Enhancing equal access to lifelong learning in Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (OC12S19P1277)

Call to run a project addressing barriers to progression in employment and basic skills needs, for employers in the construction industry to enable and drive economic growth in the GBSLEP.


The aim of this programme is to encourage growth in the construction industry through the development and expansion of an appropriately skilled workforce to allow the industry to respond to future business opportunities and major developments as they arise, as well as encouraging employed residents to consider the construction industry as a career and those working in the construction industry to upskill and move forward in their careers.

Funded activity should include:

  • Contributing to the development of new pathways and access to construction and technology skills, potentially through creating a Centre of Excellence or Skills Academy in Construction, which addresses a skills gap for local residents.

  • Developing qualifications in construction and providing payment for CSCS (and other relevant) cards.

  • Addressing wider participation issues by increasing the number of employed women gaining advanced and higher level skills in the construction sector which will help them to progress in employment and increase their earnings.

  • Supporting residents in work who may have barriers preventing them from raising their skills levels, including, those from ethnic minorities, those with disabilities and those who are in a single adult household with dependent children. Assessment will be made of the skills that are needed to enable them to compete for higher level jobs. Up-skilling can be achieved through professional and technical education, including degree apprenticeships and/or the academic pathways.

  • Develop a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurialism for all, but especially for those residents under 25 years old. This links to the retention of graduates and skills needed to support their sustainable employment in the LEP area. The provision of increased support for this group would impact positively on both enterprise rates and labour market skills levels locally.

  • Driving specialisation and innovation forward, as well as improving business competitiveness.

  • Address the need for leadership and management and other higher skills training in construction, particularly where the average skills levels of the workforce are low.

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the Birmingham and Solihull LEP Area.


Approximately £1,000,000 of funding is available.


Full application deadline: 01/05/2019

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 2014-2020.esfapplications@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

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

Contact details

Contact esf.2014-2020@dwp.gsi.gov.uk 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 6 February 2019