ERSA has been working on replacement of the European Social Fund for employment, skills and anti poverty programmes since 2016. More recently we have engaged with Ministers, Number 10, DWP and DLUHC arguing that England’s People and Skills be brought forward to 2023. We know what employment support providers can and should be delivering now!
Therefore, we are relieved and pleased to have received this communication today:
“The Prime Minister recently set out a clear direction to focus on building the skills capability of people across the UK, so that they can realise their potential and increase workforce participation rates and our prosperity and productivity as a country.
The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is already well aligned with this goal as the main source of funding to support economically inactive individuals move towards employment. To maximise the impact of the Fund in this area, we will remove the restriction on people and skills spending from April 2023 in England. This will enable lead local authorities to allocate UKSPF funding to any people and skills intervention to an individual, partnership or any delivery partner, during the second and third year of the Fund. Previously, this flexibility was not available in England until April 2024.
We will continue to stand by our pledge to let local places decide what is best for their areas, working closely with key stakeholders, and deploy funds flexibly across the local growth agenda and UKSPF funded employment priorities which are intended to dovetail with the national Department for Work and Pensions offer and other locally delivered complimentary support, including Multiply. To support the effectiveness of this suite of provision for recipients and to minimise administrative burdens on lead authorities and providers, we continue to advise lead authorities to work collectively across broader geographies to ensure the package of employment and skills interventions are fully integrated.
This change will be done with the least amount of bureaucracy as lead local authorities can make these changes through routine end-of-year reporting, no additional notifications to DLUHC will be required”.
ERSA’s work on SPF will continue.
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