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ESF and Match Funding
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What is the ESF?

The European Social Find (ESF) was set up to improve employment opportunities in the European Union and so help raise standards of living. It aims to help people fulfil their potential by giving them better skills and job prospects.

The ESF is a key part of the Europe 2020 strategy for jobs and smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. The ESF helps to equip the workforce with the skills needed by businesses in a competitive global economy.

What is ESF match funding?

The Education & Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) provides funding for skills training through contracts with more than 1,000 colleges, private training organisations and employers in England. They are also a co-financing body for the European Social Fund (ESF), delivering a programme of activity to tackle worklessness and workplace skills issues.

To be able to draw down ESF funding, the ESFA needs to be able to fund an equal amount of similar activity from its own budgets: this is known as ‘match funding’. ESF matches funding on a programme basis, specifically programmes that fall within the scope of their two priorities: tackling worklessness and developing workplace skills. Some apprenticeships fall within this scope and as such are ‘match funded’ or in other words, part funded by the ESF.

Apprenticeships funded from Levy Funding are not subject to ESF match funding.

Apprenticeships funded from Non Levy Funding are subject to ESF match funding.

You can read more information from this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/apprenticeship-funding-rules-for-training-providers/esf-european-social-fund-match-funding-requirements