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AIR ESF OBJECTIVE Revaluation

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AIR ESF OBJECTIVE  Revaluation Powered By Docstoc
					        ESF 2000-2006
        OBJECTIVE 3
OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR
  ENGLAND AND GIBRALTAR
      (1999GB053PO003)
ANNUAL IMPLEMENTATION REPORT
            2005
          June 2006




              1
ESF 2000-2006 OBJECTIVE 3
OPERATIONAL PROGRAMME FOR ENGLAND AND GIBRALTAR
ANNUAL IMPLEMENTATION REPORT 2005

CONTENTS                                                            PAGE
1. Introduction and Summary                                         4
1.1 Introduction                                                    4
1.2 Overview                                                        4
1.3 Background to ESF and England Objective 3 Programme             6
1.4 Background to the report                                        7
2. Labour Market and Policy Context (Changes in general             8
conditions relevant to implementation)
2.1 Update on Socio-economic Trends                                 8
2.2 Policy Developments                                             18
3. Programme Performance (Implementation of policy fields and       31
measures, including expenditure and progress against
indicators)
3.1 Progress by Policy Field and Measure                            31
3.2 Quantification of Outputs                                       33
3.3 Global Grants                                                   49
3.4 National Projects                                               54
3.5 Central Projects                                                54
3.6 Major Projects                                                  58
3.7 Horizontal Themes: Equal Opportunities, Local Development and   58
the Information Society
3.8 Modifications to the Programme Complement                       61
3.9 Financial Engineering Techniques                                61
4. Programme Management (Steps taken by the managing                62
authority and Monitoring Committee to ensure the quality and
effectiveness of implementation)
4.1 Programme Monitoring Committee                                  62
4.2 Regional Committees                                             62
4.3 Regional Development Plans                                      66
4.4 Monitoring Systems and Data Collection                          68
4.5 Financial Control                                               73
4.6 Evaluation                                                      77



                                       2
4.7 Technical Assistance                                             82
4.8 Publicity                                                        84
5. Links with Other Community Policies (Steps taken to ensure        92
compatibility with Community policies and other structural
assistance)
5.1 Co-ordination with Other Funds and Complementarity with          92
Objective 2
5.2 Contribution to the European Employment Strategy, Employment     95
Guidelines, and Recommendations
5.3 Contribution to the Social Inclusion Plan                        104
5.4 Compatibility with Community Policy on the Award of Public       107
Contracts
5.5 Conformity with Competition Rules                                107
5.6 Compatibility with Community Policy on Equality between Men      107
and Women
5.7 Links to the Equal Community Initiative                          108
5.8 Compatibility with Community Policy on Sustainable Development   109
and Environmental Protection
5.9 Enlargement assistance to new Member States                      110

Annexes
A. Operational Programme Policy Fields and Measures                  111
B. Employment Guidelines 2003                                        114
C. Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Action Plan                     115
D. Evaluation Strategy                                               128
E. Technical Assistance Strategy                                     156
F. Publicity and Communications Strategy                             159
G. ESF Publicity in 2005                                             166
H. 2000-2006 England Objective 3 Monitoring Committee Papers in      167
2005
I. List of approved Co-financing Organisations                       168




                                        3
SECTION 1: INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY

1.1 Introduction

This report describes the implementation in 2005 of the European Social Fund
(ESF) Objective 3 Operational Programme for England and Gibraltar
(1999GB053PO003). The programme runs for seven years from 2000 to 2006
and is designed to add value to the UK‟s policies to achieve employment
opportunities for all.1

1.2 Overview

Labour market and policy context

Section 2 reports on labour market trends and policy developments over the
course of 2005. The UK economy continued to perform well in 2005 and grew
by 1.8%. This stable macro-economic performance allowed steady
employment growth over the year. The labour market proved remarkably
resilient in the face of sluggish world economic growth, with employment
around record levels and unemployment near a 25-year low.

ESF has continued to add value to the Government‟s strategies to promote
and support a flexible labour market. By pursuing these strategies, the
Government has increased the level of employment year on year and is
seeking to improve employment prospects for all. The Government‟s welfare-
to-work strategy encourages work for those who can and provides support for
those who cannot. ESF support is targeted at people who are unemployed,
inactive or at a disadvantage in the labour market.

ESF has also added value to the Government‟s skills strategy. This strategy
aims to enable all young people to develop and to equip themselves with the
skills and knowledge needed for life and work. It also aims to encourage and
enable adults to learn, improve their skills and enrich their lives. In particular,
ESF is helping to improve participation and attainment in learning among
people without qualifications or with low skills.

Programme performance

Section 3 reports on the progress of the programme in 2005 by policy field
and measure. The programme achieved its 2005 N+2 expenditure target of
€2,999,533,014. Since 2000, the programme has helped over 2.3 million
people. The number of people leaving the programme and going into work
was slightly higher than forecast (44% compared to the forecast of 41%). The
proportion of beneficiaries who completed their courses was also better than
originally forecast with 86% achieved in December 2005 compared to 75%
forecast.


1
 Funding is made available to the programmes through the 2000-06 EU Financial Perspective.
However, project activity can continue until 2008.



                                                4
Equal opportunities, the information society and local development are
important horizontal themes within the programme. A number of equal
opportunities workshops were run during the UK Presidency ESF conference.
At regional level, a number of regions prepared enhanced guidance on equal
opportunities for their regional websites and offered training in sustainable
development for ESF partners.

Programme management

Section 4 describes how the programme was managed to ensure its effective
implementation. Financial and monitoring data were collected from all projects
and this provided the basis for the managing authority and Government
Offices to monitor the progress of the programme and projects.

The principle of partnership has underpinned the implementation of the
programme. Partners were represented on the England Monitoring Committee
and regional committees, which met regularly to oversee the management of
the programme at national and regional levels. They also participated in
working groups on evaluation, equal opportunities and national projects. The
European Commission has continued to offer valuable support and advice on
the development of the programme.

Sound financial control mechanisms were operated in line with Regulation
438/2001, and the monitoring system was enhanced in response to the
recommendations of Commission audits. The inspection programme has
continued to make good progress, with over 10% of cumulative expenditure
covered by annual financial and management audits, exceeding the target of
5%.

During 2005, publicity activity focused increasingly on promoting the
achievements of the programme. The centre piece of publicity activity in 2005
was the UK Presidency ESF at Work in Manchester, which was addressed by
Commissioner Spidla and James Plaskitt MP and was attended by nearly 500
partners from across the United Kingdom and EU Member States.

