CLOSED: 2.2: Improving the labour market relevance of education and training systems call in the Black Country LEP Area (OC01S19P1298)

Call to run a project to deliver activity which directly contributes to the objectives of Priority Axis 2, Investment Priority 2.2 of the Operational Programme, and which meets the local development need.

This call is now closed. Please do not submit an application for this call. The information provided on this page is for reference purposes only.


  • To realise the ambitions for transformational growth in the Black Country, there is a critical need to strengthen workforce skills at all levels and address skills mismatches.

  • There is also a need to improve skill levels within the existing workforce. Upskilling provision needs to be provided in modules of suitable length and offering sufficient flexibility, to enable employers and employees to balance work needs and upskilling commitments. Vocational short courses to help low skilled employees to progress to higher value employment and support for intermediate, technical and advanced vocational provision to support progression in work for all staff will be supported.

  • The brokering of work placements and links to higher level apprenticeship opportunities will support us in retaining graduates and those with higher level qualifications.

  • Applications are encouraged from consortia or other similar types of partnership arrangements. In each such case the application must be submitted by a lead organisation on behalf of the partnership/consortia and the lead applicant must have the financial capacity to meet the required Due Diligence criteria.

  • The activities and types of projects being sought need to be checked against the overall Eligibility Criteria for the ESF Programme and also aligned with the relevant Investment Priority as described in the ESF Operational Programme. Depending on what the activity is – it may be necessary to gain advice on whether the activity is eligible e.g. contacting the appropriate body - BEIS for example regarding Apprenticeships. It needs to be clear what activities the applicant is being asked to deliver and cross checking with the OP to see if there are any verbs which could be swapped out in the Call to more closely align to the OP wording without fundamentally changing the focus of the Call.

  • The Call needs to be specific around proposed activities, to ensure eligibility e.g. reference to food banks – is this supporting food banks (ineligible), or to identify participants to be referred at food banks (eligible)? LEP Leads need to consider all proposed activities in the Call. However, this is an example only and the LEP lead needs to apply a degree of pragmatism.

  • Where appropriate provide a narrative in your covering email to the moderator to demonstrate the clear justification for the activities, or why an exemption is appropriate e.g. High level skills, ILMs etc.

  • Encourage the use of plain English without jargon, which potential Grant Recipients will be able to understand.

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the Black Country LEP Area.


Approximately £500,000 of funding is available.


Full application deadline: 15/05/2019

Completion date

The project must be completed no later than 3 years and 6 months after the proposed start date.

How to apply

To apply for funding under this call you will need to complete and send the Full Application form to the email address provided in the call document. The guidance provides information to help you complete the form.
You are also advised to read the details in the call documents in order to produce an application that complies with the requirements and meets the needs set out in the Operational Programme. All this information, the related guidance and the European Social Fund Operational Programme can be found from our homepage.

Where to send completed applications

Completed Full Applications must be submitted to

Failure to send completed applications to this email address by the deadline in the call specification will be ineligible for consideration.

Contact details

Contact with queries linked to accessing or using the specification, forms, guidance etc. No applications are to be sent to this email address. Completed applications must be sent to the email address provided in the ‘Where to send completed applications’ section above / Section 9 of the Call Specification.

Published 22 February 2019
Last updated 20 May 2019 + show all updates
  1. 2.2: Improving the labour market relevance of education and training systems call in the Black Country LEP Area (OC01S19P1298) project call has now closed.
  2. First published.