semlep esif2

SEMLEP'S ESIF Portal - All You Need To Know

SEMLEP and local partners play a key role in determining how European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are invested in the South East Midlands to promote growth, jobs and social inclusion.  

£66 million* of European funding is available for local businesses and communities across the South East Midlands under our ESIF Growth Programme, made up of three different funds: the European Social Fund (ESF), the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). 

You can read more about key priorities and funding available here: SEMLEP ESIF Strategy.

For all enquiries please email

the sterling value may change dependent on exchange rate fluctuations.

Post EU referendum

We have been advised by the Managing Authorities that it is ‘business as usual’.  We have been asked to proceed with reviewing applications for local strategic fit (where applicable) and scoping future calls. 

Applicants for and recipients of EU funds should follow all rules as normal.  In the coming weeks and months, we will be keeping you and local partners updated on any changes affecting the delivery of these projects.



Funding Programmes


SEMLEP has an allocation of around £32million* of ERD funding. ERDF is a fund designed to deliver smart, sustainable and inclusive economic growth:

  • Smart - developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation.
  • Sustainable - promoting a resource efficient, greener and more competitive economy.
  • Inclusive - fostering a high employment economy delivering social and territorial cohesion.

ERDF has a number of different priorities which will enable the programme to achieve its above growth ambitions. The priorities include support to Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) through a number of different funded projects (see below) which are designed to promote investment by businesses in research innovation, in partnership with Research Institutions in Higher education or similar centres. This can then support SMEs to capitalise on innovation and networks, industry groups and clusters.

The fund also has a focus on supporting a low carbon economy, again through a range of projects which would capitalise on renewable energy for the benefit of SMEs, public buildings and housing, with a strong focus on innovative approaches and utilising innovative technology.

Finally, ERDF can also support initiatives that positively impact on the environment, its resources and supporting green eco-systems where there are clear economic benefits, again through supporting SMEs, job creation and green infrastructure.

ERDF can also support existing SMEs and individuals who are looking to start up a new business as part of the programme.

What can ERDF fund?

ERDF activities are funded where there is a lack of suitable provision of private sector, and in some cases the public sector resources to achieve the above programme aims and priorities.

Any ERDF funded project will need to meet stringent national eligibility requirements and fit with local priorities as described in the SEMLEP ESIF Strategy.  You can read more about national requirements in the European Regional Development Fund Operational Programme 2014-20.

ERDF will only fund up to 50% of total project cost; the other half will have to be sourced by the applicant, which in most cases will be cash match, however there are specific rules and guidance covering what can be used as matched funding. 

Indicative activities include:

  • Supporting SMEs, including social enterprises, providing business support and coaching, access to networks, clusters, markets, research and innovations support, business premises, and grants as well as financial products.
  • Supporting research and innovation (in SMEs), promotion of industry and network groups, developing enterprise and innovation hubs, supporting SMEs become investment ready, and supporting collaboration between SME, Higher Education Institutions and public institutions to develop new products, processes and services.
  • Supporting a Low Carbon Economy capital support for SMEs for capital equipment or improving the energy efficiency of the building. Investments in innovative/ demonstration low carbon renewable technology which has achieved the proof of concept process.
  • Supporting the environment and resource efficiency priority, investments in green infrastructure that attract SMEs, and promoting innovative technologies to improve environmental protection.

Embedded within all projects should be equal opportunities and environmental sustainability.

How can I access ERDF?

In the SEMLEP area there is main funding mechanism: open calls. Projects will need to find their own cash match funding. Calls are placed on when open and potential applicants will need to apply in two stages (outline and full application). Further details on how to apply can be found by clicking here for programme guidance.

In January 2017, SEMLEP held a series of workshops to provide information and support to potential applicants interested in ERDF funding.

For more details please see the following information




Forthcoming calls

Normally there will be three calls a year, with indicative dates in March, June and November. However this is subject to the levels of ERDF funding available for each of the priorities so there is no guarantee a call will take place at these times for each priority. 

Who to contact?

In the first instance please contact SEMLEP's ERDF Facilitator by emailing or by calling 01234 436100. 

* the sterling value may change dependent on exchange rate fluctuations.


SEMLEP has an allocation of around £30million* of ESF funding. 

ESF is a fund aimed at people rather than businesses, particularly those who are unemployed or economically inactive; groups who are disadvantaged in the labour market such as the disabled, the over 50’s, lone parents, those who lack basic skills, migrants and so on; young people aged 15-24 who are not in education, employment or training; and those who because of a number of barriers might be socially excluded as well as unemployed. 