Links with other Community policies

Section 5 describes how the programme contributed to other Community
policies. Arrangements continued to operate to ensure that Objective 3
funding was used effectively in Objective 2 areas. The programme fulfilled the
regulatory requirement to contribute to the European Employment Strategy by
supporting activities described in the UK National Reform Programme and
addressing the Employment Recommendations to the UK. It also supported
labour market inclusion measures described in the Social Inclusion Action
Plan. It has also conformed to Community rules on competition and the award
of public contracts, and taken account of Community policies on equal
opportunities and sustainable development.




                                      5
1.3 Background to ESF and the England Objective 3 Programme

The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of four Structural Funds designed to
strengthen economic and social cohesion in the European Union. The three
other Structural Funds are the European Regional Development Fund
(ERDF), the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF)
and the Financial Instrument for Fisheries Guidance (FIFG).

The purpose of ESF, defined in the ESF Regulation, is to support Member
States‟ activities to improve their labour markets and human resources, as set
out in National Reform Programmes. It defines five priorities areas or „policy
fields‟ for ESF support:

      developing active labour market policies;

      promoting equal opportunities in the labour market;

      promoting lifelong learning;

      developing a skilled, trained and adaptable workforce;

      improving the position of women in the labour market.

ESF is channelled through the three Structural Fund objectives and the Equal
Community Initiative:

      Objective 1 promotes the development and structural adjustment of
       regions whose development is lagging behind.

      Objective 2 supports the economic and social conversion of areas
       facing structural difficulties including industrial, urban, and rural and
       fisheries areas in decline.

      Objective 3 supports the adaptation and modernisation of policies and
       systems of education, training and employment. It also provides a
       „policy frame of reference‟ for all Structural Fund activities to develop
       human resources.

      Equal supports transnational co-operation to promote new means of
       combating discrimination and inequality in the labour market.

The Objective 3 Programme for England and Gibraltar covers the whole of
England except the Objective 1 areas of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly,
Merseyside and South Yorkshire. There is €4.29 billion available in 2000-06.
The Programme‟s policy fields and measures are listed at annex A.

There are separate Objective 3 Programmes in Scotland and Wales. All three
national programmes operate within the Objective 3 Community Support
Framework for Great Britain.




                                         6
1.4 Background to the Report

The report is submitted in accordance with Article 37 of Council Regulation
1260/1999 of 21 June 1999 laying down general provisions on the Structural
Funds. It reports on the implementation of the England Objective 3
Operational Programme in the calendar year 2005.

The report has been approved by UK Ministers who have continued to take a
close interest in the effective operation of the programme and its contribution
to their policy initiatives. Members of the England Monitoring Committee have
had the opportunity to comment on the report.

The report was prepared by European Social Fund Division (ESFD), the
managing authority for the programme, which is part of the Joint International
Unit of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and the Department for
Education and Skills (DfES). The DWP aims to promote opportunity and
independence for all. One of its key objectives is to promote work as the best
form of welfare for people of working age, while protecting the position of
those in greatest need. The DfES aims to help build a competitive and
inclusive society by creating opportunities for everyone to develop their
learning, releasing potential in people to make the most of themselves, and
achieving excellence in standards of education and levels of skills. ESF
supports many of the policy initiatives of both departments.

The report also draws on information from the Government Offices in the
regions of England which have delegated authority for many operational
management issues within their areas. It also incorporates analysis from the
independent ESF Evaluation Team and from other teams in the Analytical
Services of DWP and DfES.




                                       7
SECTION 2: LABOUR MARKET AND POLICY CONTEXT

2.1 Update on Socio-economic Trends

2.1.1 Overview

The UK economy continued to perform well in 2005 and grew by 1.8%. This
stable macro-economic performance allowed steady employment growth over
the year. The labour market proved remarkably resilient in the face of sluggish
world economic growth, with employment around record levels and
unemployment around near a 25-year low. In this context, the ESF
programme‟s strategy of targeting people who remain unemployed or inactive,
and who lack qualifications and skills, continued to be relevant.

2.1.2 Active labour market policies2

Employment

At the start of 2006 (the November 2005 to January 2006 quarter), there were
23.2 million people of working age in employment in England. This represents
74.7% of the working age population. Employment overall has increased by
150,000 between January 2005 and January 2006 (working age employment
increased by 46,000).

Men remain more likely than women to be in work. At the start of 2006, 79.2%
of working-age men were in work in England compared to 69.8% of women.
However, this gender gap has been narrowing over the last few years. Female
employment has grown by about 4 percentage points since 1995, male
employment by 3 percentage points.

Employment rates vary considerably by age. Those aged 25-49 are the most
likely to be in work, with 81.6% employed in autumn 2005. This compares to
an employment rate of 71.3% amongst those aged 50 to the state pension
age (SPA) and 64.4% amongst those aged 18-24 years old.

Between January 2005 and January 2006, employment rates for the working
age population increased in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and London, and
decreased elsewhere. The East Midlands saw the strongest increase of 0.9
percentage points.




2
  Data is seasonally adjusted. All levels refer to those aged 16 and over, unless otherwise indicated.
Employment rates are given as a proportion of those of working age, ILO unemployment rates as a
proportion of the economically active.



                                                  8
Employment levels and rates in England
  24,000,000                                                              76%

  23,500,000                                                              75%

  23,000,000                                                              74%

  22,500,000                                                              73%

  22,000,000                                                              72%

                                                    Level   Rate
  21,500,000                                                              71%

  21,000,000                                                              70%

  20,500,000                                                              69%

  20,000,000                                                              68%
          rin 94




          rin 97




          rin 00




          rin 03
                    93




                    96




                    99




                    02




                    05
                     2




                     5




                     8




                     1




                     4
                     2




     Su n 5




                     8




                     1




                     4
         in 99




         in 99




         in 99




         in 00




         in 00
                  99




                  99




                  99




                  00




                  00
      Sp r 19




      Sp r 19




      Sp r 20




      Sp r 20
       m 19




       m 19




       m 19




       m 20




                 20
                 1




                 1




                 1




                 2




                 2
     Au er 1




     Au er 1




     Au r 1




               r2




               r2
     Su n




     Su n




     Su n




               n
               g




               g




               g




               g




               g
              e




              e




              e




              e
            te




            te




            te
           m




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           m




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          rin




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          m




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          m
            t




            t
        tu




        tu




        tu




        tu




        tu
      Sp

      W




      W




      W




      W




      W
     Au




     Au
Source: Labour Force Survey, not seasonally adjusted.


