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Caithness Wind Farms Education and Training Fund

Grant size Up to £750
Key dates  
Decisions : Applications can be submitted at any time.

About this fund

This charitable fund provides bursaries for individuals living in Caithness seeking to improve their employability prospects or develop a new career.

The Fund has been set up with £30,000 to distribute from the RWE Camster Wind Farm Community Fund.

Other donors are welcome to contribute to the Fund at any time. The fund will be open for as long as there is funding remaining to distribute.

Purpose of this fund

Bursaries are available for individuals seeking to access training and education opportunities to improve their employability prospects or develop a new career.

Bursaries can support a wide range of courses, including full or part-time and short vocational courses. Examples include including Modern Apprenticeships, Foundation Apprenticeships, NC, HNC, HND, undergraduate degrees, postgraduate qualifications (but not PhDs), forklift tickets, LVG / HVG and many others.

Bursaries can cover any of the following costs where these will help you attend your chosen course:

  • Course fees not already being paid for from elsewhere (see below)
  • Travel: bus, ferry or train fares, fuel (If you are under 22 years old you are eligible for free bus travel through the Young Scot initiative. This should be used in the first instance and other transport costs will only be considered if your course cannot be accessed by bus.)
  • Subsistence: meals, etc. (up to £10 for multi-year courses and £20 for short courses)
  • Childcare
  • Study aids (e.g. laptop, software, stationery, books – please provide quotes)
  • Technical aids/equipment (e.g. specialist clothing related to the course, tools, other specialist equipment– please provide quotes)
  • Accommodation costs (please provide quotes)

The level of grant offered will depend on the course you are looking to attend and your circumstances, including any bursary that may be available through Skills Development Scotland, Student Awards Agency for Scotland, a local college fee waiver or bursary, or elsewhere.

Additional criteria

Awards are made to those seeking to undertake training or education in key sectors relevant to the Caithness area including:

Health and Social Care * Teaching and Education * Food and Drink * Tourism and Customer Services * Culture, Heritage and the Natural Environment * Communications and Information Technology * Administration & Support services * Renewables, Energy and Climate Change * Engineering, Science, Maths and Technology * Construction, Manufacturing and the Trades * Transport & Logistics * Agriculture, Forestry, Mining & Quarrying * Sea based industries

Courses leading to formal, recognised qualifications or certificates will be favoured. However, other courses will also be considered where you can demonstrate how the skills and knowledge gained will realistically support you in securing or retaining a job or in setting up your own business.

Support towards the cost of study aids or equipment related to courses of one year or longer may be considered. Such costs will only be supported where the study aids or equipment are considered essential and integral to the course but must be purchased separately (i.e., where they are not covered by course fees) and represent reasonable value for money.

Who can apply?

Residents in Caithness aged 16 and over.

Your application must be for the purpose of increasing your employment potential.

There are other Education & Training funds available to some Caithness residents and who should continue to apply to those local funds rather than this fund. These are as follows:

If you live in the Dunnet & Canisbay area please apply to the Stroupster Education & Training (Dunnet & Canisbay)

If you live in the Halkirk District, Latheron, Lybster & Clyth or Watten area please apply to the RWE Bad á Cheò Wind Farm Education & Training Fund

If you live in the Tannach & District area please apply to the Tannach and District Wind Farm Education & Training Fund

If you are unsure, maps showing community council boundaries are available on the Highland Council website.

You cannot apply to more than one of these funds.

What can’t be funded?

Costs associated with driving lessons.

You cannot apply for funding towards any costs incurred before a decision can be made on your application (retrospective funding). See below for information on decision timescales. If you are in any doubt, please contact the Fund Adviser (details below).

We will not fund training or equipment that your employer should be providing for you or that is necessary for you to carry out your current job (or a job you are likely to move into with your current employer).

Apprentices cannot apply for any cost that can be claimed back from their employer or another source.

The fund cannot meet any costs already covered by a school, college, the local authority, or another awarding body such as an industry trade body, Skills Development Scotland, or Students Awards Agency Scotland.

How are decisions made?

