Event: 2014-2020 EU Structural and Investment Funds Strategy for GBSLEP: European Social Fund (ESF) Discussion

Posted by lepadmin - July 24, 2013 - Event - No Comments

Date: Monday August 5 2013

Time: 1.30pm for 2pm – 5pm

Venue: Solihull College Conference Centre (get directions)

As the Local Enterprise Partnership  network prepares to take a greater stake in the delivery of EU funds GBSLEP has received a notional allocation of €255.8 million (£220.4 million) European Funding for the period 2014-2020.

About half this sum will be allocated to European Social Fund (ESF) activities over the seven year period.

ESF is designed to increase employment opportunities and improve the situation of the most vulnerable by promoting social inclusion and tackling poverty.

Recently issued government guidance states that LEPs need to submit their first draft European Structural and Investment Funds Strategies by October 7 2013.

This strategy will set out in some detail how the area will use these funds.

GBSLEP is taking views from partners from across the area to ensure the planned use of the funding meets our LEP growth ambitions and addresses the some of the key labour market challenges faced by our area.  We held an initial useful consultation on the July 12 on the European Regional Development Fund element of the programme and are now keen to discuss the European Social Fund component.

Event Contents

The event will start with an overview of the strategic direction for skills in our area and some scene setting for those not up to date on the latest thinking on the allocation of ESF for the next programming period including some early insights from the latest government guidance.

Attendees will then be offered the opportunity to participate in one workshop from each of the two workshop sessions.  These are focused on the principle ESF building blocks and concept of Social Innovation:

Workshop Session One

  • Supporting Employment and Labour Market Mobility
  • Promoting Social Inclusion and Combatting Poverty

Workshop Session Two

  • Investing in Education, Skills and Lifelong Learning
  • Social Innovation

At this stage we are really interested in priority activities for EU ESF funding rather than the delivery mechanisms per say (though we realise some discussion about the latter is inevitable).

There is a long list of potential activities that we could fund but we need focus in on a few areas that are in tune with our GBSLEP Skills for Growth plan.

There are some other decisions we need to make too including links with the European Regional Development Fund, so called ‘opt-in’ arrangements with key national programmes, the identification of match funding and links within, and beyond, the GBSLEP area.

Your views here are welcome.  There are two cross cutting themes to be discussed too (sustainability and equality) and a new concept of social innovation (essentially new ways to tackle problems).

Directions and Booking

This event will be held at the Blossom Suite at Solihull College Conference Centre on Monday August 5 at 1.30pm for tea and coffee in time for a 2pm start, finishing at 5pm.

To confirm availability for this event here.