Government office regions differ significantly in their employment rates.
London and the North East have the lowest employment rates at 69.7% and
69.6%, the South East the highest with 79%. However, as there tends to be
much greater local variation in employment rates, differences are much larger
within rather than between regions.

Unemployment

The ILO unemployment rate increased from 4.7% to 5.1% in January 2006.
Unemployment levels went up by 120,000 to 1.3 million people. England still
has one of the lowest unemployment rates in international comparisons. In
December 2005, the claimant count stood at 751,100, down 71,000 compared
to five years ago.

Men are more likely to be unemployed than women on both measures. The
ILO unemployment rate for men was 5.3% in January 2006, compared to
4.8% for women. This gap actually decreased over the year, with both the
male and female unemployment rate increasing, but male unemployment by
0.3% and female unemployment by 0.5%

Unemployment also varies by age. In autumn 05, 12.4% of economically
active 18-24 year olds were ILO unemployed, compared to 3.6% of 25-49
year olds and 3.1% of those aged 50-SPA.

The spread of unemployment rates across regions has remained broadly
stable over 2005, on both measures. In January 2006, ILO unemployment
rates varied between 3.9% in the South West and 7.5% in London and the
North East, a gap of 3.6 percentage points.



                                              9
ILO unemployment rates have increased in all the government office regions.
The biggest increase was in the North East with 1.1 percentage points and the
smallest increase was found in London and the South East with 0.1
percentage points.

Regional unemployment rates working age, autumn 04 & 05, not seasonally adjusted
 10%

  9%
                                                                                Autumn 04
  8%
                                                                                Autumn 05
  7%

  6%

  5%

  4%

  3%

  2%

  1%

  0%
        North    North   Yorks &     East      West      Eastern   London   South   South   England
        East     West    Humber    Midlands   Midlands                      East    West

Source: Labour Force Survey, October - December


As with employment, variations in unemployment rates across England are
much larger at the local rather than the regional level. The highest claimant
unemployment rates tend to be in inner cities, particularly some areas of
London, as well as some coastal resorts and a few ex-coalfield sites.

Exit rates from unemployment

The English labour market is highly diverse and very dynamic. It generates a
great variety of jobs across the country. In turn, this means that there are a lot
of opportunities for unemployed people to take up work. This is reflected in the
highly fluid nature of unemployment in England. In 2005, 2.04 million people
flowed into unemployment while 1.93 million left it - both much larger than the
total stock of around 700,000 Jobseeker‟s Allowance (JSA) claimants at
anyone point in time in 2005.

The active nature of the JSA regime - with claimants required to look for and
take up work as a condition of receiving benefit - means that unemployed
claimants tend to move off benefits very quickly. In general, 60% of those
making a new claim for JSA leave within the first three months on benefit and
over three-quarters within the first six months. Just one-in-twenty are still on
benefit a year after first claiming JSA.

Long-term unemployment

Long term unemployment is low in England – about one fifth of people who
are unemployed have been in that state for 12 months or longer. New Deal
programmes for those who have been on JSA for several months help reduce
long-term unemployment. For example, the New Deal 25+ is a mandatory


                                                 10
programme for people who have been unemployed for more than 18 months
(six months for people under 25).

Unemployment and long-term unemployment (GB)
3,500


3,000

                                                              Unemployment
2,500
                                                              Unemployment for 12 months
                                                              and over

2,000


1,500


1,000


 500


   0
Mar-May 1992 Mar-May 1994 Mar-May 1996 Mar-May 1998 Mar-May 2000 Mar-May 2002 Mar-May 2004

Source: Labour Force Survey, not seasonally adjusted


Inactivity & Unemployment

Even though unemployment has declined considerably over time, inactivity
has been fairly stable and now stands at 21.2%. This consistently high level of
inactivity poses various problems in the labour market. People who have been
out of work for a long time tend to have problems integrating back into the
workforce, especially those who have been reliant on benefits for a long time.
Unemployment versus Inactivity since 1992
 11%                                                                                              24%

 10%                                                                                              23%

   9%                                                                                             22%

   8%                                                                                             21%
   7%                                                                                             20%

   6%                                                                                             19%
   5%                                                                                             18%

   4%                                                                                             17%
         1992         1994         1996         1998         2000          2002            2004

                        Unemployment (LHS)                      Inacitivity (RHS)
Source: Labour Force Survey

Incapacity Benefit(IB) claims, after years of continuous rise, have finally
started to stabilise in the last few years and have seen a slight fall recently.
About 2.1m people in England are currently claiming IB. Although fewer
people make claims to IB these days, people tend to stay on it longer. After



                                                      11
more than two years on IB, the probability of returning to work becomes very
low. Major policy initiatives have started to focus on the Incapacity Benefit
problem; including the recent welfare reform green paper (published January
2006), Pathways to Work Pilots and the New Deal for Disabled People.

2.1.3 Equal opportunities for all and social inclusion

Although employment is at very high levels overall and unemployment still
near its 25-year low, there are some groups who continue to struggle to
compete effectively in the labour market. As well as women, young people
and older people described above, these include people on inactive benefits,
particularly lone parents and disabled people, people from ethnic minority
groups and people with no or low qualifications. These are target groups for
ESF support.

People with a health condition

More than 2.1 million people in England are on IB. This is equivalent to
roughly 7% of the working age population. Many recipients are on the benefit
for a very long time – in the UK, about one third of the caseload has been on
the benefit for 8 or more years. This does not mean that everyone who starts
claiming will be there for a long time though: about 60% of those who started
to receive IB in 2004 left within a year.

Generally, the longer a person is on IB, the less likely they are of leaving the
benefit scheme again. However, most people, up to 90%, who come onto the
benefit, are planning to return to work at some point in the future. Incapacity
benefit recipients have quite diverse characteristics – about 40% are women,
and people are from all age groups.

Lone parents

The lone parent employment rate has improved a lot over the last few years;
currently it stands at 56.6% in England, compared to 45.7% in 1997. Today,
870,000 lone parents are in work, 270,000 more than in 1997. However, lone
parent employment still lags behind the general employment rate of 74.7%.
Also, in international comparisons, the UK tends to lag behind other
industrialised countries. This has implications for poverty and deprivation, as
most workless lone-parent households tend to have low incomes.




                                       12
Graph – one parent employment and lone parents on Income Support

    900,000                                                                                           65%

    850,000

    800,000                                                                                           60%

    750,000

    700,000                                                                                           55%

    650,000

    600,000                                                                                           50%

    550,000

    500,000                                                                                           45%

    450,000

    400,000                                                                                           40%
                  1999        2000         2001        2002            2003      2004          2005

                                 LPs Employment            LPs on IS          % of LPS on IS




Source: DWP Information Directorate: Work and Pensions Longitudinal Study.