ESF can also support those in work and help them acquire basic skills particularly in SMEs; intermediate, higher and technical skills that can help them progress in work and help drive growth in their organisations by improving productivity.

What can ESF fund?

ESF activities must add value to what government is already doing to support people back into work and improve skills in England, and cannot support activities that would otherwise be funded by government or businesses.

Any ESF funded project will need to meet stringent national eligibility requirements and fit with local priorities as described in the SEMLEP ESif Strategy.  You can read more about national requirements in the European Social Fund Operational Programme 2014-20.

ESF will only fund up to 50% of total project cost; the other half will have to be sourced by the applicant or in some cases is provided at source by government departments and other statutory bodies such as the Big Lottery. 

Indicative activities and include:

For Job-seekers and inactive people: pre-employment training in core work related skills needed by employers; preparation for apprenticeships; pre-traineeship and pre-Work Programme assistance; activities targeting women to increase participation in sectors where women are underrepresented.

For young people not in education, employment or training (NEETs) or at risk of becoming a NEET: outreach work to engage marginalised young people aged 15-18 in customised training and volunteering activities; encourage young people aged 15-24 to uptake an apprenticeship or traineeship; brokering opportunities with local employers to take on young people who are NEET.

For the socially excluded/at risk of poverty: activities helping individuals overcome barriers and improve their employability.   Likely activities will include intensive and holistic Interventions addressing the person’s needs such as outreach activities, basic skills, digital literacy, volunteering and training; may target specific target groups and in limited circumstances specific deprived geographical areas (the latter supported through Community Led Local Development activities).

For people who are in employment:  basic skills particularly in SMEs; intermediate, technical and higher skills at level 2 and 3 and above; entrepreneurial/business skills; brokerage of opportunities for learning, work placements, apprenticeships or traineeships, and graduate placements.

How can I access ESF?

In the SEMLEP Area there are three main funding mechanisms: open calls, opt-ins and community led local development.

  1. Open Calls: projects will need to find their own cash match funding; calls are placed on when open; potential applicants will need to apply in two stages (outline and full application); further details on how to apply can be found on programme guidance.
  2. Opt-ins: The Department for Work and Pensions, the Skills Funding Agency and the Big Lottery provide match funding for ESF, which means that projects do not have to find match funding for their projects.  Approximately 70 per cent of the ESF will be distributed through opt-in organisations through a combination of contracts and grants. Each opt-in organisation will have their own procedures for procuring activities using contracts or grants. Each will have a dedicated e-portal for applications. Find out more about the Opt-ins.
  3. Community Led Local Development (CLLD): these are territorial interventions targeting deprived areas; the SEMLEP ESif Strategy has identified Corby and Luton among the eligible areas for this type of intervention.  The key characteristics of CLLD are: local action groups design and co-ordinate delivery of their own local development strategy.  Projects commissioned by the LAG tend to be small and can deliver across a number of priorities. 

Forthcoming calls

The table below provides an overview of the forthcoming calls.  Please note the Big Lottery has invited organisations to go forward to second stage.  

















SEMLEP hosted three half-day events in May and June 2016 to provide information and support to potential applicants interested in ESF funding. 

You can download a PDF of the powerpoint presentation made at these events here.

Who to contact?

In the first instance please contact SEMLEP's ESF Facilitator by emailing or by calling 01234 436100. 

* the sterling value may change dependent on exchange rate fluctuations.


SEMLEP has an allocation of around £4million* of EAFRD funding. EAFRD is a specific rural fund and all projects must be located or deliver outputs in a designated rural area and SEMLEP's allocation currently stands at £4.2m.

Managing authority DEFRA has a number of funding streams within its Rural Development Programme and it is worth noting that whilst ESIF refers to this rural pot as EAFRD, under the DEFRA Rural Development Programme it is known as the Growth Programme.

The rural economy plays an important role in SEMLEP with 25% of people and 35% of VAT registered enterprises based in areas defined as rural. SEMLEP is keen to ensure that our fund resources (ERDF, ESF and EAFRD) are used effectively to maximise economic impact, deliver value for money and support strategic interventions in our rural areas to deliver our vision.

What will EAFRD Fund?

Minimum grant size: £35,000

Grant type: Capital expenditure only

Intervention Rates: These vary but the norm is 40% of the project total cost. 

Call Frequency: Project briefs will be released on a priority by priority basis. The call will normally be open for a period of three months.  For current calls please refer to Appendix B of our Rural Inclusion Plan.  Applications can only be made in response to a ‘call for applications’ for grant funding. The calls for applications will be managed by the Rural Payments Agency (RPA), working with local partners in Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas

Process: Two stage - an expression of interest and, if approved, the applicant will need to complete a full application

Grant Priorities:

  • Business development
  • Food processing
  • Small-scale tourism infrastructure
  • Tourism cooperation
  • Supply chain cooperation
  • Renewables

For further information on SEMLEP priorities please refer to the SEMLEP ESIF Strategy and Rural Inclusion Plan.

