CLOSED: Enabling SME’s to engage in Technical Education (OC19S19P1599)

Call to run a project to enable SME’s to undertake strategic workforce planning, which aims to embed technical education in recruitment and training practices.

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.


The activities will help build the capability and skills of the SME workforce and will include embedding mechanisms for attracting new talent to the business, as well as embedding technical and professional education including Apprenticeships.

Activity will align with the Government’s Apprenticeship policy and, however, the project cannot duplicate mainstream and levy funding and cannot therefore fund the delivery of Apprenticeships. It is anticipated that activity will be complementary to that procured under 2.1 through the Education and Skills Funding Agency (Skills Support for the Workforce), which may, for example, enable pre-Apprenticeship training or stand-alone modules which will aid progression in to apprenticeships) and to activity funded via HEFCE to support the development of higher level and degree Apprenticeships.

It is anticipated that the employer engagement and capacity building will align with Lancashire’s priority sectors – to contribute to the pipeline of skills required within the local labour market:

  • Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering
  • Energy and Environment
  • Finance and Professional Services
  • Visitor Economy
  • Creative and Digital
  • Health and Social Care
  • Construction

Applications are encouraged from consortia or other similar types of partnership arrangements.

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the Lancashire LEP area.


Approximately £1.442m of ESF is available.


Full application deadline: 07 January 2020

Completion date

Projects must be completed no later than 3 years and 6 months after the proposed project start date, however the ESF Managing Authority reserves the right to vary the maximum duration in exceptional circumstances. All ESF Projects must be completed by 31st December 2023. Project costs cannot be incurred beyond this date.

Full Application Submission

To apply for funding under this call you will need to complete and submit your Full Application via the ECLAIMS IT System.

Please note: the ECLAIMS IT System can only be access from within the UK.

Full Applications submitted in the ECLAIMS IT System after the call closing date shown above and on the call specification will not be appraised.

If you do not already have access to the ECLAIMS IT system, please request an ‘ECLAIMS External Access Form’ by emailing

You will need to request an External Access Form for each person in your organisation who requires access.

It is your responsibility to ensure you request and activate your ECLAIMS access in sufficient time. We strongly advise that you obtain and activate your ECLAIMS access at least 2 weeks prior to the advertised call closure date, if not sooner.

You are also advised to read the details in the call specification in order to produce an application that complies with the requirements and meets the needs set out in the ESF Operational Programme. All this information, the related guidance and the European Social Fund Operational Programme can be found from our homepage.

The published ESF Online Full Application Guidance also provides step-by-step advice on how to complete your Full Application using the ECLAIMS IT system. ESF Online Full Application Guidance.

Technical Support

If you encounter any technical difficulties completing or submitting your Full Application via the ECLAIMS IT system, please send an email to

The technical support operating hours are Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6pm and it is your responsibility to ensure you seek and technical advice in sufficient time to complete and submit your Full Application before the published call closure date.

The Managing Authority reserves the right to reject applications which are incomplete or not submitted in a timely and compliant way.

Contact details

If you have any questions about the Call Specification or ESF Online Full Application Guidance, please contact This address should not be used to request technical support.

Published 15 October 2019
Last updated 9 January 2020 + show all updates
  1. Enabling SME’s to engage in Technical Education (OC19S19P1599) project call is now closed.

  2. First published.