Ethnic minority groups

The ethnic minority employment rate stands at 59.2%, so there is a gap of
more than 15 percentage points to the overall rate. ILO unemployment stands
at 10.3% in the UK for ethnic minorities, which is only about 5 percentage
points higher than the average. Therefore, the main problem is high levels of
inactivity.

The ethnic minority working age population has grown over time; now about
11% of the working age population in England are non-white. The regional
variation is very high, as the composition of the population is very different in
the English regions. London stands out as about one third of its working age
population belongs to ethnic minority groups.

Employment rates also vary a lot depending on which ethnic minority
someone belongs to. There are large cultural differences, and for many ethnic
minority groups the differences between male and female employment rates
are very large. Indian and Black Caribbean groups tend to have relatively high
rates and Pakistani and Bangladeshi people tend to have quite low rates.

2.1.4 Lifelong Learning

Qualifications

Over the last decade, there has been a significant increase in the proportion
of the population of working age in England holding recognised qualifications
which has continued a trend since the early 1980s. In autumn 2005, 12.9% or
3.9 million people of working age in England had no qualifications. There has
been a reduction in the proportion of people of working age with no


                                                  13
qualifications since 2004 (from 13.4 per cent), and there has been a 2.6
percentage point decrease since 1999. This is the equivalent of 656,000
fewer people with no qualifications over 6 years. People who are unemployed
are more than twice as likely as employees of working age to have no
qualifications (17.8 per cent versus 8.0 per cent)3. In 2004/2005 just over 3%
of 16 year olds in England failed to achieve a GCSE or GNVQ equivalent,
down from just under 8% in 19964. These improvements in qualifications are
partly due to the older generation, with less schooling, retiring from the labour
force. It is however also due to the large increase in the proportion of people
staying on at school after the age of 16 and continuing through the education
system and the consequent fall in the proportion with no qualifications. The
proportion of 15 year old pupils gaining five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C
(NVQ 2 equivalent) is now 56.3%5 (2004/2005) compared to under 34.5% in
1989/1990.

However, although the proportion of the working population with no
qualifications has declined , recent research has shown that overall, nearly
half (47%) of all adults aged 16-65 in England were classified at Entry level 3
or below in at least one of literacy or numeracy. This is the average standard
expected of 9 year old learners. Only one in five (18%) of adults achieved
Level 2 (GCSE standard) or above in both literacy and numeracy6. This
indicates a continuing need for the basic skills training offered by the ESF
Objective 3 Operational Programme, particularly under Policy Fields 2 and 3.

Targets for Skills and Learning

Progress towards the Department for Education and Skills and Learning and
Skills Council (LSC) targets for England for 2006 and 2008 is shown in the
table below. Progress has been made against three of the four measures
since autumn 1999 though there had previously been a fall in attainment by
young people in 2004; this has not persisted in 2005 on either measure.
Achieving the 2006 and 2008 targets will be tough but achievable because of
the major investment in 14-19 reforms, Education Maintenance Allowances
and Apprenticeships.




3
  SFR 05/2006 “The Level of Highest Qualification held by Young people and adults: England 2005.” DfES
4
  SFR 02/2006 “GCSE and equivalent results and associated value added measures for young people in England
2004/05 (Revised) “DfES
5
  SFR 02/2006 “GCSE and equivalent results and associated value added measures for young people in England
2004/05 (Revised) “DfES
6
  Source: The Skills for Life Survey, DfES Research Report 490 (Oct 2003)



                                                     14
    Progress towards DfES and LSC Targets for skills and learning, 1999-2005
    (measured by LFS and matched admin data)
                19-year-    19-year-  19-year-       19-year-    Adults at Adults at
                olds at     olds at   olds at        olds at     level 2    level 3
                level 2     level 2   level 3        level 3     (LFS       (LFS data)
                (LFS        (matched (LFS data) (matched data)
                data)       admin                    admin
                            data)                    data)
    Autumn      75.2                  50                         67.9       46.3
    1999

    Autumn           75.6                           51.4                        68.9          47.4
    2000

    Autumn           75                             50.6                        69.3          48.1
    2001

    Autumn           75.2                           51.6                        70.5          48.9
    2002

    Autumn           76.6                           51.8                        71.2          49.9
    2003

    Autumn           74.4            66.8           51.4             42.4       71.7          50.8
    2004

    Autumn
    2005             74.6            69.8           51.7             45.9       73.2          51.6
Note: Figures are rounded and presented to one decimal place.
1. The highest level of attainment for the 19-21 year old age group is used as a proxy for achievement at age
   19.
2. The attainment at 19 for level 2 and 3 are now being measured using matched administrative data, this
   change represents higher accuracy than previous estimates which used 19-21 age group as a proxy for
   attainment at 19. The matched administrative data measures should be used in preference to the LFS
   estimates.


Recruitment difficulties and skills shortages

The National Employers Skill Survey (NESS) 2004, covering England found
that around 18% of establishments reported vacancies at the time of the
survey. This represented about 616, 800 vacancies in the labour market. Just
over half of these vacancies were described by employers as hard to fill – 8%
of employers and 227,175 vacancies in total. About one half of these hard-to-
fill vacancies were skill related i.e. 6% of establishments reported skill
shortage vacancies7 which in total amounted to 145,475 vacancies.

The biggest proportion of skill shortage vacancies (20%) was found in skilled
trades occupations though associate professional occupations also had a high
proportion (13%). Though skill-shortage vacancies were found across all
sectors they were most dense (as a proportion of employment) in construction
establishments. ESF projects are helping to tackle skill shortages in the
construction sector, including the new ESF projects to support the
employment and skills needs of the 2012 Olympic Games (see section 3.5).

7
    Note: Includes both prompted and unprompted skill-shortage vacancies.



                                                         15
Technical and practical skills were those most commonly reported by
establishments as accounting for the difficulty of filling a skill-shortage
vacancy, 47% per cent of all skill shortage vacancies needed these skills.
Communications and customer handling skills were the next most commonly
cited (39 per cent and 36 per cent respectively) and team working skills were
also cited in substantial numbers (30 per cent). The 2004 National Employers
Skill Survey revealed that only 9 percent of skill shortage vacancies in all
sectors needed IT professional skills.


