Funding

The Department for Education (DfE) is seeking views on proposals to reform technical and academic qualifications at level 2 and below, excluding GCSEs, Functional Skills Qualifications and Essential Digital Skills Qualifications. The consultation follows the call for evidence on level 2 and below study and qualifications published on 10 November 2020 and closes on 27 April 2022.

The Government has published pre-launch guidance about the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). 

This provides further information to local authorities and other partners across the United Kingdom on:

The Government has announced which projects will receive funding through the UK Community Renewal Fund. The £220 million UK Community Renewal Fund will provide funding to help places across the UK prepare for the introduction of the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.

The Fund aims to support people and communities most in need across the UK to pilot programmes and new approaches and will invest in skills, community and place, local business, and supporting people into employment.

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.

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