Man in business setting. Photo (c) Mat Wright
UK organisations can partner with relevant counterparts in South Africa, Nigeria and Pakistan. Photo ©

Mat Wright.

About International Skills Partnerships

Are you working for a UK-based organisation involved with developing skills? International Skills Partnerships might be for you.

Through the programme, your organisation can partner with relevant counterparts in South Africa, Nigeria and Pakistan to:

  • develop new or improved approaches to vocational or skills training
  • motivate and develop your staff
  • enrich your organisational culture
  • raise your organisation’s profile in the UK and overseas
  • help you build an international network
  • create new international business opportunities. 

Who can apply

The programme is open for the following UK-based organisations: 

  • employers
  • further education institutions
  • training providers
  • sector skills organisations
  • awarding organisations
  • skills agencies
  • quality assurance agencies 
  • government ministries
  • universities.

Should you have any queries about eligibility, please contact us on e-mail:  

What funding is available

If your application is successful, you will receive a project development grant of about £2,000 to visit your partner organisation. 

You will then receive a further amount of up to £13,000 to help you carry out your project proposal.

The grant will be paid in three instalments throughout the course of the 12-month partnership.

How to apply

  1. Register as a user on our grants portal. Once you login as a registered user, you will be able to see the 'Apply for an International Skills Partnership' link on the front page from where you can apply.
  2. Familiarise yourself with the application form below (see 'Downloads'). Please note that this document is for familiarisation purposes only. Applications will only be accepted through the online grants portal.
  3. Read our International Skills Partnership General Guidance, also available in the 'Downloads' section below.
  4. Carry out background research in to the countries and sectors. You can read country profiles and the profiles of the overseas organisations available for partnering.
  5. Complete and submit the application form by Thursday, 19 October 2017, 17.00 (GMT), ensuring that the principal or chief executive of your organisation has authorised travel.

All applications must be submitted online using our partnership portal.

Please note that partnerships are only available with the eight identified organisations in the three countries above.


Activity Dates
Release of call for travel applications for foundation partnerships  22 September 2017
Webinar for applicants 4 October 2017
Closing date for applications  19 October 2017
Notification date – feedback sent to all applicants Last week of October 2017
Initial teleconferences From week of 3 November 2017
Briefing workshop for successful organisations in UK and partner countries 6 November 2017 (location TBC)
Travel dates for successful UK partners to visit overseas partner for two to five days to develop project proposals Must be completed by 15 December 2017
Project proposal submission deadline 22 January 2018
Partnership start date 28 February 2018