CLOSED: Higher Skills in STEM and Key Sector Areas in the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP area (OC32S18P1138)

Call to run a project to address skills gaps for leadership and management training. Improving access to science and technology skills, develop an enterprise and entrepreneurialism culture linked to graduate retention and replacement and growth demand of Higher Level Skills.

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 aims to Enhance equal access to lifelong learning for all age groups in formal, non-formal and informal settings, upgrading the knowledge, skills and competences of the workforce, and promoting flexible learning pathways including through career guidance and validation of acquired competences. Projects must deliver activity which directly contributes to the objectives of Priority Axis 2.1.

Successful applicants will do so by:

  • Addressing skills gaps for leadership and management training for those who are currently in this type of role without receiving the appropriate training or those that have aspirations to progress into these roles, and other higher skills training in sectors where the average skill levels of the workforce are low.

  • Identifying ways to improve access to science and technology skills, potentially by creating a centre of excellence in one of the SSLEP key sectors.

  • Establishing ways to develop a culture of enterprise and entrepreneurialism which should be linked to the retention of graduates in the city and the county; the provision of support must impact positively on both enterprise rates and labour market skill levels, especially Level 4 and above.

  • Activity must contribute to replacement and growth demand, for higher level skills, particularly within the SSLEP key sectors where international competition means that sustained growth relies on increased productivity and innovation and therefore will need a workforce with Level 4 and above skills in the future.

  • Addressing wider participation and progression within work issues, through activity that increases the number of employed women gaining higher level skills in STEM subjects, particularly activity which focusses on increasing the number of higher apprenticeship starts in the area.

  • Identifying barriers that those in work may experience which prevents them from raising their skill levels, and putting in place support activity which will increase the number of people starting Level 4 qualifications, specifically those from ethnic minorities, those with disabilities and those who are in a single adult household with dependent children. Up-skilling can be achieved through professional and technical education including higher degree level apprenticeships and/or the academic route.

For more information, download the call specification.


The project must cover the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire LEP Area, although smaller applications covering only part of the area will be considered.


Approximately £5,000,000 of funding is available.


Full application deadline: 20 September 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 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 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.

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 12 July 2018
Last updated 21 September 2018 + show all updates
  1. Call has now closed.
  2. First published.