2.15 Adaptability and Entrepreneurship

The labour market in England continues to offer a highly diverse choice of
employment opportunities. Although most people are in full-time employment,
for example, people in England tend to work a range of different weekly hours
and have different working patterns, such as part-time work, shift work,
evening and weekend working. This choice is important as it enables a wider
range of people to find work that suits their individual needs and
circumstances.

Small businesses

The SBS Household Survey of Entrepreneurship (2003) indicated that around
one in six of the adult population in England (13%) are involved in business
activity (which includes part-time and secondary income activities, including
the informal economy). Small businesses make up 99% of Britain's business
community and improving their business performance is key to driving up the
UK's productivity.

Within the overall UK labour market situation, the position on self-employment
and on business start-ups and stocks is given below. The VAT registered
business stock has increased gradually since 1997. A further 2 million
businesses operate below the VAT threshold or are VAT-exempt. It is
estimated that around 6% of all businesses are majority led by ethnic
minorities, and research suggests that about a third of new entrepreneurs are
women.




                                      16
  VAT registrations, small business stock and self-employment (000s)
                              1997 to 2005

 Year     Starts             Stock            Stock            Self-employed in main job (iii)




          VAT                VAT stock        All              Total     With             No employees
                             (i)                                         employees
          Registrations                       enterprises
                                              (ii)



  1997                182            1,630            3,676     3,454              921                2,532

 1998                 182            1,667            3,627    3,352              895                2,457

 1999                 177            1,705            3,646    3,272              854                2,418

 2000                 179            1,733            3,691    3,217              867                2,350

 2001                 169            1,758            3,712    3,235              863                2,373

 2002                 176            1,776            3,764    3,291              840                2,451

 2003                 189            1,796            3,989    3,478              837                2,641

 2004                 181            1,818            4,251    3,562              853                2,709

 2005     -                          1,820    -                3,563              819                2,744

Sources: VAT data and all enterprises estimates from the Small Business Service (SBS), Self-employment
data from the ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS). Notes: (i) all VAT registered businesses at the start of each
calendar year (ii) businesses with 0-49 employees at start of each calendar year & (iii) spring survey (March-
May). (Data from SBS analysis of the Labour Force Survey and may not agree with published totals)




2.1.6 Women in the Labour Market

Overall, women are less likely to be in work than men but also less likely to be
unemployed. However, the labour market performance of women varies
considerably with both the presence of children and the age of the youngest
child.

Women in England with dependent children (aged 0-18) have an employment
rate of 64% (autumn 2005) compared with an employment rate of 76% for
women without dependent children and 83% for all men with dependent
children. Women with very young dependent children have the lowest
employment rates – women with the youngest dependent child aged 0-4 have
an employment rate of 53%. However, as the age of the youngest child
increases, so too does the mother‟s employment rate – women with a
youngest child aged 5-9 have an employment rate of 67%, whilst those with a
youngest child aged 10-15 have an employment rate of 73%, compared with
women without children, who have an employment rate of 77%.




                                                      17
The full-time gender pay gap currently stands at 13.0 per cent using the
median and 17.1 per cent using the mean. There was a decrease in the full-
time gender pay gap of 1.5 percentage points in 2005 using the median and
0.7 percentage points using the mean.

The part-time gender pay gap is based on the hourly wage of men working
full-time and women working part-time, which is defined as being less than 30
hours a week. The part-time gender pay gap for 2005 stood at 41.0 per cent,
as measured by the median - down from 42.5 per cent in 2004. The part-time
gender pay gap in 2005 was 38.4 per cent using the mean – down from 39.6
per cent in 2004.


2.2 Policy Developments

2.2.1 Overview

Since 1997, the Government has delivered macroeconomic stability, invested
in active labour market policies, developed tax and benefit reforms to ensure
work pays, invested in skills and delivered a flexible labour market. The
Government believes that, for most people, work is the best way to achieve
economic independence, prosperity and personal fulfilment. Employment
opportunity for all is a precondition for a fair society; social justice and full
employment go hand in hand. Getting people into work reduces the risk that
their children live in poverty through raising incomes and aspirations, while
having a strong work history is the best way to ensure security in retirement.

This section provides an update on major developments in 2005 in policy
areas that are supported by ESF Objective 3.8 It provides some examples of
ESF support for national programmes. However, in most cases ESF funding is
allocated at regional and local levels and the amount of ESF support for
particular national programmes will vary depending on the needs of local
areas. Further examples of ESF support for domestic policies are given in
Section 5.2 on the European Employment Strategy and Section 5.3 on Social
Inclusion.

2.2.2 Active Labour Market Policy

The Government is determined to tackle poverty by tackling the causes of
poverty and social exclusion, not just the symptoms. Effective labour market
policy, by boosting both output and employment, helps ensure that the gains
of economic growth are widely felt. Labour market policies which balance
rights and responsibilities, such as the New Deal and the Jobseeker‟s
Allowance regime, have enabled the labour market to function better and are
likely to have increased its flexibility.


8
 The policies which underpin the UK strategy are set out in detail in the Great Britain Objective 3 Community Support
Framework, the England Operational Programme and the annual UK National Reform Programme . The
Employment Guidelines are summarised at Annex B.




                                                        18
Jobcentre Plus

The introduction of Jobcentre Plus, bringing together benefit advice and active
labour market support into a single modern service, provides a work-focused
service for everyone of working age claiming benefit. It helps them to find
jobs, pays benefits to those unable to find work, and helps employers to fill
their vacancies.

Co-financed ESF activity is now embedded within the strategic and
operational thinking of Jobcentre Plus and this has resulted in provision
becoming increasingly focused on those who need the most help to get and
retain jobs within our society. The very long-term unemployed, people
claiming incapacity benefits (including disabled people), lone parents, people
with low level skills, the homeless, prisoners and people recovering from
alcohol and drug addictions make up the vast majority of the almost 93,000
people who have been supported during the first 21 months of Jobcentre Plus
ESF programming.

New Deals

New Deal for Young People initiatives have substantially helped move young
men and women into work.9 New Deal for people aged 25 and over increased
early entry into work for different client groups – an effective policy where
more early entrants went into sustained jobs10.

Jobcentre Plus is developing a number of ESF projects to add value to the
New Deals under Measures 1.2 and 2.2. These will provide additional
provision within the New Deal for Young People and New Deal 25 plus
programmes. There will be at least one project in each region. It is expected
that delivery of activity to beneficiaries will take place from July 2006 to June
2008. £160 million of ESF funds has been set aside for this activity.

