European Social Fund (ESF) Community Learning Grants

Not-for-profit organisations that help people overcome barriers and gain the skills and confidence to get back into work can apply now for the penultimate round of the European Social Fund (ESF) Community Learning Grants scheme in the North West.

Constituted voluntary and community groups, registered charities, social enterprises and community interest companies in the North West of England can apply for up to £12,000 to fund programmes aimed at people out of work or recently made redundant.

Priority will be given to work that supports:

  • People with disabilities or health conditions (including those with learning difficulties, mental health issues or drug and alcohol dependency problems).
  • People aged 50 or over and seeking employment.
  • People from ethnic minorities.
  • Women.
  • Lone parents.

The scheme aims to support innovative projects and new ways of working. The grants can support a wide range of activities including:

  • Initial help with basic skills.
  • Taster work experience including voluntary work.
  • Training, advice and counselling.
  • Job search assistance.
  • Confidence building and personal development.
  • Support to individuals to overcome barriers to learning or employment.

The maximum funding for any one organisation is £12,000 per annum. A total of £2 million has been made available in 2012-13 to fund projects in the North West.

Preference will be shown to organisations with an annual turnover of no more that £300,000 per year in the last two years.

Due to the high demand for this funding in Merseyside during the first three rounds, all the ESF funding ring fenced for this area has been fully allocated. Therefore, groups in Merseyside will not be able to apply for funding during 2013.

The deadline for Round Four applications is 17 January 2013.

The ESF Community Learning Grants scheme is provided by the European Social Fund and the Learning and Skills Council and administered locally by the Workers’ Educational Association North West (WEA).

Full details can be found on the WEA website (opens in new window).

Source: WEA, 15/11/2012

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