What is ESF?
The European Social Fund
The ESF was set up to to help people into work and to invest skills and training of those furthest from the labour market.
What is it for?
- enhancing access to employment and social inclusion
- development and improvement of skills
- contribution to combating poverty
- increase labour participation of women
- integration into employment of migrants
- improvement of public services
- creation of a skilled and adaptable workforce
- innovation in SMEs
- access to start-up capital
What are the target groups?
- disabled people
- lone parents
- people aged over 50
- people from ethnic minorities
- people without good qualifications; and
- young people not in education, employment or training.
- people in the workforce who lack basic skills
- people without good qualifications or least likely to receive training.
- managers and employees in small firms,
- people made redundant or at risk of redundancy.
How much money is available?
ESF will invest 3.5 billion Euros in England between 2014 and 2020.
New rules require that at least 20% of ESF is allocated to activities promoting social inclusion and combating poverty. Over the lifetime of the Programme, this could be worth around £500m in England supporting disadvantaged people and communities taking steps towards the labour market.
How you can apply for ESF
- See our funding opportunities page for ESF Community Grants in your area
- Via the Opt in Organisations where match funding is arranged for the project
- Through open calls
- Through Technical Assistance (TA) funding for organisations to help with the monitoring, and capacity building for implementing the funds.
Opt-in Organisations for 2014-2020
- Big Lottery Fund
- Department for Work and Pensions
- Skills Funding Agency
- National Offender Management Service