The projects will deliver a mix of work-based learning, basic skills and job
search provision and be made available to help the 260,000 people who will
join the New Deal programmes during this period. Eligible beneficiaries will
be long-term unemployed people or people who have other significant barriers
that prevent them getting and retaining jobs.


2.2.3 Equal Opportunities for All and Promoting Social Inclusion

The Government‟s approach is to encourage people to look for work and to
provide appropriate and necessary support. Different individuals face different
barriers to labour market participation, and help must be tailored to their
specific needs. Through Jobcentre Plus Co-financing, ESF is adding value to
the Government‟s approach by funding additional and enhanced support for

9
  The New Deal for Young People: Early Findings from the Pathfinder Areas, Bob Anderton, Rebecca Riley and Garry
Young (National Institute of Economic and Social Research)2003.
10
   New Deal for people aged 25 and over: A Synthesis Report, David Wilkinson, Policy Studies Institute, June 2003.



                                                       19
people who are furthest from the labour market.

Support for Lone Parents

The UK has one of the strongest labour markets in the world, and success in
increasing the lone parent employment rate has been achieved through a
combination of macro-economic stability, labour market flexibility and building
on this the development of a comprehensive package of measures to support
lone parents into employment. These include the introduction of the New Deal
for Lone Parents with work-focused interviews to ensure lone parents know of
the help available to them.

The update to the MTE evaluation11 indicated that ESF engages with lone
parents at a level which is higher than that of in the general population. It has
also reported on outcomes which show that lone parents were one of the most
successful of all the disadvantaged groups in obtaining employment in the
longer term (54% in jobs after 18 months) – an increase of 27 percentage
points from the position on starting ESF.

Support for people with health conditions and disabilities

Large numbers of people with health conditions who are without work would
like to be in a job, but too often they are excluded from the labour market.
Helping people with health conditions enter work is a key priority for the
remainder of the England Objective 3 programme. ESF will add value to
relevant elements of the Government‟s strategies through both Co-financing
and central funding (see section 3.6).

The Objective 3 programme supports a substantial number of beneficiaries
with a disability or health condition12 and this support is varied in terms of
provision and the type of disabled beneficiary supported. The update to the
mid-term evaluation highlighted three differing types of projects. The first is
those projects that may be classified as work-focused. Beneficiaries attended
these because they wanted a job as an immediate priority and projects were
focused on getting these beneficiaries into employment by providing
individualised, holistic support. Jobs that were found were in open
employment and projects worked closely with employers to provide ongoing
support.

The second type of projects were identified as providing short-term advice and
guidance where beneficiaries had some way to progress before obtaining a
job and where projects directed beneficiaries to appropriate training. Thirdly,
projects were identified which provided training – sometimes to beneficiaries
who required skills for employment, but also in some cases to beneficiaries
who did not want or could not reasonably be expected to work in the near
future.


11 Update to the mid-term evaluation of the objective 3 operational programme for England and Gibraltar.
Department for Work and Pensions December 2005.
12 The 2005 ESF Beneficiaries‟ Survey estimated that 20 per cent of beneficiaries had a long-term illness, disability or health condition
                                                                                                                                            .


                                                                             20
The 2005 follow-up survey found that employment of disabled people
increased by 18 percentage points to 33 per cent. Most people (90%) with a
disability or health condition felt that ESF support was relevant to their needs.

Support for ethnic minorities

The Government has developed a cross-government strategy through the
Ethnic Minority Employment Task Force to tackle the main factors in ethnic
minority employment disadvantages. Fair Cities is an initiative developed by
the National Employment Panel in DWP, to improve the employment
prospects of ethnic minority people in inner city areas. ESF is supporting Fair
Cities projects in Birmingham, Bradford and Brent.

About 19% of ESF beneficiaries are from black and ethnic minority groups. The
2005 Beneficiary Survey showed that from starting to leaving ESF projects, the
employment of people from black and ethnic minorities increased by 14 per cent.
By the time of the follow-up survey six months later it had risen by a further seven
points to 50 per cent. This is a higher increase than for the white population,
although overall rates of employment remain lower than for white people.


Support for ex-offenders

The Government recognises that ex-offenders face significant labour market
disadvantage and offers appropriate help through New Deals, particularly,
which ex-prisoners can access immediately without having to have been
unemployed for six or 12 months. Those who have a criminal record but have
not served a custodial sentence can have access to these programmes early
subject to Jobcentre Plus adviser discretion.

There are currently two Home Office Prison Service central projects, which
are funded under Measure 2.2 and build on an earlier Prison Service project.
The Prison Service Plus 2 projects run from September 2004 to December
2006 and are working with offenders, a key ESF target group. The projects
aim to remove multiple barriers to labour market entry facing disadvantaged
(male) offenders through tailored intervention. The projects are delivered in
34 prisons and should assist over 40,000 beneficiaries prior to and after their
release.

2.2.4 Lifelong Learning

The Skills Strategy

The White Paper Skills: Getting on in business, getting on at work was
published in March 2005. It builds on progress made since the publication of
national Skills Strategy in July 2003, with the same aim: to ensure employers
have the skills needed to support their businesses and individuals have the
skills needed to be employable and personally fulfilled.




                                       21
It commits the Government and its key partners to a radical strategy of
demand-led provision of skills, recognised by reformed qualifications, steered
by the needs of employers as expressed through the Skills for Business
Network and given a sharp regional focus through Regional Skills
Partnerships.

Together with the LSC, the Skills Strategy is being implemented in five major
areas:

      Meeting the skills needs of employers – employers in each sector will
       work together to identify and tackle skills gaps. They will be able to do
       this through a variety of initiatives, including Train to Gain, a service
       offering a free package of workplace training in basic skills and a first
       full NVQ Level 2, to roll out fully in August 2006.
      Skills for Sectors – Employer-led Sector Skills Councils working as a
       voice for employers in shaping skills training, including the
       development of National Skills Academies.
      Skills for Adult Learners – the Skills for Life strategy ensures that adults
       can reach the basic platform of skills needed for employability.
       Through Train to Gain, there will also be a phased introduction of the
       entitlement to free tuition to a first full Level 2 qualification.
      Reforming supply – the 2005 Budget announced £1.5 billion over 5
       years to support the long-term transformation of the FE sector. The FE
       White Paper, Further Education: Raising Skills, Improving Life
       Chances,,was published on the 27 of March, highlighting skills as a
       driving force for change in the system.
      Partnerships for Delivery – the National Skills Alliance, led by the DfES
       and the DTI, brings together key partners with an interest in skills and
       productivity, including the CBI and the TUC. Nine Regional Skills
       Partnerships bring together RDAs, the LSC, Jobcentre plus and other
       partners, seeking to address skills priorities within each region.



