From education to employment

Advanced & Higher Skills in Key Growth Sectors provision in Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area

CLOSED: Advanced & Higher Skills in Key Growth Sectors provision in Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area (OC12S19P1446)

Call to run a project to increase the Intermediate, Advanced & Higher Skills levels, particularly in the LEP Key Growth Sectors in the GBSLEP area.

This call is now closed. Please do not submit an application for this call. The information provided on this page is for reference purposes only.


This call is aimed at increasing the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Intermediate, Advanced & Higher Skills levels, particularly in the LEP Key Growth Sectors. Sectors where there is significant job replacement demand or are key to local business needs will also be considered, where a need and demand for skills progression to Level 3+ can be demonstrated.

The focus on activity should be on targeting and increasing Level 3+ skills levels of residents who live in the ‘more developed’ area of Birmingham and Solihull LEP (Birmingham, Solihull, Redditch, Bromsgrove, and Wyre Forest).

This Call aims to also provide additional support to address skills shortages or needs where there are gaps or specific barriers preventing individual progression from Level 1 and Level 2 and up-skilling opportunities for those in work.

Types of activities:

  • Contribute to the development of access to skills development, potentially through creating a Centre of Excellence or Employer led Work Academy or Skills Academy in one or more of our key growth sectors. Successful models should increase the work-readiness of students and effectively increase private sector and FE/HE collaboration, leading to students better equipped with more relevant skills for workplaces in our key sectors.

  • Develop a centralised Hub for potential apprentices to guide them through the apprenticeship process, as well as providing apprenticeship intelligence, marketing and campaigns for the LEP area.

  • Address wider participation issues by increasing the number of employed women gaining higher level skills in the STEM subjects which will help them to progress in employment and increase their earnings.

  • Support residents in work who may have barriers preventing them from raising their skills levels, including, those from ethnic minorities, those with disabilities and those who are in a single adult household with dependent children. Up-skilling can be achieved through professional and technical education, including apprenticeships and/or academic pathways.

  • Develop a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurialism for all, but especially those aged under 30. This links to the retention of graduates and skills needed to support their sustainable employment in the LEP area. The provision of increased support for this group would impact positively on both enterprise rates and labour market skills levels locally.

  • Address the need for leadership and management and other higher skills training in sectors where the average skills levels of the workforce are low, especially in the LEP priority sectors.

  • Support part-time workers who want to up-skill in order to access jobs/careers which offer full time hours and increased earnings.

  • Provide new delivery methods which will reach learners in isolated rural businesses, including e-learning and local delivery in non-traditional venues, where other mainstream activity is not available.

  • Target financial/bursary support for disadvantaged individuals, specifically for course related costs identified as being a barrier to learning (but not tuition fees, or costs covered by Government grants and loan schemes for learner support packages).

  • Develop in-company training initiatives that capitalise on the specialist industry knowledge in order to provide high quality in-house training to upskill, re-skill and address succession planning issues and avoid a recruitment crisis.

  • Develop work experience placements in technical and intermediate and higher skilled roles in order to gain industry or sector specific experience.

  • Pilot and prime new models for skills development in line with future skills forecast needs/priorities in GBSLEP.

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area.


Approximately £2,000,000 of ESF is available.


Full application deadline: 02 September 2019.

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.

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 [email protected]

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 [email protected]

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 [email protected]. This address should not be used to request technical support.

Published 10 June 2019
Last updated 3 September 2019 + show all updates

  1. Advanced & Higher Skills in Key Growth Sectors provision in Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP area (OC12S19P1446) project call is now closed.
  2. First published.


Related Articles