Who can Apply?

The eligibility of applicants varies according to the priority that the project fits. The following sets out the range of eligible applicants for the EAFRD (Growth Programme) grant:

  • All micro and small businesses in a rural area
  • New businesses or individuals who want to start a business in a rural area
  • Rural community groups
  • Any public or private bodies working in partnership with rural small or micro businesses or rural community   groups
  • Organisations in charge of tourist and recreational development
  • Some EAFRD priorities are available for ‘not for profit’ organisations and a higher intervention rate may be applicable

Before an application can be submitted for a EAFRD grant, applicants need to register at

Overlapping Areas

Local Enterprise Partnership areas can overlap with another.  In SEMLEP’s case we overlap with:

  • Bucks Thames Valley LEP
  • Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership
  • Oxfordshire LEP

If a project will be in an overlap area, applicants can apply to either of the LEPs. However, applicants can only apply to one LEP area for a project, ie applicants can’t get funding for the same project twice.

Who to contact?

In the first instance please contact the SEMLEP team on 01234 436100. The Rural Board lead is Jane Roemer.

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) manages the grants, working with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs)   and local partners. SEMLEP has a designated RPA advisor Chris Knock.

* the sterling value may change dependent on exchange rate fluctuations.

Live Calls

ERDF - details here

SEMLEP is pleased to announce that new calls for European Regional Development Fund projects worth over £14m are now open.

There are four calls focusing on:      

Priority Axis 1: Promoting Research and Innovation_ total call value £3.7m. For further information please visit Research and Innovation ESIF call for proposals - GOV.UK

Priority Axis 3: Enhancing the Competitiveness of SMEs_ total call value £4.4m. For further information please visit SME Support ESIF call for proposals - GOV.UK

Priority Axis 4: Supporting the shift towards a low carbon economy in all sectors_ total call value £4.5m.  For further information please visit Low Carbon ESIF call for proposals - GOV.UK

Priority Axis 6: Preserving and Protecting the Environment and Promoting Resource Efficiency_£1.6m. For further information please visit Environment and Resource Efficiency ESIF call for proposals - GOV.UK

All calls will cover the new geography of SEMLEP following the merger with NEP.  

Rolling calls for Priority Axis 1, 3 and 4 will be open until October 2017 with fixed review points where projects will be assessed in batches.  The proposed four review points are: 17 February, 30 April, 30 July and 31 October. 

The call for Priority Axis 6 projects will also remain open until October 2017, however projects will be assessed on receipt.

ERDF requires 50% match funding, which can be public or private funds. Minimum application size for applications will be £500,000 plus match funding. The full specification will contain information and links to the requirements and eligibility of the ERDF programme. 

To help potential applicants with the development of project ideas and eligibility requirements, SEMLEP will be hosting an ERDF information event on 26 January at SEMLEP in Cranfield, followed by surgeries in the afternoon.  Colleagues from CLG will be presenting at the workshop as well as being available for the afternoon surgeries. 

Places are limited, to avoid disappointment please reserve your place at the event now [insert event brite] and/or to book a surgery just e-mail or call her on 01234 436100. For the latest information about SEMLEP ESIF Programme please visit and


ESF - details here

ESF Open Calls - two opportunities during April 2017

ESF community grants: supporting people facing barriers to work or training

Voluntary and community groups across the South East Midlands area are invited to apply for ESF community grants of a value between £5,000 to £20,000. Applications for grants are split into two different local authority areas:

Call for: Aylesbury Vale  |  Bedford  |  Central Bedfordshire  |  Cherwell  |  Luton  |  Milton Keynes  |  Corby  |  South Northamptonshire

Applications can be submitted from Monday 3rd April until Wednesday 19th April. Grants will be awarded during week commencing 8th May 2017. 

Call for: Northamptonshire, covering Corby  |  Daventry  |  East Northamptonshire  |  Kettering  |  Northampton  |  South Northamptonshire  | Wellingborough

Applications can be submitted from Monday 10th April until Friday 21st April. Grants will be awarded during week commencing 29th May 2017. 

Grants are administered by Futures Advice, Skills and Employment, jointly funded by the European Social Fund and the Education & Skills Funding Agency. They are available to support projects that help engage and progress opportunities of people who are long-term unemployed and most distanced from the labour market.

How do I apply?

