New European funding to boost employment and training opportunities
Local organisations across Oxfordshire can apply for grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 from a Community Grants Programme to enable them to support people facing challenges in getting into work or accessing further learning and training.
Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP) set up the Community Grants Programme after identifying specific groups of people that face difficulties in accessing the job market. These include those who are homeless, ex-offenders, people with physical disabilities or long term health conditions, single parents and the over 50s.
Employment levels in Oxfordshire are high, but there is a significant skills shortage in the county that means many companies struggle to recruit staff. Developments like the new Westgate Centre in Oxford will create more employment opportunities, including many entry level positions.
OxLEP’s Community Grants Programme has obtained £387,000 of European funding to prepare people so that they can access these kinds of jobs.
The first round of funding will focus on people who:
- are homeless
- have a recent offending history
- are recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction
- have English as a second language, or
- are refugees who qualify to work in the UK.
The funding for the OxLEP Community Grants Programme is provided by the European Social Fund (ESF) in partnership with the Skills Funding Agency.
The Programme is managed across Oxfordshire by Oxford City Council.
For further information and details of how to apply, visit www.oxford.gov.uk/esf or call Geoff Foulkes at Oxford City Council on 01865 252855.