CLOSED: Enhancing equal access to lifelong learning - Intermediate and Advanced (Higher Level) Skills in the Greater Birmingham and Solihull OC12S18P1159

Call to run a project to support employed people to progress at work through achieving higher level skills, to drive growth in their organisation by improving productivity.

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.


This call for proposals aims to support employed people to progress at work through achieving higher skills, and it will drive growth in their organisation by improving productivity. Projects must deliver activity which directly contributes to the objectives of Priority Axis 2.1.

Successful applicants will do so by:

  • Contributing to the development of access to science and technology skills, potentially through creating a Centre of Excellence or Skills Academy in one of our key sectors, for example, Digital Technologies; Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering; Creative Industries; Construction; Life and Health Sciences; Low Carbon & Environmental Technologies & Services; Business, Professional and Financial Services.

  • Addressing wider participation issues by increasing the number of employed women gaining higher level skills in the STEM subjects 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 those under 25. 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.

  • Address the need for leadership and management and other higher skills training in sectors where the average skills levels of the workforce are low, especially in the LEP priority sectors.

  • Contribute to replacement and growth demand, particularly within key sectors such as Digital Technologies and Advanced Manufacturing. Strong international competition means that sustained growth relies on increased productivity and innovation, again needing higher level skills.

  • Contribute to the GBSLEP Priority Growth Sectors: Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering; Digital and Creative Industries; Life and Health Sciences; Low Carbon & Environmental Technologies & Services; Business, Professional and Financial Services; as well as sectors where there is significant job replacement demand or are key to our business needs: Health and Social Care, particularly adult care; Transport & logistics; Retail; Hospitality and Tourism; Construction & Infrastructure; Digital & Tech; Food & Drink; Emerging Technologies.

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the Greater Birmingham and Solihull More Developed LEP Area.

Applications to this call should cover the entire More Developed Greater Birmingham and Solihull area, although smaller applications covering only part of the More Developed area will be considered.


Approximately £7,000,000 of funding is available.


Outline application deadline: 01/11/2018

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 Outline 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 Outline 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.

What happens next

If your outline application is successful, we’ll contact you and ask you to make a full application.

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 7 September 2018
Last updated 2 November 2018 + show all updates
  1. Call Closed
  2. First published.