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Project and Partnership Fund

Skills & Learning works in partnership with voluntary, charitable and not-for-profit organisations throughout Dorset, supporting the work they undertake with groups in our communities. As well as opportunities for local people to re-engage with learning, our partners offer other opportunities including: Apprenticeships, Traineeships (16–24), Study Programmes (16–18) and Vocational Training from Level 1 to Level 5

The aims of the Project and Partnership Fund are:

  • To deliver high quality teaching and learning to meet individual community needs.
  • To encourage those who would not normally see themselves as learners to access learning, increase their self esteem and confidence and develop their life and work skills.
  • To offer pre-employment support and training to prepare adults for employment.
  • To offer those with special needs and without formal qualifications a bridge back into learning.
  • To offer a clear progression route through learning which will attract and interest the participants into further learning.
  • To provide Family Learning which results in multiple benefits for adults and children, especially for families who are the most disadvantaged and excluded from society.
  • To offer innovative learning opportunities that will engage those who do not see the benefit of learning.

We are so proud that we get the opportunity to work with other organisations to offer life-changing learning to the wider community. Some of our projects have been recognised for their commitment to learning by the 2021 Festival of Learning.

We are proud to be working with the following partners.

East Dorset Drugs Advisory Service

To raise the aspirations, knowledge and skills of parents with complex issues including; child management issues, family breakdown, substance misuse, mental health problems, dysfunctional relationships, children who are refusing to attend school and those families that come under the Dorset Family Matters (DFM) criteria.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Service (D.A.I.T.)

The aim of this project is to deliver free domestic abuse courses in the local community. The courses empower clients who have experienced abusive relationships, with lifelong skills, tools and techniques to effectively make healthy choices for themselves and their children. It also helps clients to understand what they have been through and the effects this has had on their mental health and well-being.


The aim of the project is to work with adults who are vulnerable and/or living in significant disadvantage, in order to increase their psychological and physical wellbeing. The principal focus is on healthy eating and cookery. They are working on concepts for harnessing the upsurge in enthusiasm for grow-your-own-vegetables for families who are struggling to make ends meet.

South West Regional Assessment Centre

Delivering supported internship pathways for 16 –24-year-olds with an EHCP to build confidence, providing valuable skills and well supported work experience.

Bournemouth Church Housing Association

Delivering to Adults to make positive changes and turn their lives around through new skills, trying new opportunities and celebrating successes. Supporting unemployed, disengaged learners following addiction recovery and/or poor mental health by offering a variety of employability/personal development programmes and including qualifications in ICT and Horticulture. In a highly supportive environment, learners build skills to enter employment, start volunteering, or take on further study or training.

AIM Community

The AIM Arts Academy supports young people from across the conurbation who have disengaged from education or have been home schooled and lack the personal skills required for further study or work. The programme aim is to support learners’ progression into further study or work and re-engage them with society through creative and technical skills development, qualifications and an individualised personal development plan to address creative skills shortages.

Mike Taylor Education

Mike Taylor Education offers innovative Barbering qualifications to unemployed and under-employed learners in the conurbation leading toHair Professional apprenticeships. Learners have excellent employment and self-employment rates following completion of programmes.

Whitehead-Ross Education and Consultancy

Based in the wider Dorset area Whitehead-Ross will support unemployed and low-waged individuals. All courses will have clear progression routes, such as further learning at a higher level, employment or in-work progression (e.g. higher pay and promotion). Their provision will include Support Work in Schools and Leadership & Team Skills as well as maths/English & Employability skills.

Join us

The Project and Partnership Fund is open to bids from Third Sector and community organisations that are able to provide innovative learning opportunities for adults from priority groups and those from areas of deprivation as measured in the government deprivation indices.

We will next re-tender in 2023 for delivery in the academic years 2023/24, 2024/25 and 2025/26. Opportunities will be published on the regional portal Supplying the Southwest. You can register to the portal for free. It allows you to receive email notifications whenever opportunities matching your profile become available.

Other partners:

  • BCP Council
  • Dorset Council
  • Crumbs
  • Poole Communities Trust
  • Sovreign
  • Upton Country Park

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