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11.07.03
Learning and Skills Task Force invites new ESF bids

Objective One's Learning and Skills Task Force is launching a new call for bids to the European Social Fund (ESF).

The task force has identified a number of key areas where it wants to see further work during the second half of the Objective One Programme and is asking for suitable projects to be put forward.

Dr Andrew Green, the task force co-ordinator, said: "The programme is now halfway through and much has already been achieved. Now, building on the success of the general delivery, we want to focus on a number of specific needs and home in on them with targeted projects."

Dr Green said interested organisations have two opportunities to apply for ESF investment for projects falling into the areas that have been identified by the Learning and Skills Task Force. The first deadline for proposals is 8th August (expressions of interest to be submitted by 16th July); the second deadline is 8th September (expressions of interest by 6th August).

The areas for which bids are being invited are:

Social economy: projects that recognise the contribution to the economy of not-for-profit community organisations and that can provide such organisations with training in business, management and other higher-level skills
Graduate placement: projects that encourage and subsidise the employment of graduates by small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in order to help the businesses develop and deliver specific schemes
Increasing participation of women: projects that address the 'glass ceiling' by providing women with the skills necessary to achieve higher-level employment positions and projects providing specific research on employment barriers currently faced by women

Dr Green said: "We specifically want to encourage projects that reflect a real demand and would be particularly interested in seeing bids from partnerships that represent both the end beneficiaries and organisations such as training providers."

In addition to asking for projects that will meet these needs, in September the task force will be making a call for bids for projects to set up global grants. Similar to schemes already operated by Cornwall Enterprise and BTCV, these are projects that establish a fund for making small grants to community organisations.

However, any organisation wishing to operate a global grant project will need to meet certain requirements prior to submitting a bid and potential applicants are being advised to contact the Government Office South West (GOSW) now if they wish to make a bid in the future.

Click here to view further information located in the Learning and Skills Task Force section.

Alternatively, any organisation interested in making a bid – or finding out the requirements for a global grant project – should contact Dr Green on 01872 260206 (email: aspgreen@lineone.net) or Janet Woolley at Government Office South West on 01752 635022 (email: jwoolley.gosw@go-regions.gsi.gov.uk).

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Editor's notes:

European Social Fund (ESF)

The ESF is helping develop employment by promoting employability, the business spirit and equal opportunities and investing in human resources.

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Jason Clark
Communications Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Tel: 01872 241379
Fax: 01872 241388
jason@dclark.co.uk

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