Over 70 skills and training providers gathered to hear how to bid for a new £7m wave of funding calls designed to help address skills gaps in the workforce in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.
The European Social Fund (ESF) open call workshops were held on Monday and Wednesday of this week, in Nottingham and Derby city centres to help organisations across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire bid for a share of European funding. It featured speakers from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and Richard Kirkland (pictured), ESIF Co-Ordinator at the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
D2N2 is the LEP for the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire area and works with Government, businesses, local authorities, skills and training providers and community and voluntary organisations to grow its areas economy, with the aim of creating 55,000 new jobs in ten years (2013-2023).
As part of this, D2N2 has an allocation of €250m European Structural and Investment Funds, which is released in sections at regular intervals, with ‘calls’ for potential projects run by organisations to bid for the money.
This project is part-funded by the European Social Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 in England.
The latest series of calls in the D2N2 area was released on Nov 25, which means that organisations with an interest in skills gaps and high-skilled graduate retention have until January 25, 2017 to bid for a share of £7million to help address these issues.
Once the deadline has closed the project bids received will be assessed by the D2N2 LEP and the Department for Work and Pensions. The strongest bids, most relevant to the three initiatives’ aims, will be invited to make a more in-depth application and successful bidders will then be announced.
It is assumed that projects which receive funding must be completed by April 2020. They will be assessed as they progress, to ensure they are meeting their targets.
Organisations wishing to submit applications to any of the three funding calls above can find more information at the following website link www.gov.uk/european-structural-investment-funds?keywords=&funding_source%5B%5D=european-social-fund
David Ralph, Chief Executive of the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “Skills development lies at the heart of the D2N2 LEP’s Growth Strategy.
“Helping people gain skills which get them into work and then to develop knowledge which progresses their career is good for individuals, and the resulting pool of potential employees with the skills needed to plug gaps in their workforce is good for businesses.
“These three new initiatives, backed by £7.3million from D2N2’s European funding allocation, show the LEP’s commitment to skills development in its area and in getting business more involved with that.”
In 2013, Government asked each of England’s 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships to draw up a six year strategy for how they would spend a European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) allocation. D2N2’s innovative strategy saw it awarded one of the largest allocations of any LEP, receiving € 250million for projects in its area up to 2020.
The three main EU funds within the ESIF are the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), European Social Fund (ESF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).
For more information on how D2N2 is using its ESIF monies to support business growth and economic development see its web pages at www.d2n2lep.org/EUFunding
Supported by the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme
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