ESF Equal Opportunities and Sustainable Development Mainstreaming Leader Awards

The awards aim to promote equal opportunities and sustainable development by sharing the award winners’ good practice with other partners.

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The 2007 to 2013 European Social Fund (ESF) programme in England and Gibraltar has closed.

For funding from 2014 to 2020, apply for European Structural and Investment Funds.

The awards aim to promote mainstreaming by sharing the award winners’ good practice with other partners across the programme. They give high profile recognition to those European Social Fund (ESF) providers and sub-contractors who have excelled in promoting equal opportunities and sustainable development. The ESF mainstreaming leader awards were first launched in 2010.

The awards 2014

Nominations for this year’s awards have now closed, we thank you for your applications.

The awards ceremony will be held on 13 November 2014 at this year’s WorldSkills UK – The Skills Show, NEC in Birmingham.

Previous winners

Read about the 2013 winners who received their awards presented at the Birmingham NEC.

Award categories

There are 2 categories:

  • equal opportunities
  • sustainable development.

Between them, the categories have 5 awards for:

  • equal opportunities – policy and plan
  • equal opportunities – specialist projects
  • equal opportunities – gender
  • sustainable development – policy and plan
  • sustainable development – specialist projects

The awards reflect the dual approach to mainstreaming which the ESF programme promotes by:

  • requiring providers to have policies and action plans to promote equality and sustainable development
  • using ESF funds to support a range of specialist projects which either target specific disadvantaged groups or which have an environmental or ‘green’ focus in promoting jobs and skills

This year’s awards again include the ESF Gender Equality Leader Award. This award category aims to give special recognition to projects which have demonstrated good practice in promoting gender equality and especially to those who have helped more women participate in ESF.


Mainstreaming is the process of fully integrating equality and sustainable development into a programme or project operation – see reference to ‘dual approach’ above.

Published 7 July 2014
Last updated 24 October 2014 + show all updates
  1. Published details about this year's awards ceremony - nominations have now closed.
  2. First published.