Access to Employment: Project call for Solent Local Enterprise Partnership area. Community Grants programme
Match funding restrictions
ESF is funding used where no other funding can be obtained (the funder of last resort) and the maximum ESF intervention rate for the operation is 50%. This means ESF can contribute up to 50% of the total eligible project costs, subject to State Aid regulations. The remaining 50% or more must come from other eligible sources
This call is to develop a Solent Community Grants Programme with the aim to support and encourage local communities and communities of interest in creating projects, developed from the bottom up, that address exclusion by engaging local people in improving their own lives and that of their areas.
Opportunities for the the voluntary sector
The programme will provide grants of up to £30,000 for small projects, led by citizens’ groups, voluntary and third sector organisations that help people to acquire skills needed to progress towards employment.
Projects may be focused on supporting people living in areas of deprivation and/or those who experience significant barriers in the labour market, including but not exclusively:
- people with disabilities or health conditions, including those with learning difficulties, mental health issues or drug and alcohol dependency problems;
- people aged 50 or over and seeking employment;
- people from ethnic minorities;
- lone parents
- people from neighbourhoods and estates where there are high levels of unemployment and deprivation.
In addition to the call deliverables (section 3 refers) the anticipation is that projects will focus on achieving ‘soft’ outcomes, involving progression towards work (e.g. through volunteering and participating in community-based activities) rather than jobs or full qualifications.
The funding will be used to support a range of soft outcome activities which may include:
- first contact engagement activities, e.g. arranging events in places that people feel comfortable to visit;
- involvement in community-based projects and volunteering;
- activities that improve confidence, motivation and social integration, such as sport and creative activities;
- developing local networks and groups to support people to get a job or access learning e.g. Jobs Club or Learning Champion type activity;
- softer skills development e.g. assertiveness, anger management and motivation;
- basic skills support; and
- job search assistance.
The expectation is to award a single contract applicants may wish to bid individually, or as part of a consortium or partnership with a named lead accountable organisation.