Skills for Life

Skills for Life caters for the literacy, language (English for Speakers of Other
Languages - ESOL) and numeracy needs of all post-16 learners, including
those with learning difficulties or disabilities, from pre-entry level up to and
including level 2. ESF is supporting Skills for Life through both Co-financing
and central projects. The strategy has four main themes:

      boosting demand for learning through effective promotion and
       engaging Government agencies and employers to identify and address
       the literacy, language and numeracy needs of their clients and
       employees
      increasing the capacity of provision by securing sufficient funding and
       co-ordinating planning and delivery to meet learners' needs




                                        22
          improving the quality of teaching in literacy, numeracy and language
           provision through the national teaching, learning and assessment
           infrastructure
          increasing learner achievement and the number of adults succeeding in
           national qualifications and reducing barriers to learning

The Skills for Life interim target of helping 1 million adults achieve their first
literacy, language or numeracy qualification by 2005 was exceeded. From
April 2001 to July 2005, a confirmed 1,275,000 learners achieved this,
including 138,000 offenders and 12,000 jobseekers.

The DfES Adult Basic Skills Strategy Unit (ABSSU) „Get On‟ campaign ESF
project runs from 1 April 2003 to 31 December 2006 and supports a national
marketing campaign to encourage the seven million adults in England who
need to improve their literacy, language and numeracy skills to access free
training.

Key Skills

The Key Skills Support Programme (KSSP) continues to deliver training and
support to key skills practitioners in schools and colleges through the LSDA
and in the work-based route through Learning for Work.

The DfES “Key Skills Support Programme” (KSSP) ESF project runs from 1
April 2005 to 30 September 2007. The project builds on two earlier KSSP
central projects that supported practitioners in both academic and work-based
routes as they delivered key skills to a wide range of students and/or trainees
as part of their curriculum and/or work-based training programmes. The
current project incorporates new measures that support the LSC Skills for Life
Quality Initiative – providing parallel support to basic skills practitioners. KSSP
will enhance this provision by supporting practitioners who help learners
progress from Skills for Life to key skills and other achievements and on to
employment. There is a continued focus on assisting people delivering key
skills. Activity enhances the skills of existing practitioners and those new to
the sector.

Support for people with low skills to enter the labour market

The proportion of beneficiaries in policy field 3 (lifelong learning) has increased
rapidly since the MTE. In general, evaluation findings on the impact of the skills
support given to individual beneficiaries are encouraging. The 2005 Follow-up
survey seems to indicate that ESF helps out-of-work individuals secure
employment after participation – nearly 70% of those surveyed who had been
unemployed or inactive on joining ESF thought that participation had helped them
to secure jobs to some extent13.

The follow-up survey also estimates that over 60% of those who were not in
work at the time of the survey (i.e. some 18 months after leaving ESF) but

13
     35% thought ESF had “helped a lot”, 34% that it had “helped a little”.


                                                 23
who were looking for work (and 47% of those who were economically inactive
but looking for work) thought that the ESF training had made them better
skilled for the types of jobs they were looking for. These findings were similar
across the policy fields, including those who had been on lifelong learning
(Policy Field 3) training

Learning and Skills Council

The Learning and Skills Council (LSC) was established under the Learning
and Skills Act 2000 to replace the Further Education Funding Council and the
72 Training and Enterprise Councils. It is responsible for planning and funding
post-16 learning (up to but not including Higher Education) in England.
This includes Further Education, work-based training for young people, and
adult and community learning. The LSC is a unitary body with 47 local arms,
known as local Learning and Skills Councils.

The LSC mission is “to champion the power of learning, to encourage more
people to take the opportunity to transform their lives through education and
training, and give businesses a say in getting the skilled people they need”.
The LSC has a single goal: to improve the skills of England‟s young people
and adults to ensure we have a workforce that is of world-class standards.
The LSC is responsible for planning and investing in high quality vocational
education and training for everyone over 16 in England, other than in higher
education. In 2004-2005 the LSC budget is £9.3 billion. ESF is used by the
LSC to support, enhance and extend the delivery of the Government‟s
learning and skills agendas.

Each local LSC (or regional group of local LSCs) tailors its ESF Co-financing
Plan both to contribute to the aims and objectives of the Objective 3 ESF
programme and the appropriate Regional Development Plan, and to add
value to its own local plan, which puts national government policy into action
locally. In this way, the LSC can maximise the benefit to an area by using ESF
to add value where it can make a real difference – to the strategic needs and
priorities of the area, and ultimately to the learners who would not otherwise
have the same access to opportunities.

The LSC co-financing delivery has three primary focuses:

      tackling exclusion and disadvantage including 14-19 year olds, the
       NEET (not in Education, Employment or Training) group, Entry to
       Employment learners, and work with other excluded/disadvantage
       groups;
      workforce development including activities to support ETP (Employer
       Training Pilot);
      skills for life including activities to support information and guidance.

The LSC spends approximately £200 million of ESF a year and as an average
expects to use this funding to support an additional 200,000 learners each
year and deliver the achievement of 100,000 qualifications, of which 50,000



                                        24
will be basic skills qualifications and 50,000 level 2/3 qualifications.

As a guide to the impact of ESF:

      Tackling exclusion and disadvantage represents 40% of all LSC ESF
       expenditure. Of this, about 25% s targeting pre-E2E provision, 21%
       enhancing key stage 4 activities and 30% is used to enhance the
       services available to find and re-engage with the NEET group in a wide
       variety of ways.

      Workforce development represents 40% of all LSC ESF expenditure.
       Around 70% of the funding is focused on additional qualification
       delivery and 25% on capacity building within industry and the provider
       base including activities to enhance brokerage services.

      Skills for Life represents 11% of all LSC ESF expenditure. Around 60%
       of the funding provides additional qualifications and a further 25% is
       spent on capacity building and tutor training particularly in the
       community and voluntary provision base.

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are high level, high quality technical qualifications that help to
increase the technical skills base in the labour market. They directly train
people in the skills needed by individual firms, but a national system ensures
the skills are transferable and consistent to wider personal development.
The majority of apprentices are in employment while they learn. Traditionally
an Apprenticeship is made up of Key Skills, NVQ (at level 2 for an
Apprenticeship and level 3 for an Advanced Apprenticeship) and a Technical
Certificate (to ensure in-depth, specialised knowledge).