For more information, eligibility criteria and to request an application pack, contact

Information sessions

Futures Advice, Skills and Employment will host two information sessions. Contact them for more information and to register for the event. 

ESF call closing date Wednesday 19 April: Information session to be held on 6 April, in Milton Keynes

ESF call closing date Friday 21 April: Information session to be held on 13 April, held in Daventry.

Person training in automotive company

What type of projects will the ESF community grants fund? 

They can support a wide range of projects and activities including:

  • initial help with basic skills
  • taster work experience including voluntary work
  • training, advice and counselling
  • confidence building
  • job search assistance including the provision of equipment and support to secure employment
  • first contact engagement activities



If you would like to discuss your ESF project ideas or require support, please contact SEMLEP's EU funding specialists: or or call us on 01234 436100.


EAFRD - details here

The following information is in relation to the latest EAFRD live call, a new £5m fund available to businesses in the South East Midlands to help them create new jobs and grow the rural economy

Gov.UK government publications RDPE Growth Programme




ESF Partnerships

Following ESF events in the first part of 2016 we have been asked to notify others about organisations' willingness to be a lead or delivery partner in upcoming ESF calls. Please see the table below. 

Organisation and contact details Background LEAD
ESF Investment Priority Other

Maximus Health and Human Services

First floor, 29 Queen Anne's Gate, London SW1H 9BU

Contact: Graeme Fitzjohn

t: 0203 589 7330

m: 07525 616427


Maximus is one of the Department for Work and Pensions accredited providers of the Work Programme, delivering the scheme in West London and the Thames Valley, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and North East Yorkshire and the Humber.

Maximus has considerable experience providing support to help disadvantaged people back into the labour market and has partnered with governments around the world to provide critical health and human service programmes to a diverse range of communities for more than 40 years.

Maximus operates in the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia through its subsidiary Health Management Limited (HML) Maximus is also one of the largest providers of occupational health services in the UK and carries out these services through a dedicated team of highly qualified clinicians.  In April 2015 Remploy Employment Services left government ownership with the creation of a joint venture between Remploy employees and Maximus.

Lead partner DWP Opt-in  

Learn Direct Ltd

Dearing House, 1 Young Street,

Sheffield S1 4UP

Contact: Claire Anslow, Business Development Manager

m: 07590 487039


30 years experience delivering integrated Employment and Skills provision supporting more than 18,700 customers into work nationally.

Established national and local provider.

Provision strengthened via 110 supply chain partners.

Programmes include Work Programme, Work Choice, Enterprise Mentoring, Skills Development for the Unemployed and the Workforce, Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

Consistent top performing provider for Work Programme in the South West for the last 12 months

Track record of high performing provision and contracts management

Merlin and Matrix graded excellence

Integrated into SFA and DWP systems

Local infrastructure footprint in Milton Keynes and Corby delivering Adult Education budget programmes for 19+

We are looking for delivery partners with geographical coverage across other areas of SEMLEP to Milton Keynes with a good track record of supporting unemployed individuals into work for DWP and SFA provision, a range of employer partnerships and experience of delivering in work progression support.

Lead partner DWP, ESF, SFA, ESF lots 2-4 (SSR, SSW, SSW basic Skills)  


Sandringham Enterprise Hub, 48 Sandringham Drive, Houghton Regis, Beds LU5 5UP

Contact: Lynnette Johnson

m: 07870 581365

Skillsmax is a not for profit organisation that aims to assist those furthest from the local community by providing relevant and effective activities which strengthen the individuals social, life and employability skills.

Specifically, Skillsmax vision is to:

Equip individuals with knowledge and skills to make better informed decisions

Strengthen individuals ability to manage change in their lives

Increase individuals passion for learning

Maximise individuals ability to engage in activities which are rewarding

Our management team have a number of years' experience in the education and training sector and have run a number of successful projects for similar profile groups.  As a team we are able to deliver to targets, to budget, and to the individual needs of learners.  We foster an environment of continual improvement throughout Skillsmax and support all staff and volunteers to reach their potential.

Skillsmax staff come from a wide range of backgrounds, from commercial training, qualified teachers and head teachers, those who have developed skills in community and social settings and those who have been previous candidates.  Skillsmax tutors and mentors are able and willing to talk about their own barriers, challenges and success in order to build project role models for candidates.  All delivery staff are AET qualified as a minimum and are DBS cleared.

Delivery partner Welfare to Work  

ASR Project

157 Biscot Road, Luton, Bedfordshire LU3 1AW

Contact: Rana Miah

t: 01582 431117


ASR Project was established in 2007 to support the different needs of young people and adults.  Specialising in youth work, we are one of the leading Youth and Community Projects in Luton delivering high quality intervention projects.  In 2012 we established ASR Learning Centre to support young people back into education, employment and training.