Award decisions are made by Foundation Scotland.  Once you have submitted your application, we may phone you to have a short discussion about your course, your circumstances, and the costs you need help with.  We aim to notify you of the decision within four to six weeks of receiving your application.

Frequently asked questions

  • What evidence do I need to provide in support of my application?

    This will depend on the course you are looking to take. We may need you to provide some evidence along with your application (as set out in the application form), some periodically throughout the term of your award, and some upon completion of your course. Examples include:

    • Quotes for the costs you need to pay.
    • Your offer letter or confirmation of a place on the course.
    • A copy of your attendance record or statement by someone from the educational institution confirming you have been attending regularly, and
    • A copy of your qualification certificate.

    You may not have these documents at the time of application but will need to provide them when you can.

  • Where can I study?

    We recognise that there are limited further education opportunities within Caithness, therefore you can apply for the costs involved in studying anywhere in Scotland. However, an application for the costs of attending a course offered in Caithness or even Highland will be looked upon more favourably than one that requires you to leave the area, or where the course provider is based outwith the area.

    If you are applying for costs linked with an Apprenticeship arrangement you must be employed within Caithness.

  • Can I apply for the costs of a coursed that has already started?

    This depends.

    Retrospective expenses – in other words anything costs you have already incurred – cannot be funded. This is particularly relevant for short courses where a course fee often must be paid up front to book your space on the course.

    You should therefore apply for a bursary as soon as you are sure that you are going to do the course. It will normally take us around four-six weeks to respond to your application so please let us know of any timescales involved in securing a place on, paying for, or starting your course.

    If you need a response sooner than this, please get in touch with us as soon as possible. If it is possible to respond to your application in time then we will do our best.


  • Can I apply for an award if I am already employed?

    If you are currently employed, we will not fund training or equipment that your employer should be providing for you, or that is necessary for you to carry out your current job (or a job you are likely to move into with your current employer). 

  • How likely am I to get this award?

    If the Fund is oversubscribed we may not be able to offer an award to everyone who applies or may not be able to offer the full amount requested. In addition to the criteria set out above, we will also consider the following to help us make these decisions:

    • People who have not previously received an award will be prioritised over people who have previously received an award.

    • People not currently in employment will be prioritised over somebody who is in employment.

  • What are my responsibilities?

    Under the terms of your Grant Acceptance, you will have to spend the award as described in your application form or as otherwise agreed in writing with us.

    If your plans change you will need to let us know as soon as possible. It may be possible for you to retain your award, for example, if you intend to switch courses, or if you find another training provider offering a better deal or providing the course in a way that suits you better. But you must tell us your circumstances have changed in the first instance.

    You will be required to provide some feedback on your learning experience to demonstrate the impact of the support received from the Fund.

How to apply

Applications are submitted online using the link below. You will need:

  • A working email account that you can access - to set up an online portal account through which applications are submitted online.
  • A recent bank statement - because we often need to check account details are correct before we can pay out a grant.  A scanned or photographed or electronic copy will need to be uploaded during the application process.
  • Evidence of your home address - this could include a driving licence, SAAS letter or a bill (for example for your mobile phone). Any official letter (for example from the Scottish Exam Board, school correspondence, NHS appointment letters, tax letters or a payslip). If you are at college or university, they may be able to provide something suitable.

If you would like to review the questions you will be asked to answer before starting the form, you can see them here

If you have any problems applying online or setting up your portal, please email or call 0131 524 0300 (during office hours) and we will be pleased to help.

If you have already started an application and not completed it, please login here to resume. 

Contact information

For application process and technical enquiries

Central Systems Support

For criteria and fund priority enquiries

Eilidh Coll, Community Funds Adviser

Useful links

  • Careers advice and training course listings are available from Skills Development Scotland (SDS) (My World of Work

Information about other potential sources of funding: 

Stroupster Education & Training (Dunnet & Canisbay)

RWE Bad á Cheò Wind Farm Education & Training Fund

Tannach and District Wind Farm Education & Training Fund

Lybster and Tannach Non Formal Learning Bursaries 

Caithness Chamber of Commerce Developing the Young Workforce 


Bus passes:


The fund is provided by RWE