The Contracting Authority in this procurement is the Secretary of State for Education acting through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (the “ESFA”). The ESFA is an executive agency of the Department for Education, exercising functions to fund adult education and skills.
The ESFA, acting as a Co-Financing Organisation for the European Social Fund (“ESF”), is procuring education and training services to meet priorities identified by Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) area European Structural and Investment Funds Sub-Committees. As a Co-Financing Organisation, the ESFA provides match funding at Priority Axis level utilising sources of funding as match for ESF funded activity.
The invitation to tender is for Priority Axis 1. Priority Axis 1 supports activity to increase participation in the labour market and thereby improve social inclusion and mobility. The ESFA wishes to make ESF Community Grants available in the form of small grants (up to £20,000) to third sector and other small organisations for the purpose of mobilising disadvantaged or excluded unemployed and inactive people to enable their progress towards employment. Organisations that access grants need to be well placed
to reach excluded individuals facing barriers, which hinder their access to mainstream provision Grants will:
engage with marginalised individuals and support them to re-engage with education, training, or employment;
will support a range of activities aimed at assisting the disadvantaged or excluded to move closer to the labour market by improving their access to mainstream ESF and domestic employment and skills provision; and
will provide support to the hardest to reach communities and individuals, especially those from deprived communities, to access employment or further learning and training.