We have delivered to various target groups such as pre-NEETs, NEETs and adults over a wide range of programmes such as Study Programme, High Level Skills, Skill Support for the Workplace, Youth Contract and Pre-Employment Support.

Approved to deliver a wide range of qualifications to offfer a balanced choice to learners across all levels.

We are currently on the ROTO and looking for opportunities to become deliver partners in areas we have delivered before and also any other priorities.

 Delivery partner  1.1, 1.2, 1.3  

Relate Bedfordshire and Luton

6 St Paul's Square, Bedford MK40 1SQ

Contact: Yasmin Ali, Education & Learning Manager

m: 01234 342503

We have delivered educational courses for 17 years to a variety of target groups including children/young people/people living in supported housing/women returning to work/children's centre staff.

Our training focuses on developing the individual and exploring their relationships whether on a personal or professional basis enables people to set and work towards achieving their goals.

 Delivery partner  SFA/DWP  

Kennedy Scott Ltd

Contact: Louise Evans

m: 07415 258158


 A national provider with a long track record in the welfare to work industry who are specialised in supporting the hardest-to-help back to work.  With hands on contract management experience with DWP and ESF funding, Kennedy Scott has seven subcontractors working on our newest prime Specialist Employment Support helping those with complex needs.  By using our unique Circle of Support model Kennedy Scott help the individual as a whole to look at their individual needs to support them through their journey back to work.

We are looking for potential partners who has proven experience in the welfare to work industry or who use innovative techniques to develop individuals to engage them with the labour market.

Lead or Delivery partner DWP Opt-in  

NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd

Contact: Richard Dearden

t: 0115 9648262

NBV Enterprise Solutions Ltd (NBV) is a not-for-profit Company (Social Enterprise) limited by guarantee and was established in 1982 to promote entrepreneurship and offer on-going support to individuals planning to become self-employed, start their own enterprise, or who are already operating a small business. NBV offers proactive and accessible self-employment, business start-up advice and on-going support to individuals considering starting a business. NBV is a BIS accredited Enterprise Agency and;

* Is an accredited Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) Centre and Training Provider

* Is a fully accredited member of the National Enterprise Network

* Achieved IIP accreditation in 2000 and continues to retain the standard

* Is ISO 9001-2008 accredited and has been since 2003

* Trains customer facing staff in line with nationally recognised standards

* Is an accredited Centre for SFEDI.

As a business support organisation, NBV has a strong tradition of partnership working and has a history of successful contract delivery for such organisations as the Local Authorities, DCLG, Job Centre Plus, Community Groups, DWP, Schools & Colleges and BIS. Offering a flexible mix of outreach, business advice, skills development, mentoring, incubator/work space and networking activities, programmes of support are tailored to meet the individual needs of clients.

NBV would welcome the opportunity to align with partners through delivery of self employment activities to assist clients into work and learning via enterprise based support programmes.

Delivery partner ESF Investment Priority - Any Call requiring self employment and Enterprise based activity  

The TESS Group

Contact: Amanda Twining, Bid & Tender Project Manager

m: 07701 395513

The TESS Group are a learning and development focused training and recruitment provider that specialise in providing relevant qualifications via funding.  Our vision is to inspire people who in turn go on to inspire success. 

We have a proven track record in delivering apprenticeships, NVQs, traineeships, employability training/vocational training to the unemployed, including many priority groups such as NEETs, ex-offenders and the over 50s. We offer a fresh approach to subcontracting.

We are proud of our modern take on things which has allowed us to develop our relationships.  Our reach is nationwide with our head office based in Northampton.  We also recognise flexibility is key - you'll therefore find our adaptable approach is critical to the overall success of our offering.

Lead and/or Delivery partner DWP Opt-in, SFA Opt-in, NEETs and Pre-NEETs, Developing an adaptable workforce, Support for Redundancies  

Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust (NHFT)

Contact: Nicola Oliver, IPS Employment Services Implementation Manager

m: 07507 642815








Northamptonshire Healthcare Foundation Trust provides clinical support for people with severe mental illness.

The Trust has an individual Placement and Support service which supports people with severe mental illness into employment. 

Employment specialists are integrated into the healthcare settings working with psychiatrists, psychologists and nurses to support people into sustainable employment.

We are looking for partners in Northamptonshire to bid for employment and social inclusion themes for adults with mental illness, addictions, forensic history, and homelessness as well as employment and education themes for NEETS with mental health or behavioural conditions.


 Delivery partner Employment Support  


eVolve your Future

Contact: Kay Brockall, Managing Director



eVolve your Future are dedicated to providing high quality information, advice, guidance and training programmes for individuals with wide ranging needs as well as local organisations.

