SME Chamber

ETC funds Training

Training Aid Framework (TAF)

The Training Aid Framework (TAF) is a financial instrument that can be utilised by SMEs (self-employed businesses or with one or more employees) to partly finance staff training costs. Applicants are required to complete applications at least three weeks before the commencement of the training programme.


The eligible training can be classified as following:

General Training – Involves tuition that is not only applicable to the employee's present and/or future position within the company but can also contribute to the qualifications obtained being transferable to other companies or fields of work.

Specific Training – Involves tuition that is directly applicable to an employee's present or future position in the company and providing qualifications that are transferable to other firms or fields of work.

The objective of the TAF is to support the private sector so as to address the challenges for firms to maintain their competitive streak within the global economy through the financing of the training of employees, with a view to achieve higher productivity and enhance adaptability.

The TAF provides training towards the fostering of a lifelong learning culture in the private sector. This is financed through the European Social Fund under the European Union's 2007-013 Cohesion Policy.


Areas that may be funded

Trainers' Personnel Costs

Training can be either carried out by external or inhouse trainers. In the case of external trainers, the costs will be on the basis of rates charged by the trainer whilst costs of inhouse training will be calculated by multiplying the hourly rate by the duration of the course.

Trainers' and Trainees' Travel Expenses

Travel Expenses are eligible when the training is held in a foreign country other than that of employment.

Ineligible Travel expenses:

Commuting from place of accommodation to training venue and vice versa;

Taxi fares

Consultancy services

Costs incurred in relation to guidance and business advice related to the training project. Service provider shall not be an employee of the Applicant claiming aid and is to be qualified in the area in which guidance and consultancy services are being sought.

The eligible cost for guidance and counselling-services fees cannot exceed 50% (up to a limit of €2,500) of the actual cost incurred.

Personnel costs relating to the employee

Costs related to wages paid (including NI contributions) to the participating employee throughout the duration of the training programme. The amount budgeted for personnel costs cannot exceed the total amount of the other eligible costs.

Ineligible Costs


VAT and all other taxes must be quoted separately by service providers. It is important to note that VAT is not an eligible cost.



The co-financing rate is dependent on the nature of training being given and the size of the undertaking.


Maximum & Minimum Grants

Maximum Grant

Each trainee may be allocated a maximum grant of €4,000 per annum. The ceiling may increase up to €10,000 should the training programme lead to an MQC (EQF) level 5 standard or higher. Individual companies may receive up to a grant of €250,000 per year.

Minimum Eligible Grant

The total eligible minimum cost per TAF application should be of €350. As an exception, beneficiaries categorised as a Micro Enterprise or a non-governmental organisation (NGO) registered as required by law and that carries out an economic activity for the purpose of Article 107(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) may be eligible for higher grant levels.


Selection and Payment Process

The selection process is administered by a Selection Committee within the Training Services Division at ETC. Unsuccessful applicants will receive a letter from the Corporation informing them of the decision along with reason/s for refusal. Unsuccessful applicants may appeal against the decision taken by the TAF Selection

Committee, by submitting an appeal in writing within fifteen (15) days of issue of the refusal letter.

SMEs must pay the total costs from their own budget pending reimbursement.

Once the operation has been successfully completed, the applicant organisation is to present the necessary documentation to the TAF Unit in order to obtain the grant/s. The undertaking benefiting under the TAF is to keep all operation related Documentation for audit purposes until 2020.

From: Focus by MEUSAC







Classification of Undertakings and Relative Aid Intensity

Undertaking Size





Number of workers exceeding 250






Number of workers not exceeding 250;

Annual Turnover not exceeding €50m and / or Annual balance Sheet Total not exceeding €43m






No of Workers fewer than 50;

Annual Turnover and/or Annual balance sheet total not exceeding €10m





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