Call to run a project providing skills development for employed individuals and graduates in the Leeds City Region LEP area.


Upskilling the workforce through the offer of learning and development opportunities is vital across the whole of the region’s economy. This call has specifically been designed to generate interest and applications across all sectors that will augment both the skillsets of individual employees and support business productivity and growth.

This call also seeks proposals that improve the provision of placements and work experience for graduates within SMEs and micro businesses and build the capacity and infrastructure to create such opportunities to encourage life-long learning and training programmes, particularly to support individuals into the workforce or to provide career choice and flexibility within the workplace.

The following is a list of local priorities to address these challenges:

  • Placing an emphasis on the skills supply responding to the demand generated (particularly within the priority growth sectors) and ensuring employees are suitably skilled.
  • Interventions which will ensure the employment and skills eco-system is demand led and skills provision responds flexibly and quickly to the local skills needs generated
  • Identification of business training needs, development and delivery of bespoke solutions for employees of individual firms or groups of companies in order to directly address employees’ skills needs and create a more highly skilled workforce, thereby enabling employers to achieve their growth ambitions. Provision of grant funding towards the cost of learning for employees (primarily accredited but also, where relevant, non-accredited learning) – Please note any activity should ensure it does not duplicate with the LCR Skills Service but adds value.
  • Support for employed individuals to develop the skills needed to progress at work, including leadership and management development.
  • Understanding the skills levels required by employers, and how higher level skills and graduates are better able to meet the business’ needs;
  • Building on best practice to support the role of the employer voice in defining the skills requirement of the workforce. Links with existing groups and organisations should be made, such as; the LEPs Employment and Skills Panel, Chambers of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) and other sector specific groups.

Activity should not duplicate or undermine national policy, including policy on grants of loans; ESF should not be used to fund course fees where a loan is available. Rather, ESF should be used to add value.

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the Leeds City Region LEP area.


Approximately £10m of ESF is available.


Full application deadline: 27 February 2020

Completion date

Projects must be completed no later than 3 years and 6 months after the proposed project start date, however the ESF Managing Authority reserves the right to vary the maximum duration in exceptional circumstances. All ESF Projects must be completed by 31st December 2023. Project costs cannot be incurred beyond this date.

Full Application Submission

To apply for funding under this call you will need to complete and submit your Full Application via the ECLAIMS IT System.

Please note: the ECLAIMS IT System can only be access from within the UK.

Full Applications submitted in the ECLAIMS IT System after the call closing date shown above and on the call specification will not be appraised.

If you do not already have access to the ECLAIMS IT system, please request an ‘ECLAIMS External Access Form’ by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

You will need to request an External Access Form for each person in your organisation who requires access.

It is your responsibility to ensure you request and activate your ECLAIMS access in sufficient time. We strongly advise that you obtain and activate your ECLAIMS access at least 2 weeks prior to the advertised call closure date, if not sooner.

You are also advised to read the details in the call specification in order to produce an application that complies with the requirements and meets the needs set out in the ESF Operational Programme. All this information, the related guidance and the European Social Fund Operational Programme can be found from our homepage.

The published ESF Online Full Application Guidance also provides step-by-step advice on how to complete your Full Application using the ECLAIMS IT system. ESF Online Full Application Guidance.

Technical Support

If you encounter any technical difficulties completing or submitting your Full Application via the ECLAIMS IT system, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The technical support operating hours are Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm and it is your responsibility to ensure you seek and technical advice in sufficient time to complete and submit your Full Application before the published call closure date.

The Managing Authority reserves the right to reject applications which are incomplete or not submitted in a timely and compliant way.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the Call Specification or ESF Online Full Application Guidance, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. This address should not be used to request technical support.

Published 5 December 2019 Contents