From education to employment

ESF money will help develop skills and employment training

The government announced yesterday that approximately £1.8 billion worth of European funding will be invested into the UK in the next seven years.

Work and Pensions Minister James Plaskitt made the announcement, following the launch of a consultation on future European Social Fund (ESF) spending. The new ESF programme is said to “support employment and training projects in the Member States of the European Union”, and will “help to extend employment opportunities and develop skills across the country”.

Mr Plaskitt commented on the fund: “This money is a welcome investment in our employment and skills strategies over the next seven years. Our national welfare reforms are delivering results and there are record numbers of people in work, but we still have further to go”.

“The European Social Fund will enable us to provide additional support to people who remain unemployed or inactive in the labour market. In particular, we want to focus the new programme on disadvantaged people who face barriers to work, and people who lack basic skills and qualifications”.

A national ESF programme for England will ensure the money is targeted effectively, while also strengthening the role of Regional Skills Partnerships.

Mr Plaskitt added: “Our aim is to align European Social Fund spending with our successful national and regional employment and skills strategies, so that EU money adds value to and complements our domestic spending.”

Vijay Pattni.

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