We have an exceptional track record of supporting different cohort groups (many with complex needs) to remove their barriers, enabling them to enter and sustain employment, education or training. This has been achieved through our subcontracted delivery of multiple contracts including Skills Support for the Unemployed, Skills Support for the Workforce, DWP lone parent support, the National Careers Service and ESF Families. 

Central to our success is our established links with over 1,000 employers and stakeholders including the Northampton Chamber of Commerce of which we are a member, and growth sector organisations. Through our 9 years of practice, we have built up and acquired a diverse range of contacts, certifying our embedment within the SEMLEP area. As such, we have the experience, capacity and capability to deliver end-to-end support.


LEAD and/or DELIVERY PARTNER on Open Calls, DWP Opt-ins and SFA Opt-in Support for Redundancies, Support for the Workforce, Community Grants, NEET provision as well as Skills and Employability provision.

 1.1 & 1.2  

University of Bedfordshire

Contact: Eamonn Keenan, Head of CPD and Short Courses


m: 07714 665007









The University of Bedfordshire works closely with businesses, the public sector and social enterprises, helping organisations to grow and develop. We have extensive experience of ESF (and broader ESIF) projects, in both Lead and Delivery Partner capacities, delivering training and skills programmes across the SEMLEP region. We have campuses in Luton, Bedford, Putteridge Bury, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury.

Lead or Delivery partner on:

Open Calls:

Improving the labour market relevance of education and training systems

SFA Opt-ins: 

Higher Level Skills Support for the Workforce/ Developing a Skilled and Adaptable Workforce

Support for Redundancies

Priority 5

Open calls - IP10iv

SFA Opt-in - IP10iii


Bedfordshire and Luton Education Business Partnership trading as Develop

Contact: Jo Barnett

Develop vision is to maximise the skills of those we engage with to enhance their employability skills and opportunities available to them. The organisation offers a range of SEMLEP wide services already and programmes include an extensive Study Programme contract, Work Experience placements for approximately 7000 young people per annum, Traineeships, Adult Skills provision including motivational courses, support for those individuals claiming Universal Credit, Careers Inspiration in Schools, Careers Inspiration in Custody including ex-offender alumni and programmes for schools including Pre-NEET/Key Stage 4 provision

LEAD on the SFA Opt in for NEETS/Pre- NEETs


The Learning Partnership - Bedfordshire and Luton Ltd

Contact: Vanda Bailey, Deputy Chief Executive

t: 01234 851074


The Learning Partnership is at the centre of a network of 150 wide ranging learning providers and organisations in Bedfordshire and Luton and beyond, all involved in developing or delivering learning to their staff, volunteers and to local people across the area.  We are passionate about lifelong learning and believe that every person should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

We provide employability skills and IT training and support to adults 19+ to enable them to move into training and work.  Offering both accredited and non-accredited provision to suit the needs of learners.  We are both an NOCN and City and Guilds Centre for the delivery of qualifications.  Our track record of delivering ESF activity extends to over 10 years supporting most target groups, with specialism in over 50s, BME migrants and those most hardest to reach in the most deprived communities.  We support clients to overcome their barriers to education and training through 1:1 support, guidance and training to gain the best results and outcomes.

We provide careers advice and guidance as an integral part of our offer to all clients.  Our experience and expertise lies in working through and with the voluntary and community sector that we serve.

Delivery Partner for adult skills and employability provision.  1.1  

Diverse FM

Community Media & Training Ltd

Contact: Ashuk Ahmed MBE

m: 0786 786 1947

t: 01582 725500



Diverse FM Community Media & Training Ltd (DFM) is established for over 15 years, as a not for profit organisation registered with the Companies House (Reg no: 5942509)

DFM works across Luton and South Beds (Dunstable & Houghton Regis)

DFM has achieved an excellent track record of engaging and working with, and achieving successful outcomes amongst the disadvantaged people and communities from all backgrounds, including those who are unemployed and facing the most complex barriers to employment due to being NEET, with no/lack of skills and confidence, drugs and alcohol addictions and other social injustices.

DFM use innovative and attractive recruitment, engagement and retention methods, as well as provides a range of attractive resources e.g. radio broadcasting, music and video production and offers over 30 different accredited, vocational and life-skills in-house training programme, which has enabled DFM to achieve 90% retention, 82% progression and over 90% pass rate on all qualifications amongst NEET and other dis-engaged young people.

DFM offers work placement, voluntary work experience and progression through its excellent partnership working relationships with a range of local businesses and other education and training providers.

