Post Brexit failure to replace European Social Fund would be "disastrous", says MPs
The future of the European Social Fund (ESF) is a critical issue, which is why ERSA has been leading the charge on replacing ESF after Brexit.
Having convened the cross sector working group jointly with the NCVO last year, ERSA recently requested an inquiry by the Work and Pensions Committee and gave evidence to MPs with frontline providers. The Committee has published their report today, urging the Government to "act quickly so that those excellent existing suppliers are not bankrupted." The report has received over 150 pieces of coverage, including the Independent, FEWeek and the Yorkshire Post.
The Committee calls on Government to:
- Ensure funds are available so there is no gap between existing and new provision
- Establish a new arm's length body, to dovetail grants to existing funding streams so programmes can meet effectively all of their participants' needs
- Retain a separate fund within the UKSPF for employment support for disadvantaged groups and communities
- Ensure flexibility of local funding mechanisms for both longer-term and short-term programmes; and
- Cut bureaucracy for providers, in getting money to projects that work or to new projects that show entrepreneurial skills
- You can read the full report here. The news release is available here, which you can send to local press with your own statement on the importance of ESF provision in the local area.
ERSA will be preparing for the government's consultation on the UK Shared Prosperity Fund later this year. If you deliver ESF programmes, you can highlight their importance at this year's Employability Day on 29th June. Please fill out this form to let ERSA know what you're planning and email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.