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ESF Challenge Fund

West Lothian Council would like to invite proposals from eligible organisations (partners) to deliver a package of interventions under the West Lothian Employability Pipeline ESF programme and the West Lothian Social Inclusion ESF Package.

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ESF Logo
West Lothian ESF Challenge fund

West Lothian Council would like to invite proposals from eligible organisations (partners) to deliver a package of interventions under the West Lothian Employability Pipeline ESF programme and the West Lothian Social Inclusion ESF Package.

The proposed package of interventions will be delivered up until 31st December 2022.  Projects can apply for any length of funding within that timescale.

The Council have an allocation of £950,000, £200,000 in 2019 and £250,000 per annum in 2020-2022 for additional employability pipeline actions and £200,000 per annum from 2019-2022 for additional social inclusion activity.  The ESF grant will pay 40% of the eligible costs, partner organisations must therefore have match funding available for the other 60%.

Provision required

Employability Pipeline

Proposals are sought which will engage with individuals experiencing more than one barrier to employment and address the following themes:

Provision on Stage 2 of the employability pipeline (Barrier Removal)

  • Proposals that seek to tackle specific barriers experienced by people of working age who are economically inactive or unemployed including people with a criminal record; people with mental health conditions and people on the autism spectrum
  • Proposals which provide a progression route for  young people receiving Activity Agreement support but who require further pre-vocational activity and volunteering opportunities to prepare them for more structured training or employment

Provision on Stage 3 of the employability pipeline (Vocational Activity)

  • proposals that prepare individuals for work including in specific growth and high participation sectors in the regional economy and to address gender segregation within the workforce;
  • Industry specific qualifications e.g. CSCS, SVQ in Construction, Care etc. (non-statutory);
  • Progression preparation - developing skills to source, apply for and secure labour market entry or routes to further development.

Social Inclusion Package

Proposals are required to engage with individuals within one of the key target groups (low income households, workless households, lone parents):

  • Proposals that address mental health related conditions of working age residents in target communities by implementing support to individuals which complement and/or reduces the use of prescription drugs in managing conditions and enables individuals to progress into employability support;
  • Provision of intensive support to excluded and vulnerable families that tackles barriers to existing relevant services; childcare and which links adults into relevant education opportunities

Bids are invited through a two stage process, interested partners should contact West Lothian for the first stage proposal form via ESFchallengefund@westlothian.gov.uk or word icon download the application [730kb]. First stage applications must be submitted by Friday 10th May 2019.