DFM is a recipient of many prestigious awards, including The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service (MBE for organisation)

We are interested in NEETs (Investing in Young People) Open Call and the forthcoming SFA Opt ins and DWP.

Delivery Partner 1.2  


Contact: Rosemary Turner, Regional Development Manager

m: 07435 970867


Roger Guy, Head of Regional Development

m: 07803 117743


People Plus, part of the Staffline Group, are a leading employment support and training services company helping people to transform their lives and businesses through work, training, education and financial advice.  We help people move into work by enabling them to gain the skills they need to make them employable, providing them with real work experience or helping them onto a traineeship or apprenticeship.  We also have a long track record of helping people to become self-employed and start up their own businesses.  We do this through our work as a prime provider on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions delivering the Work Programme and through our work with the Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund delivering training and qualifications to equip young people with the right skills for a successful career.  We are keen to grow our network and complement our existing supply chain with partners who can provide additional support in areas such as hard-to-reach groups, vocational training and skills development.

Lead or Delivery Partner on any calls for SFA Opt-in & DWP Opt-in.    

The Princes Trust

Contact: Andrew Cawthorpe, Head of Public Sector Partnerships, Central Region

m: 07717 336171

Contact: Lisa Capell, Partnerships Manager, Central Region

m: 07508006975 

The Prince’s Trust Youth charity helps young people between the ages of 13-30 who are long term unemployment, struggling in education or training. Our primary focus is to support individuals who are at the greatest risk in society long-term unemployed, struggling at school, have been in or leaving care and young people who have been in trouble with the law. We help young people develop skills in life, the motivation and confidence to achieve their potential and begin their journey on their chosen pathway. The Prince’s Trust offers a range of programmes across the SEMLEP area, to help young people who are classed at NEET. Since the charity was found in 1976 by HRH The Prince of Wales, we have helped over 825,000 young people and this year we celebrate our 40th anniversary.

DELIVERY PARTNER on SFA Opt-in or Open Call for NEETs/Pre-NEETs  1.2 Might be interested in other opportunities e.g., IP 1.4 and IP 1.1

Workers Educational Association

Contact: Sharon Watson

m: 07966 588317

 Background to WEA

LEAD and/or DELIVERY PARTNER on SFA Opt-in Support for Redundancies and Support for the Workforce (subject to calls publication)


Noah Enterprise

Contact: Warren Edwards, Head of Training and Employment

t: 01582 726152

m: 07976531243

NOAH Enterprise is a charity that seeks, out of Christian conviction, to help the most disadvantaged in the local community. Particularly, it is concerned with providing a practical, empowering and caring service to homeless people especially those who are either temporary or entrenched rough sleepers, those who are marginalised and socially excluded, or those who have simply fallen into poverty.
We provide:  welfare service by providing food, clothing, medical and dental care, street outreach, access to accommodation and income support; opportunities for the people we support and others who are long-term unemployed to gain work experience; run training courses in basic, life and vocational skills, English as a second language, and employment preparation.
DELIVERY PARTNER on Open Calls for NEETs and support into employment 1.1 and 1.2   

English Language House

Contact: Tatiana Vassilakis

t: 01908 694357

English Language House (ELH) is a EFL/ESOL/EAL tuition and training centre. We offer English Language courses for International students; we are a Teacher Training centre for the CELTA and Delta Cambridge English qualifications; we are an ESOL Skills for Life examination centre for Cambridge English (part of the world famous University of Cambridge); we prepare students for the full suite of Cambridge English exams (KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE etc.) as well as IELTS which is required for entry to the university in UK. English Language House is accredited by the British Council, inspected by ISI oversight, a member of English UK and ISA and a Tier 4 sponsor with the Home Office. We are licensed to enrol international students under Tier 4 of the Points Based System.

DELIVERY PARTNER on Open Calls, investing in Young People, Employment for Growth and Active Inclusion; SFA Opt-in NEETs to provide ESOL and Skills for Life

Goodwill Solutions (Learning Academy) CIC
Contact: Tony Knaggs
m: 07917 128797
We are a commercially focused, successful Social Enterprise providing logistics and warehousing services and using our business infrastructure and profits to self-fund and deliver non-accredited training, vocational training, employment opportunities and ongoing learning to the long term unemployed, ex/offenders, recovering addicts, former homeless, over 50’s, ex-military and other “hardest-to-help” people across Northamptonshire in order to improve their ability to gain paid  employment and re-enter the labour market with confidence. Our proven ‘back-to-work’ programme has successfully supported 400+ people to date, of which 65+% have secured employment and 55% have remained in post for more than 12months. In 2014 we supported 102 clients with 64 achieving employment within 8 weeks of completing our programme. We are looking for partners across SEMLEP to bid for employment, business support and social inclusion themes.
LEAD and/or DELIVERY PARTNER on Open Calls , DWP Opt-ins and SFA Opt-in Support for Redundancies and Support for the Workforce (subject to calls publication  1.2; 1.1; 1.4  

