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European Social Fund

Category: 
Education and skills
European Structural and Investment Funds
Social Issues

ESF Logo 2017 1.png

 

The ESF is one of the five European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). From 2014, these funds will operate under a common framework and will pursue complementary policy objectives. The Structural Funds represent the main EU investment to help Member State to restore and build growth and jobs while working towards sustainable development.

The European Social Fund (ESF) funds employment, skills and social inclusion activities. The 2014 to 2020 ESF programme is part of the new European Structural and investment Fund (ESIF) programme in England, along with ERDF and rural development funds. The government has given local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) direct influence over how these funds are invested, asking them to work with local partners to develop strategies for using the funds to promote growth and jobs in their area.

In London, the strategy has been developed by the London Enterprise Panel, which is chaired by the Mayor of London and whose members are drawn from London businesses, local authorities and the GLA.  The London 2014-20 ESIF Strategy for London sets out the key areas for ESIF investment against the LEP’s four jobs and growth priorities:

  • SME competitiveness
  • Skills and employment
  • Science and technology
  • Infrastructure

London has been allocated €748.6m ESF and ERDF for the period 2014-2020, to invest in growth and jobs for London.  Around 75% of this will be allocated to ESF.

London has also received an additional €37m ESF for the Youth Employment Initiative to provide extra support for young people.

In November 2014 London Enterprise Panel has published on their website the summaries of  proposed Adult Employment Programmes and Young People's Programmes. Please see our briefing notes for more information: Adult ProgrammesYoung People's Programmes

The government has given to the local enterprise partnerships (LEPs) direct influence over how these funds are invested, asking them to work with local partners to develop strategies for using the funds to promote growth and jobs in their area. In London, the strategy has been developed by the London Enterprise Panel, which is chaired by the Mayor of London and whose members are drawn from London businesses, local authorities and the GLA. The London 2014-20 ESIF Strategy for London sets out the key areas for ESIF investment against the LEP’s jobs and growth priorities.

Click here to read the FAQ on the ESF programme published by the LEP.  

In November 2015 the GLA has published on the LEP website an updated summary of the planned Opt In provision for ESF London 2014 - 2020 that is currently being developed with the three opt in organisations: the SFA, DWP and the Big Lottery Fund.

The Updated summary of the planned Opt In provision outlines the programmes that are currently planned, including expected budgets and numbers of customers in each contract package area. Click here to read the updated summary of the planned Opt In provision, and here to read a summary.

On 22nd of June Access Europe Network organised the first ESF Market Warming Event with the LEP and LVSC, to inform London organisations about the ESF provision that will be procured over the next few months. As well as getting up-to-date information on these opportunities, organisations participated in networking sessions with an aim of partnership building for the future bids. You can access all the speakers presentations here:

For more information on the programme see the pdf below: 

Closed Calls

The Greater London Authority has announced the release of the first of its Team London funding opportunities which form part of the GLA ESF 2014-2020 Co-Financing Programme.
 
The 2Work project will give unemployed 18-24 year olds access a wide variety of volunteering opportunities and experiences from the world of work, with a view to raising their aspirations and levels of work experience, and helping them gain the skills to move into, and sustain employment, education and/or training. The project has a grant value of £0.8m, and will deliver between May 2017 and October 2019, with final results reported and claims completed by March 2020.
 
The suite of documents required by potential delivery partners in order to submit an application can be found here.
 
Closing date: Friday, March 3, 2017 - 17:00
Closing date: Friday 3rd March 2017, 5:00pm

The SFA ESF Sector Skills Programme will provide bespoke support and training for the unemployed and those economically inactive people who are facing skills-related barriers to entering the labour market. The programme will upskill and support Londoners into jobs in some of London’s key growth sectors, through demand led, employer informed approaches, facilitating their mobility between sites to ensure sustainability and that they progress into well paid employment through two stages:

  • Promotion & pre-employment support;
  • Support into work and progression

The industries which the projects will focus on are:

  • Retail
  • Tourism and hospitality
  • Health and Social Care
  • Creative and cultural industries
  • ICT/Digital Industries
Closing date: Monday, July 11, 2016 - 17:00

This programme aims to get unemployed and economically inactive Londoners into construction jobs created by developments across London, by providing them with the skills needed to compete effectively in the modern construction industry. It will upskill and support Londoners into construction jobs requiring ‘modern’ construction skills, facilitating their mobility between sites to ensure sustainability and support progression into well paid employment.

Closing date: Monday, July 11, 2016 - 17:00

London Councils Poverty programme 2016-18 aims to fund projects which promote the employability of excluded individuals in the community. Projects should equip individuals with the personal and occupational skills they need to access and compete effectively in the labour market.

Closing date: Wednesday, June 22, 2016 - 12:00

The purpose of this project is to support people with common mental health conditions aged 25+ to move into employment and to sustain that employment for a minimum of six months.

Closing date: Monday, November 30, 2015 - 12:00
Closing date: 12 noon on 30th November 2015

The purpose of this project is to support people with common mental health conditions aged 25+ to move into employment and to sustain that employment for a minimum of six months. This should be achieved by encouraging the take up of the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) support in the most deprived areas in West London.

Closing date: Monday, November 30, 2015 - 12:00
Closing date: 12 noon on 30th November 2015

The purpose of this project is to provide a package of employment support for workless people who are experiencing severe and multiple disadvantage (SMD) experiences.

