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£2 million funding available to local organisations that specialise in training and skills development

Some £2 million of new funding from the European Social Fund (ESF) is available to organisations in the Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) area.

The ESF aims to help fund local, regional and national employment related projects. These include small projects run by neighbourhood charities to help local disabled people find suitable work, up to nationwide projects that promote vocational training among the whole population.

The ESF is set up to deliver inclusive growth throughout the European Union by investing in Europe’s human capital.

How can I apply?

Organisations within the GBSLEP area are being urged to take advantage of the £2 million funding. The UK Government regularly opens the ESF to businesses within the GBSLEP area through a Funding Call, which provides guidance and legal information to firms.

The £2 million funding relates to a Call that applies to firms able to run a project that aims to upskill the local workforce through supporting skills development and vocational training.

The Call has an increased focus on programmes that promote women in STEM and other male-dominated industries, which sits alongside a focus on improving digital skills across the GBSLEP area.

More information about the call is available on the link below:

The Call closes on Monday 25 November 2019.

The Call is one of two Calls that are currently available. These Calls may be among some of the final funding streams that will be published under the current ESF funding.

To find out more about the latest calls please contact Gary Dixon, ESF Technical Assistance Support Officer for GBSLEP, by emailing


Will Brexit prevent applications from UK-based organisations?

The Brexit referendum, took place on 23 June 2016 in the United Kingdom (UK) and Gibraltar.  With 51.9% of votes cast being in favour of leaving the EU the UK Government initiated the official EU withdrawal process on 29 March 2017, meaning that the UK was due to leave the EU at or before 11PM on 29 March 2019, UK time, when the two-year period for Brexit negotiations was due to  expire.  Although this period has now been extended the current position remains unchanged.

This means that the ESF and ERDF Funds will continue to support UK growth plans until the programmes end. So that you can continue to invest with confidence and certainty, the UK Government has guaranteed that if we leave the EU without a deal, we will continue to fund all ESI Funds projects that would have been funded by the EU under the 2014 2020 programme period.  All of these programmes must be completed by December 31st 2023.

The UK Government have published over 200 technical notices to ensure that people and businesses have the information to prepare for EU Exit and many of these are available through the Direct.Gov web site:

  1. The government’s guarantee for ESF funded programmes if there is no Brexit deal, can be found here
  2. UK government’s preparations for a no-deal scenario, can be found here
  3. How to prepare if the UK leaves the EU with no deal, can be found here
  4. Public sector procurement after Brexit, can be found here
  5. The government’s guarantee for ERDF funded programmes if there is a no Brexit deal, can be found here
  6. State Aid if there’s a no Brexit deal, can be found here

More information on the European Social Fund

The projects are receiving up to £2,000,000 of combined funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England. The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the England European Social Fund programme. Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects that will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.

For more information visit