Action 4 Youth

Contact: Sharon Robertson

t: 0845 600 9731

m: 07936 821854

Action 4 Youth is a children and young people’s charity working across Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes since 1946. We offer infrastructure support to voluntary youth organisations, direct delivery with pre NEET and NEET young people to support them back into education, employment or training and the National Citizen Service, we also manage two outdoor education centres, one based on Milton Keynes and its sister site in Sedburgh, Cumbria. We would be interested in being a delivery partner We are interested in NEETs open call and the forthcoming SFA Opt ins and DWP

DELIVERY PARTNER In NEETs open call and the forthcoming SFA and DWP Opt ins

1.1 and 1.2   

The Consultancy Home Counties Limited

Contact: Michael Schneider, Business Development Director

m: 07720090208

TCHC is a specialist skills and employability support organisation with a demonstrable track record for reaching out to and engaging young people and adults and helping them to overcome barriers to education and employment and achieve positive outcomes. We work in partnership across the public, private and voluntary sectors to engage individuals, particularly those from hardest-to-reach backgrounds. 
TCHC are currently the most successful provider of the EFA Youth Contract and over the last 4 years supported over 4,600 young people who are NEET, with over 3,300 being re-engaged in education, employment or training. Through regional programmes, such as the SFA funded Skills Support for the Unemployed and Skills Support for Redundancy we have, since 2012, supported in excess of 20,000 individuals aged 19+ who were either unemployed or were facing the risk of redundancy. 
TCHC have a good record of leading and managing ESF provision through our previous similar contracts held with the SFA, DWP and local authorities. To date, our systems have collectively stored and retained information for contracts worth in excess of £35 million and learner records reaching well over 100,000.
In July 2014, TCHC achieved a GOOD mark at the MERLIN assessment (at 81% only 4% off from an overall Excellent grade, which we achieved under the ‘Supply Chain Design’ section).

Lead and/or delivery partner for NEETs and Adult Skills & Employability Provision (SFA and DWP Opt-ins)

1.1 and 1.2  
Oxfordshire Youth (registered charitable incorporated organisation 1151723)
First Floor, Bury Knowle Coach House, North Place, Headington, OX3 9HY 
Contact: Jodie Leftwich
t: 01865 767899
m: 07718 476074
Oxfordshire Youth (OY) is one of Oxfordshire's leading youth charities providing opportunities for young people to be the best they can be. In existence for over 65 years and has a strong track record in its support for members and its direct work with young people in Oxfordshire.  OY has created an innovative Young Leaders programme for young people aged 14+ and believe this would be a fantastic addition to the work supporting NEET and pre NEET young people. Please see our website for further information: DELIVERY PARTNER in Open Calls and SFA Opt-in Cherwell area of SEMLEP and offer the Young Leaders through licensing in other areas 1.2  
Black Country House, Rounds Green Road, Oldbury, West Midlands, B69 2DG
Contact: Paul Welch
The Prospects Group is a dynamic and enterprising organisation providing a wide range of tailored education, employment, training and care products and services in the UK and internationally. At the heart of what we do is the drive to improve the life chances, skills and aspirations of everyone we support.  Each year we work with more than 500,000 young people and adults through our extensive range of high quality services. The Prospects Group has an annual turnover in excess of £80million and employs more than 1400 skilled and professional staff. LEAD on SFA, ESF and NEET Calls  1.2  
Training 4 U Services (UK) Ltd
Suite 205, Chaucer House,
134 Biscot Road, Luton, Beds, LU3 1AX
Contact: Mohammed Islam, Centre Manager
t: 01582 455888
m: 07449322190
We deliver apprenticeships, work place learning, traineeships, study programme (16-18) and for the unemployed (19+). We currently have over 40 different qualifications available from Pre Entry Level – up to Level 4. We are on the register of training organisation (ROTO) and matrix standard approved. We are looking for partnership work in any areas we already cover and happy to look at any other opportunities DELIVERY PARTNER in Open Calls , DWP Opt-ins and SFA Opt-in 1.2; 1.1; 1.4; 2.1  


ESIF Events

Sign up today

There are currently no events taking place.

ESIF Documents and Strategies

​ESIF Committee

ESIF Briefings

ESIF Strategy

EAFRD Map of Rural Areas

Sign Up For Updates

ESIF Sign Up For Updates