ESIF Funding Opportunties

ESIF overview

Updated 10th March 2016

The 2014-2020 ESIF allocations have faced many delays including the need to secure match funding through the three managing authorities – Skills Funding Agency (SFA), Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Big Lottery, as the, then, newly formed Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) were not recognised as suitable agencies.

More recently the fluctuations in the exchange rate between the pound and the euro have impacted on the need to renegotiate the original target outputs from the national operations plan and then re-profiled with each LEP.  All of this will result in a much smaller delivery window for all contracts with the first unlikely to start before Q4 of 2015/16 and the majority of Workforce Skills provisions starting in the new 2016/17 academic year.

Essentially the three managing authorities have different focuses which are aligned with their mainstream core objectives – hence the ability to match fund their respective thematic ESIF objectives.

Most LEPs are currently holding information sessions to update partners on the latest developments relating to their allocations agreed with each managing authority. Most DWP and Big Lottery opportunities have already closed to Expressions of Interest with a number of managing agents or prime contractors now appointed in principle.

How can we help you?

Skills Consultants are able to work with you to ensure your ESIF engagement strategy is aligned correctly to the ESIF thematic objectives, managing authority core delivery and LEP local priorities. We can also enable you to form partnerships where opportunities are still available. Please contact us to find out more about how we can help.

The Three Managing Authorities

Department for Work and Pensions

DWP is commissioning programmes that support young people and unemployed back into work with a real focus on harder to reach groups.

The Big Lottery

The Big Lottery are funding community led programmes promoting community development and social inclusion.

The Skills Funding Agency

The SFA are supporting in-work skills with additional pots for innovation and enterprise. All Skills provision must demonstrate an ability to meet the needs of the LEP priority sectors. The previous Local Responsive Fund is now merged into one overall ‘skills’ pot with a ring fenced allocation used to target future skills development whilst the newly formed Enterprise fund will support those unemployed individuals wishing to become self-employed or start their own business.

SFA intent to procure all skills related provision through Bravo Solutions with announcements expected imminently. All opportunities will be open by the end of April 16. It is anticipated the procurement process will take four months, so 1st September 16 is the most realistic start date for SFA funded provision.

Why should you use us?

Skills Consultants have a wealth of experience in bidding for and securing ESIF funding.  We have established relationships with many LEPs. We have a great understanding of the latest sector developments and requirements and have even supported the writing of LEP sector growth plans. Please contact us if you would like us to support you in securing ESIF funding.

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