Funding

The Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) issued revised funding rules for apprenticeship providers last month. These include substantial amendments to the section about apprentices who need access to learning support. 

Learning support funding is available to meet the costs of putting in place reasonable adjustments, as set out in section 20 of the Equality Act 2010, for apprentices who have a learning difficulty or disability as defined in Section 15ZA(6) of the Education Act 1996 (as amended by section 41 of the Apprenticeships, Skills, Children and Learning Act 2009):

(a) the person has a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of persons of the same age, or

(b) the person has a disability which either prevents or hinders the person from making use of facilities of a kind generally provided by institutions providing education or training for persons who are over compulsory school age.

The Register of Apprenticeship Training Providers (RoATP) is about to open for applications from providers wishing to deliver apprenticeships. The register will open for applications on 17 May. Application guidance is available at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/roatp-application-guidance-digital-may-2021

The Government has published its 2021-2022 prospectus for the Community Renewal Fund. The £220m fund is designed to help the UK prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The Government has identified 100 priority places for investment based on an index of economic resilience across Great Britain which measures productivity, household income, unemployment, skills and population density.

The chancellor has announced that £220m will be allocated in 2021-22 to help local areas prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. This falls far short of the £1.5bn currently received through European structural funding though the Chancellor has said that spending will eventually be ramped up to match European funding levels. The voluntary sector typically receives about £500m of such funds each year. 

The UKSPF will replace European Union structural funding following the UK’s departure from the EU. The withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU keeps structural funding until the end of 2020, after which funding that has already been agreed will continue to be paid, but no more applications for funding can be made.

Outlining the spending review today, Rishi Sunak told MPs that the whole of the UK will benefit from the UKSPF, and the government “will ramp up funding so that total domestic UK-wide funding will at least match EU receipts, on average reaching around £1.5bn a year”.

BASE has joined with a coalition of organisations to press the case for better jobs support for young people who have a disability. The recent Plan for Jobs announcements have included employer incentives for taking on apprentices and traineeships but there is no comparable incentive for Supported Internship participants. We're asking for easier access and good quality support for young people on Kickstart, more Disability Employment Advisors and parity for Supported Internships.

The Solent Supporting Employment programme is offering grants for organisations in the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) area with a proven record in employability to deliver new and innovative projects.

£300,000 is available for organisations in Portsmouth for projects which must focus on getting people closer to, or into, employment and be aimed at those from BAME communities, people with disabilities, long-term unemployed and/or individuals marginalised by factors such as mental health issues, age and homelessness.

The Greater London Authority have announced that the £6m capital COVID-19 Emergency Recovery Support Fund (ERSF) application is now live. You can find out more and apply  here. This fund can cover items such as signage, sanitisation stations and barriers etc.

Please note that the application deadline is 4pm on Wednesday 12th of August. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

We have received confirmation that DWP will continue to fund job coaches supporting interns on Supported Internships study programmes in England, Scotland and Wales. The situation will be reviewed in January 2021. We welcome this sensible decision which will ensure that job coaches will be able to be retained for when placements restart.

Big Issue Invest has come together with other organisations including The Key FundResonance, the School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) and UnLtd to deliver £18.7 million in grants, with support from CAF Venturesome, the Young Foundation and Ashoka.

The Social Enterprise Support Fund launched today and is now open for applications until Monday, 20th July. The fund will provide essential financial support between £10,000 and £300,000 to help social enterprises during Covid-19. 

The Chancellor has announced a number of measures to help boost the economy. These include employer incentives to take support traineeships and apprenticeships. Employers will receive £2,000 for taking on an apprentice and £1,000 for taking on a person on a traineeship. BASE has written to the Department for Education to ask whether similar incentives will apply to Supported Internships.

 

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