In May 2024, ICB wrote that applications could be made to the AI Upskilling Fund for small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs).

This was announced at Spring Budget 2024 with the intention that it would aim to increase the adoption of artificial intelligence (AI) by stimulating employer investment in training, thereby addressing skills gaps.

This is only available to some businesses in the Professional and Business Services sector with a ‘Standard industrial classification of economic activities’ (SIC code) fallings under ‘Section M’ of the Companies House list.

Bookkeepers, accountants, auditors and payroll professionals will come under division 69, so this Fund may be available to members.  The original deadline for applications was to 31 May 2024.  On 24 May 2024, the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), announced that eligible businesses could apply for a grant up to and including 18 August 2024. 

For Bookkeepers

Please refer to the eligibility criteria, specifically the definition of eligible employers (the SME).  When making an application ensure that you define that your business is within the Professional and Business Services sector and quote SIC Code 69 (‘legal activities/accounting, bookkeeping and audit’).

Note that the grants cover AI upskilling and the training costs, NOT elements such as salaries, the cost of AI technologies and capital expenditure.