RBS Group: Skills & Opportunities Fund

RBS Group: Skills & Opportunities Fund

PNE Group are grant administrators of the £10m RBS Group’s Skills & Opportunities Fund from 2015-2018, supporting 148,064 people to date. Monitoring of funding recipients will continue until 2020.


“PNE Group have been an essential partner in the delivery of the Fund. For this type of fund, success is defined by impact – so it is great to know that these grants are funding projects to help people in disadvantaged communities build their skills, get into work, or start a business.” 

Thom Kenrick, Head of Community Programmes at RBS


About the Skills & Opportunities Fund

The Skills & Opportunities Fund aims to build better communities by supporting individuals in disadvantaged communities to develop, create or access the skills and opportunities they need to start or develop a new business, build their financial capability skills or to enter employment.


The programme so far

Since its launch in 2015, the Skills & Opportunities Fund has distributed over £10m to local initiative and organisations. To date, its impact includes supporting 148,064 individuals, helping 6,009 people into employment, aiding 1,698 businesses to start-up and funding 16,760 qualifications.

View a case study booklet showing the impact of the Fund for London and South East >

View a case study booklet showing the impact of the Fund in South West and Wales >


What we do

As grant administrators for the programme, we:

  • Provide constructive support to every applicant: As part of the model for the Funds administration, we developed our digital assessment platform to allow for individualised feedback to be provided to every applicant, offering constructive support on how to improve the project delivery model.
  • Review applications using an internal shortlisting process: Our highly-experienced assessors review all applications against criteria and provide feedback for each application.
  • Provide support to and engage judge finalists: We were responsible for the recruitment and co-ordination of the judging panel and for engaging judge finalists and providing impartial, public figures.
  • Integrated a public vote option into final grant allocations: We provide an engaging final vote platform, encouraging public voters to vote for their favourite projects.
  • Provide continuous monitoring of successful applicants: We monitor successful applications until the completion of their projects to ensure each project’s objectives are realised. We offer a support package to applicants which includes signposting to additional support as well as advice and guidance.
  • Perform due diligence checks: We perform rigorous due diligence checks on all applications to identify financial and reputational risks.


Our commitment to supporting entrepreneurship was recognised in June 2016 when our collaboration with RBS Group on the Skills & Opportunities Fund won Bronze in the ‘Best Execution’ category at the Corporate Engagement Awards.

We also worked with RBS on the national community grant funding scheme RBS Inspiring Enterprise, from 2012 to 2015, reaching over 56,000 people with £10m of grants. Learn more >


Find out more about our grant management services >

Find out more about our project evaluation and monitoring services >


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