. This enables organisations to meet with their prospective partner’s in-country and develop a project proposal to be submitted shortly after their return. The best proposals are selected for international skills partnerships. We strongly invite applications from consortia that include at least two different eligible organisations. 


What funding is available?

Successful applicants receive a project development grant of approximatley £2,000 to cover travel costs to visit their prospective partner. 

A further amount of up to £13,000 will contribute to the delivery of each successful project proposal. The grant will be paid in three instalments throughout the course of the 12-month partnership.

Applications for our latest round of funded International Skills Partnership opportunities have now closed. 

Organisations that have applied for this round can follow activity using the timeline below.

If you have questions about an application that you have already made, or if you would like to have an informal conversation about International Skills Partnerships please contact us at

Activity Dates
Opening date 7 November 2016
Webinar for applicants  21 November 2016
Closing date for applications 5 December 2016
Notification date 16 December 2016
Initial Teleconferences 16 – 20 January 2017
Optional Briefing Workshop (Birmingham) 31 January 2017
Optional Briefing Webinar 1 February 2017
Travel dates  1 February – 28 February 2017
Project proposal submission deadline  1 March 2017
Partnership start date  From 23 March 2017