Latest update on ESF provision

Future Open Calls Research

The Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP) are currently reviewing the development of future European Social Fund (ESF) Open Call specifications.  Within the LLEP area’s allocation of ESF there are remaining resources available to support people into employment, boost skills levels and support social inclusion.

The LLEP are working 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 the Autumn of 2017 with activity to start in 2018.

The aim of the consultation event is to enable stakeholders, partners and organisations involved in the delivery of current ESF projects, and other skills providers, to understand and comment on key changes to the local labour market since the original EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy was produced in 2014 and to have an input into the priorities for, and content of, any future calls for activity.

An online survey was open for feedback until July 21 2017:

An ESF Future Open Calls Consultation Event took place on 13th July 2017 at City Hall, Leicester.  At this event, Rob Wadsworth from S4W gave an update on research findings to date. This was very well attended with approximately 55 local stakeholders, providers and partners taking part and giving input. The feedback from this is being collated as part of the research that will feed into priorities of any future calls for activity.

A final report on the research will be produced by the end of July, and the findings of the research will be presented to the ESIF Committee on 30 August 2017.

Future ESF calls will be scoped and released during the autumn subject to agreement with the Managing Authority.


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 open call

The aim of the Employment Hub is to make education and training provision more responsive to the needs of the local economy by meeting employers’ skills needs and equipping individuals with the skills they require for the world of work.

The Employment Hub 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. Applicants were informed of the decision on outline applications on March 15 2017.

One organisation has been selected to submit a full application by 14 June 2017. Project delivery will end by June 30 2020.