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The ESF Community Grants Programme is jointly funded by the Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) and the European Social Fund (ESF) and provides a Fund of £909,091 for small grants to be distributed in the Black Country region between 1 April 2019 and 31 July 2021. The aim of the Programme is to engage with local communities to deliver a range of skills and employment support activities to enable people from the hardest to reach communities, who may be experiencing multiple disadvantages, to make progress towards and enter the jobs market.
The administration of the Programme is managed by Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council (WMBC) who has been selected by the ESFA to act as the Grant Co-ordinating Body. Funded activities must be aimed at participants who are unemployed (more than 6 months) or economically inactive individuals aged 16 years* and over who are more distant from the labour market as a result of their multiple disadvantages and barriers. There is no upper age limit but individuals should be still seeking employment.
Within the target group, the Programme identifies the following priority groups as having particular disadvantage. • Participants aged 50 and over (but still seeking to enter the labour market) • Participants with disabilities • Participants from ethnic minorities • Participants who are Women
Applications should seek to provide support for the priority groups in addition to others who face barriers, for example lone parents, people who are homeless.
*Please note although the programme is able to provide support for 16-18 year olds due to existing NEET activity in the LEP area, applicants will be required to sufficiently demonstrate how support to this age group will not duplicate the work of the Black Country Impact Youth Employment Initiative and other related Programmes.
For more information and to access guidance notes and the application form please click here