Equal Access to Lifelong Learning - Phase 3 - North East Region (OC25S19P1708)

Call to run a project which will help the development of a highly skilled workforce in the North East Region LEP area addressing skills gaps and focusing on key sectors.


The activities proposed in this call will focus around the following areas:

Support for Management, Leadership and Enterprise skills - Support skills provision that delivers an increase in business starts targeted at the smart specialisation and growth sectors; pre-start support; entrepreneurial skills development; and training for innovators throughout their academic and business careers.

Support for employer led skills activities - Focused on SMEs in smart specialisation and growth sectors.

Support skills development for the workforce - Develop skills, including for those newly employed/ low skilled and those facing redundancy; enabling progress or sustainment in work. Focus on low skilled, tackling barriers to employment. Skills refresh e.g. IT skills/specific qualifications to address gaps in emerging technologies.

Support for industry specific intermediate and high-level skills that respond to employer demand and offer flexible responses to emerging and projected skills needs - Focused on smart specialisation and growth sectors”.

Applications which address these priorities are welcome, and in particular those that incorporate the following strands:

  • projects that target those within the workforce who currently lack basic skills
  • projects that ‘upskill’ people at Level 2 to Level 3 to enable scope for progression within the workforce
  • projects that provide support for technical and sector specific skills including Leadership and Management
  • projects that enable women to progress in the labour market.

Sector priorities for this Call:

  • Cultural and Creative Industries
  • Low Carbon, Energy, Utility, Offshore & Supply Chain Logistics
  • Health & Social Care
  • Transport, Logistics & Supply Chain
  • Tourism, Hospitality & Visitor Services
  • Voluntary Community & Social Enterprise (VCSE)

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the North East LEP area.


Approximately £10m of ESF is available.


Full application deadline: 03 March 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 E.CLAIMSSUPPORT@dwp.gov.uk

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 E.CLAIMSSUPPORT@dwp.gov.uk

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 esf.2014-2020@dwp.gov.uk. This address should not be used to request technical support.

Published 10 December 2019