From education to employment

Second Regional ESF Programme for London to be Launched in January 2006

A second major programme of European Social Funding (ESF) funding for London is set to be launched on the 23rd of January 2006.

The new round of funding, entitled “Pan London 2” will distribute approximately £35 million of ESF money amongst different projects in London, benefiting Londoners and addressing issues of social inclusion and fighting the skills gap often referred to by the employers. The launch event will be held in the Grand Hall at the New Connaught Rooms in Covent Garden, London, and the Regional Director of London’s Learning and Skills Councils (LSCs) was delighted with the news.

ESF and Objective Three

The ESF funding programme to be launched in January follows on from the first LSC Pan London ESF Programme, which was called “Pan London 1”. This was launched in May of 2004 and currently delivers some £29.5 million of ESF funding. The aims of the ESF programme include helping unemployed and inactive people enter the workforce, providing more opportunities for people at a disadvantage in the labour market, promoting the benefits of lifelong learning and developing the skills of the workforce, and working to improve women’s participation in the labour market and address issues of gender segregation.

The new programme in London will build on the achievements of the “Pan London 1” project, but will be targeted in a different manner. Whilst “Pan London 1” focused on regional project support, “Pan London 2” will fund projects of both a regional and local scope as well as being run regionally.

LSC London Regional Director Grateful for ESF Opportunity

Speaking of the new programme, the Regional Director of the LSCs in London Mr. David Hughes spoke of the opportunity this presented, and the positive impact it could have on London: “The LSC is grateful for this opportunity to build on the first Pan London ESF Programme which has helped 15,000 people into training and supported 250 people into work. Through the PL2 programme the LSC aims to get another 16,000 Londoners into training and another 300 into employment.”

He went on to speak further of the impact this programme will have, saying: “This programme will have a huge impact on peoples lives, giving people chances they may have otherwise not had which in turn will strengthen London’s communities and give employment opportunities to more people than ever.”

Jethro Marsh

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