What is the European
The European Social Fund (ESF) was set up to improve
employment opportunities in the European Union and so help raise standards of
living. It aims to help people fulfil their potential by giving them better skills
and better job prospects.
Most of the fund goes to countries and regions where
economic development is less advanced. Over the past seven years, the ESF has
helped over four million people in England and in 2007 the EU launched a new
round of ESF programmes for the next seven years to 2013.
The 2007 – 2013 programme will invest £4 billion, £2 billion
will come from the ESF and £2 billion will be from national funding.
In England, there are two main priorities for the 2007 –
Priority 1: Extending employment opportunities. It supports
projects to tackle the barriers to work faced by unemployment and disadvantaged
Priority 2: Developing a skilled and adaptable workforce. It
supports projects to train people who do not have the basic skills and
qualifications needed in the workplace.
How is Leicester City
The ESF programme in Leicester is just one part of an
overall co-financing programme operating in the East Midlands. Leicester City
Council is part of a Local Authority
Co-financing Plan with Lincolnshire County Council, Derby City
Council and Derbyshire County Council. Their role is to bring together ESF
money and domestic funding for employment and skills and distribute the funding
to organisations and providers that deliver ESF projects.
What does Leicester
City Council want to achieve?
In line with the Economic Strategy for Leicester and
Leicestershire, activities will be focussed at groups that are in most need of
support to bring people into the labour market and increase their potential to
rise within the labour market.
ESF resources will be closely aligned with the plans of the
Working Neighbourhood Fund, in order to achieve the targets set for the city
and agreed by the Cabinet.
The plan seeks to embed the improvements in the
partnership working the City Strategy has initiated across the public and
voluntary sectors as well as to bolster the engagement of the programme with
employers in the city and its surrounding travel to work area, so that their
requirements for a skill and adaptable workforce are met.
For the period of 2011 – 2013, Leicester City Council’s
priorities are to improve the qualifications and skills of workers without
basic skills and with no or low qualifications.
What projects are
Through the ESF programme, seven projects will be supported
for the period of
2011 – 2013.
View further details about each project online by clicking
on each bullet point.
Who can participate
in ESF projects?
Organisations and businesses can participate in ESF
projects, for example through providing training opportunities and courses on
new skills for their workforce or help for management on new working practices.
Employers can find out further details about how to
participate in the programme here.
Who delivers ESF
Organisations within the public, private and voluntary/
community sectors have previously been successful in winning tendering
opportunities to deliver ESF projects. These organisations include:
Organisations are invited to submit tenders against
activities outlined within the Local Authority Consortium Prospectus.
Prospective contractors will need to outline clearly in
their proposal the additional activity being delivered and where support is being
targeted geographically. Contractors must be able demonstrate previous
experience of similar work and be prepared to provide references.
Applications are welcome from single organisations or
consortia from public, private and voluntary/ community sector and can deliver
this activity in the Leicester city area.
Individuals and sole traders cannot apply for ESF funded
Tender forms and guidance notes are available to download
Please note: There
are no tendering opportunities at this present time.
For further details the fund contact the Economic
Regeneration Team on 0116 252 8669 or email email@example.com.