ESIF ESF delivery programme
Funding from The European Social Fund (ESF) plays a key role in supporting the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Local Enterprise Partnership’s (SSLEP) priorities to raise skills levels and stimulate business growth.
It is the intention that the effective use of ESF funding will unlock the potential of the current and future local workforce through a demand-driven approach to providing skills and matching those skills to employment opportunities. SSLEP and its partners are committed to delivering ESF programmes that will ensure all residents, regardless of their personal circumstances, are included and can start on a journey to sustainable employment.
Programmes commissioned through two opt in organisations (the National Lottery Community Fund NLCF and Education Skills Funding Agency ESFA) as part of a package of contracted programmes totalling £58m, support residents who are furthest from the job market with multiple barriers to those who are currently in employment but may need to develop higher level skills to progress further within their employment.
Key Outputs (as at June 2022)
- No of programme beneficiaries – 36,958
- New learners – 48,888
- Individuals entering paid employment, training or volunteering – 16,082
The NLCF programmes support those unemployed individuals who are furthest from the job market and most at risk of social exclusion through a variety of specialist support including confidence building, coaching, personal development, training and jobsearch. The three prime providers delivering the programme across the region are Steps to Work, Ixion Holdings Ltd. and Business Enterprise Support.
The ESFA programmes provide a wide range of support from engagement and outreach activities to higher level skills development, these are delivered across the region through four prime providers; Skills Training UK offer support to individuals who are NEET, Peopleplus offer support to unemployed individuals, The Community Foundation for Staffordshire provide community grants to organisations moving people closer to the labour market and Serco offer skills support to both employed individuals and those who are under threat of redundancy.
Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce delivers the ESF funded Skills Hub. The Skills Hub is a key source of labour market intelligence for employers to inform skills commissioning and improve careers guidance.
The Skills Hub Brokerage Service within the Skills Hub provides key services in relation to ensuring that employers are supported to access relevant skills support/workforce development activities. This includes the identification of skills gaps to better position these businesses to diversify into new markets, adopt new technologies, and create more jobs.
More detail on the programmes is as follows:
- Building Better Opportunities Programme delivered by Ixion Holding Ltd in Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle under Lyme and Staffordshire Moorlands. The programme provides support for participants with multiple barriers to regain their confidence, become more socially included and move closer to or into the job market. The programme has supported just over 1500 participants to date with just over 400 progressing onto a positive outcome.
- Building Better Opportunities Programme delivered by Steps to Work in Lichfield, Cannock, Tamworth and East Staffordshire. The programme provides support for participants with multiple barriers to regain their confidence, become more socially included and move closer to or into the job market. The programme has supported just over 900 participants to date with just over 200 progressing onto a positive outcome.
- Building Better Opportunities Programme delivered by Business Enterprise Support in Stafford and South Staffordshire. The programme provides support for participants with multiple barriers to regain their confidence, become more socially included and move closer to or into the job market. The programme has supported over 600 participants to date with nearly 300 progressing onto a positive outcome.
- Skills Support for the Unemployed Programme delivered by PeoplePlus across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Support is tailored to suit the individual’s needs, delivering a wide range of courses from qualifications, including sector endorsed professional development qualifications. The programme has supported over 1400 participants to date with just over 400 progressing onto a positive outcome.
- Positive Directions delivered by Skills Training UK across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. A Programme for young people who are NEET or at risk of becoming NEET, the programme develops their capability to progress either back into learning and remain in either Education, Apprenticeship, Traineeship or Employment. The programme has supported just over 1600 participants to date with just over 600 progressing onto a positive outcome.
- Community Grants delivered by Community Foundation for Staffordshire across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. Grants (up to £20k) are available to fund projects that offer pathways for learners to work, education, training or volunteering. The programme has awarded 40 grants to date.
- Skills Support for the Workforce/Skills Support for Redundancy delivered by Serco across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The programme develops and upskills employees within SMEs providing recognised accredited qualifications and bespoke training courses to enhance employees’ skills, increase the competitiveness of the business and boost the local economy. The programme has supported just over 1500 participants to date with just over 400 progressing onto a positive outcome.
- The Skills Hub delivered by Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce across Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire. The Skills Hub engages directly with employers through impartial Skills Brokers, helping them to identify their skills needs and signposting them to support available. The programme has engaged with just under 400 businesses and completed over 80 organisation needs analysis.
The projects received funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations. For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/european-growth-funding.