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Consultation on the European Social Fund in England and Gibraltar 2007-2013

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  1. Consultation on the European Social Fund in England and Gibraltar 2007-2013 London Consultation Event 28 November 2006

  2. Overview of presentation • Purpose • Context • NSRF • Funding • Questions on the Operational Programme • Analysis • Strategy • Priorities • Innovation • Implementation • How to respond

  3. Purpose of consultation • Inform development of new ESF Programme • Feed in views of partners • Consultation from 30 October 2006 to 22 January 2007

  4. Context • New strategic approach – Lisbon agenda to boost jobs & skills • Reduced resources (from €6bn to €2.75bn) – more focused • Seven-year duration – flexibility to take account of Leitch etc • Partnership – respond to regional and local needs

  5. Govt response to NSRF consultation confirmed:- • Single national programme for England • Two national priorities • Employment • Skills • Leading role for existing Regional Skills Partnerships • All delivery through Co-financing • Regional allocations


  6. Funding (2004 prices) • England ESF = €2.75 billion • London ESF = €436 million • Largest regional allocation in England • Lower than average reduction in ESF funds

  7. Analysis (Question 1) • Strong labour market performance, BUT • Low employment rates among disadvantaged groups and in deprived areas • 11% of 16 to 18 year olds are not in education, employment or training (NEETS) • Large numbers of adults without basic skills and intermediate qualifications • London has the lowest regional employment rate and highest regional inactivity rate

  8. Strategy (Question 2) • ESF will add value to:- • EU employment strategy especially recommendations to UK to • Improve job prospects of disadvantaged groups • Tackle skills deficits • National employment and skills strategies • 80% employment rate aspiration • Reducing NEETS • Increasing basic skills and level 2 • Regional employment and skills priorities identified by • Regional Economic Strategies • Regional Skills Partnerships

  9. Priorities (Question 3) • 3 priorities for Regional Competitiveness & Employment Objective:- • Extending employment opportunities • Developing a skilled & adaptable workforce • Technical assistance

  10. Priority 1 – extending employment opportunities • Improve employability & skills of unemployed & inactive people • Tackle barriers to work faced by disadvantaged groups, eg:- • Disabled • Lone parents • Older workers • Ethnic minorities • Low skilled • In deprived areas • Reduce number of young people who are not in education, employment or training

  11. Priority 2 – Developing a skilled & adaptable workforce • Focus on reducing numbers without basic skills & level 2 qualifications • Plus some limited flexibility to:- • Train to level 3 to address skills shortages • Provide higher level skills training in small enterprises

  12. Innovation (Question 4) • Some funding within priorities 1 & 2 for innovative action • But a lot smaller than Equal initiative • Regions will choose from a menu of themes for innovation • Consultation will inform the themes • Innovative action will include learning from other EU countries

  13. Regional ESF Strategies (Question 5) • Show how ESF can add value to existing regional strategies • May identify • Priority sectors • Target groups • Geographical areas • Link to ERDF

  14. Cross cutting themes (Questions 6 and 7) • Gender equality and equal opportunities • Sustainable development – including environmental sustainability • Building on good practice in 2000-2006

  15. Other implementation issues (Question 8) • All funds regionalised – no national projects • Review of Government Office role • Delivery through Co-financing • All through tenders > use of contract costs • Exceptions to Co-financing possible • In Convergence and Phasing-in areas • Want to continue funding for small community projects • “Global Grants” mechanism, or • Alternative approach

  16. How to respond • On-line and Word response forms at www.esf.gov.uk • Deadline for response = 22 January 2007

  17. Next steps • Submit draft programme to European Commission in March 2007 • Start work on Regional ESF strategies and Co-financing Plans • Commission approval through formal Decision • Start new projects in late 2007 or early 2008