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How to get a grant and improve productivity


Industry Minister Alan Johnson yesterday invited companies to apply for grants from the DTI's Partnership Fund, set-up to help businesses and organisations develop partnerships at work and encourage the spread of information about best partnership practice.

Alan Johnson said, "Partnership at work is essential for companies who want to prosper in today's modern economy. It means employers and employees working together to solve particular business problems and avoid such problems arising in the first place.

"Many remember the bad old days when management was by coercion and negotiation by threat. We have moved on a lot since then, but must continue to improve. Today's successful company realises the full potential of its most important resource – its people – it ensures they are equipped to perform at their best and listens to their contributions.

"The Government's Partnership Fund is helping organisations build consensus in the workplace and move away from conflict in employment relations. Some of the previous winners are developing solutions to bullying and violence in workplace. Others improve health and safety training and a better work-life balance."

Mr Johnson gave examples of companies that have been successful in winning a grant under the Partnership Fund.

He said, "We have restaurants, hospitals, trade associations, shops, manufacturers and a wide variety of trade unions, all running worthwhile projects.

"For example, South Tees Acute Hospitals Trust have put together a project to provide "confidential advisers" for staff experiencing bullying or harassment which will help develop a support infrastructure."

Projects for support under the Fund are invited on a competitive basis during fixed rounds – the third of which was announced yesterday. Organisations could be looking at partnerships for the first time or building on existing efforts.

The Partnership Fund team are particularly keen to see applications in this call for projects designed to develop partnership in SMEs or tackle employment issues in the workplace, especially bullying, skills and work/life balance.

The Partnership Fund, launched in May 1999, runs for four years. Each winner can receive up to a maximum of £50,000 from the Government. The winners come from the private, public and voluntary sectors and from unionised and non-unionised organisations.

The closing date for applications is 25 May 2001. Successful applicants are awarded grant of up to 50% of total project costs, with the remainder being met by participating organisations.

Those interested in finding out more about the Partnership Fund should call the Partnership Fund Helpline on 020 7215 6252 or write to:

The Partnership Fund,
Employment Relations Directorate (Room UG 133),
Department of Trade and Industry,
1 Victoria Street,

or visit the DTI's Partnership Fund website.




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