Closing date: Monday, November 30, 2015 - 12:00
Closing date: 12 noon on 30th November 2015
The purpose of this call for proposals is to provide targeted support to address those complex barriers faced by the target group in seeking and obtaining employment. Support should be for up to two years, plus six months of in-work support.
Closing date: Monday, November 30, 2015 - 12:00
Closing date: 12 noon on 30th November 2015
The Big Lottery Fund has launched 8 Project Outlines for 3 programmes in London, the first ESF Opt In provision in London. Building Better Opportunities brings together money from the Big Lottery Fund and the European Social Fund 2014-2020 to provide joint investment in local projects that tackle poverty and promote social inclusion.
 
The programmes in London include support for economically inactive and long term unemployed women from BAME communities, as well as for those with caring responsibilities. It also includes an intermediate labour market (ILM) programme for people with disabilities who have spent long periods out of work. 
 
In addition to the Project Outlines, additional information for each of these programmes can be found here on the London Enterprise Panel’s website.
 
Assessment of applications to the Big Lottery Fund will include consideration of how well applications address the information published in the additional information documents as well as in the Project Outlines.
 
The Big Lottery Fund Project Outlines can be accessed here.
While details about the application process can be found here.
 
The deadline for applications is 12 Noon on Monday 3rd August.
 
If you have a query about Building Better Opportunities concerning project outlines or the application and funding process please contact esf@biglotteryfund.org.uk or call 0345 4 10 20 30.
 
For more information on the 2014-20 ESF Programme in London, including a full list of planned ESF Opt In provision in London, see here.
Closing date: Monday, August 3, 2015 - 12:00
Closing date: Monday 3rd August at 12 Noon
The GLA has launched a call for proposals for ESF projects under Priority Axes 1 and 2 of the England ESF Operational Programme.  
 
The call reference is OC23S15P 0047 and the deadline for applications is 17.00 on Friday 24 April 2015.
 
For details of the specification please go here.
 
In London the Mayor has delegated responsibility for the administration of European Structural and Investment Funds.
 
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is an Intermediate Body (IB) for the ESIF programme and discharges many of the functions of the Managing Authorities. Applications for projects which cover London will be dealt with by the GLA.
 
If you have any queries then please email esifcalls@london.gov.uk quoting the call reference number OC23S15P0047.
 
The GLA is looking for projects of a significant scale, over £10,000,000 (ESF & match), that have the potential to make a considerable impact on the employment prospects and skills levels of some of London’s most disadvantaged groups.
 
An indicative budget of £50m ESF has been allocated to this call. This is intended as a guide and may be reviewed. 
 
To be eligible for support projects must deliver activity which contributes to the objectives of Priority 1 or Priority 2 of the ESF programme:
  • Priority Axis1: Inclusive Labour Markets
  • Priority Axis 2: Skills for Growth
The application process is competitive.This means each application will be assessed on its merits, alongside other applications. All applications will be assessed after the call has closed.The timetable and deadlines for submission of applications can be found at section 10 of the specification.
 
Who can apply?
 
Eligible applicants are likely to be Local Authorities, public organisations, voluntary and community bodies and some private sector organisations (subject to State Aid compliance). Organisations must be legally constituted and be able to enter into binding contracts.
 
The GLA is seeking to fund projects under one or more of the following Investment Priorities:
  • Access to employment for jobseekers and inactive people (Investment Priority 1.1). This will help unemployed people, and also inactive people who are relatively close to the labour market, to tackle barriers and enter progress in and sustain employment. It will provide help for those who have made the transition to work but need continued support, or who are in work but at risk due to skills deficiencies or facing redundancy.
  • Sustainable integration of young people (Investment Priority 1.2). This will focus on helping young people, particularly those not in education, employment or training (NEET) to participate in the labour market and learning in areas not eligible for the Youth Employment Initiative.
  • Youth Employment Initiative (Investment Priority 1.3). This will focus on helping young people, particularly those not in education, employment or training (NEET) to participate in the labour market and learning in areas eligible for the Youth Employment Initiative.
  • Active inclusion (Investment Priority1.4). This will help people who are some distance from the labour market and may face multiple disadvantages to tackle their barriers to work and to move towards or into employment or to sustain employment.
The ESIF contribution rate for projects is 50%. This means ESF can contribute up to 50% of the total eligible project costs, subject to State Aid regulations. The remaining 50% must come from other eligible sources. Evidence of match funding by the applicant (and any Delivery Partners) must be submitted with the Outline application. A lower rate will only be considered in very exceptional circumstances, and only when it has been agreed in advance by the GLA’s European Programmes Management Unit or the Managing Authority.
 
There are two stages to the ESIF application process; Outline Application and. if successful, Full Application. Applicants must fully complete the Outline Application which will be subject to a Gateway assessment undertaken by the GLA under the following criteria:
  • applicant eligibility;
  • activity and expenditure eligibility; and
  • fit with the Operational Programme and the call.
Proposals that pass the Gateway assessment will move into the Core Assessment which consists of the following:
  • strategic fit;
  • value for money;
  • management & control;
  • deliverability;
  • procurement / tendering; and
  • state aid compliance.
Completed Outline Applications must be submitted online via the LOGASnet system. Please note that Applicants will require a user ID and password in order to access the LOGASnet system.
 
Details on how to register on the system can be found on the GOV.UK website European Growth Funding  website pages. Please note that it can take up to ten days to receive your login details.
 
Closing date: Friday, April 24, 2015 - 17:00
Closing date: Friday 24 April 2015 at 17.00