Latest update on ESF provision

Future Open Calls Research and Releases of New Calls

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) reviewed the development of future European Social Fund (ESF) Open Call specifications in 2017.  The LLEP worked with consultants S4W Ltd. to research the need and likely demand for future ESF activity to inform the proposed release of a series of Calls for Activity during Autumn of 2017 onwards, with activity to start in 2018. A final report on the research has now been produced and is available on: ESF Future Open Calls Consultancy Report August 2017.  Future ESF calls are being scoped and will be released from Autumn 2017 onwards.

Two Open calls were released in October 2017 and have now closed:

Leadership & Management – Request for Outline Application opened on 18th October 2017 – 10th January 2018 (INVESTMENT PRIORITY 2.1 – Business Leadership and Management Training – Skills Needs and Workforce Planning)

Sector Growth – Request for Outline Application opened on 18th October 2017 – 10th January 2018 (INVESTMENT PRIORITY 2.1 – Skills for Sector Led Growth)

These were released under the ESF Open Call process which is a 2-stage process – Outline Application and then if, once it is appraised by the Managing Authority and is endorsed by the ESIF Committee, the applicant will be invited to submit a Full Application.  Release dates for the remaining four ESF Open Calls are to be advised

To date, ESF contracts have been awarded as follows:

Under Investment Priority 2.1 Enhancing equal access to lifelong learning

ITT30055 Employees Support in Skills – (£5,454,500) – Skills Metro The contract has been awarded to Interserve (ESG Skills Ltd).

ITT30056 Employees Support in Skills –(£1,818,150) – Business and Enterprise Skills. The contract has been awarded to North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College.

ITT30057 Employees Support in Skills – (£1,818,150) – Leadership and Management. The contract has been awarded to Calderdale College.

Find out more on the above programmes in our section ‘Skills Support for the Workforce’ on


Under Investment Priority 1.2 The sustainable integration of young people

Entry to Employment Support £5,400,000 Opt-in (Department for Work and Pensions); the successful provider is Working Links.

Ex-offenders into Employment £908,800 Opt-in (Skills Funding Agency), successful provider Derby Business College, activity ongoing, the programme is called AIM (Achieve, Inspire, Motivate)

NEET Support £2,454,500 Opt-in (Skills Funding Agency), the successful provider is Prospects, activity is ongoing, the programme is called ‘Improve your Prospects’


Under Investment Priority 1.1 Access to employment for job seekers and inactive people

Employment Gateway £2,060, 500 Opt-in (Skills Funding Agency); the successful provider is Business 2 Business (UK)

Sector Based Initiatives £409, 000 Opt-in (Skills Funding Agency); the successful provider is Derby Business College

The LLEP is working with providers to add further information about each programme in the near future.

LLEP area Employment Hub

The aim of the Employment Hub is to make education and training provision more responsive to the needs of the local economy, and will work directly with local businesses (especially SMEs) to increase the demand for apprenticeships, traineeships and work placements. It will also add capacity to and complement the work of the National Apprenticeship Service and local training agencies.

The total value of the Employment Hub specification is £2 million and the call for outline applications opened on November 9 2016 and closed on 18 January 2017. Project delivery will end by June 30 2020.

The Employment Hub was awarded to Leicester City Council, see