However the new Apprenticeship blueprint acknowledges that flexibility can be
achieved by moving away from the 3 qualification approach and puts
emphasis on apprentices developing occupational competence, with the
necessary underpinning knowledge and the transferable or „Key‟ skills with
appropriate qualifications to reward that. ESF has supported the
Apprenticeship programme, at both Levels 2 and 3, by providing additional
support costs for things such as motivational and basic skills support.


Entry to Employment (E2E)

E2E provides a motivating and engaging alternative route for those young
people whose attainment at the end of compulsory schooling is below level 2
(e.g. below GCSEs grades A*-C). The aim of E2E is to provide individually
tailored programmes (within an overarching framework) for young people not
otherwise engaged in education or training to assist their progression to an
Apprenticeship, a college place or a job.

E2E programmes have an entitlement curriculum to provide support with


                                         25
personal social development, basic and key skills and vocational skills further
developed by work placements, work experience, outward bound activities
and voluntary work. ESF has supported the delivery of the E2E programme
by offering a range of specialised support and provision that will enable them
to progress onto E2E. Local LSCs have accessed ESF funding to meet the
demand from the Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) group of
young people, to help them to progress to positive outcomes.


2.2.5 Adaptability and Entrepreneurship

The UK Government values all forms of employment and has created a
framework to allow sectors to flourish without favouring growth in one sector
over another. However, it is keen to foster entrepreneurship and small
businesses. A wide range of business support initiatives has been fostered,
responding to local needs. This section provides an update on policies to
support business, and on regional and local action for employment.


Sector Skills Councils

Sector Skills Councils (SSCs) were set up to be influential employer bodies
and all 25 have now been licensed by Government. SSCs include experts on
their sectors who understand the key drivers influencing sector development
and the implications for the demand, supply and use of skills. Working with
employers, trade unions, government and other partners to deliver key skills
and productivity priorities , they lead the drive to significantly improve skills
and productivity in industry and business sectors across the UK. SSCs have
four key goals to deliver across the UK:

      a reduction of skills gaps and shortages and anticipation of future
       needs;

      an improvement in productivity, business and public services
       performance through specific strategic and targeted skills and
       productivity action;

      increased opportunities to develop and improve the productivity of
       everyone in the sector‟s workforce, including action to address equality
       and support inward investment;

      an improvement in the quality and relevance of public learning supply,
       including the development of apprenticeships, higher education and of
       national occupational standards.

The DfES/SEMTA employer engagement project is funded under Measure 4.1
and runs from 28 March 2005 to 27 March 2006. It is engaging as widely as
possible with sector employers across England and will assist them to identify
and address skills development needs. The particular aims and added value
of the project include:


                                        26
          -   helping more employers to identify the skill development issues
              which are key to the current and future success of their
              business;
          -   raising awareness of workforce development opportunities; and
          -   engaging more employers in workforce development.

The Sector Skills Development Agency (SSDA)

The role of the SSDA underpins and develops SSCs by funding, supporting
and monitoring the performance of SSCs across the UK. It also provides a
website portal for public bodies and individuals to access high quality sectoral
labour market intelligence across the UK. The Skills for Business network
comprises the SSDA and SSCs.

ESF Division has recently held formative discussions with DfES and the
SSDA about the potential to develop central projects that could also involve a
number of Sector Skills Councils. A further meeting is to take place on 9
March to agree which, if any, proposals are to be taken forward as central
project applications.


Employer Training Pilots

Employer Training Pilots (ETP) were introduced in September 2002 to
encourage employers to invest in skills and qualifications, particularly for low
skilled trainees. The second year evaluation report in March 2005 showed
that both employers and learners expressed high levels of satisfaction. Over
two thirds of the employers are small businesses (employing 1-49
employees).

The majority of local LSCs involved in Employer Training Pilots (ETPs) use
this activity as match funding for co-financing ESF projects. Some of them are
also using ESF to complement and add value to ETPs, for example, to extend
the ETP model to learners and companies that are ineligible for ETP support,
such as young people aged 16-18 and adults working in local priority sectors
without Level 3 qualifications. There are also examples of where ESF has
been used to extend ETPs to qualifications at level 3 and above. The pilots
are being rolled out under the name „Train to Gain‟ since April 2006, leading to
full national roll-out in August. This will offer free training in basic skills or a
first full NVQ Level 2 in the workplace, at times to suit employers.

For example, the LSC is using £4 million ESF to add value to „eQ8‟, the North
East Employer Training Pilot (ETP). The project targets employers in the
North East region and their employees (aged 19+) who do not have an ETP-
eligible first level 2 qualification. It operates across a number of sectors. 400
SME employers, of whom about 280 employ less than 50 staff, are expected
to benefit. The priority is to support those employers who have not already
received level 2 support through the ETP. 4,000 first full level two
qualifications will be delivered to employees aged 19 and over. The target is



                                        27
3,200 level 2 achievements (an 80% achievement rate)

2.2.6 Improving the Position of Women in the Labour Market

There are still significant differences between the employment of men and
women in the labour market. Women on average have fewer educational
qualifications than men which amounts to a skills deficit. Although young
women have recently managed to close the gap there is still a high proportion
of women over the age of 40 and those working part-time, who have a lack of
qualifications. There is a pronounced concentration of women and men in
different occupations and women are over-represented in lower paid
occupations. While men experience more unemployment, women take much
more time out of the labour market than men do, in order to care for others.

Gender Pay Gap

The causes of the gender pay gap are complex and the Government is
pursuing action on a number of fronts. The Women and Work Commission
presented its final report Shaping a Fairer Future to the Prime Minister on 27
February 2006, which contains recommendations to tackle the gender pay
gap. The recommendations address the barriers to:

   informed choice for girls at school - girls are still making stereotypical
    subject choices which lead them into less well-paid jobs and careers;
   combining work and family life - there is a lack of quality part-time work
    and women find it difficult to find a job which matches their skills when
    returning after a career break;
   lifelong learning and training – women‟s jobs are under-valued, and
    women have difficulty accessing training and upward career paths in some
    sectors; women find it difficult to re-train for a new occupation.
   improving workplace practice – unequal pay arises through workplace
    practices, for example how pay systems operate.

The Government has set up an implementation project team, which will work
with HM Treasury and other Departments on how to take forward the
recommendations of the Women and Work Commission. The Government will
issue an action plan later this year. The Women and Work Commission will
come together again in one year to receive a report into progress on the
recommendations and to comment on their effectiveness

The Governments wants to address the barriers that act as a deterrent to
equality of opportunity in the workplace and have introduced a number of
initiatives to help achieve this. For example, the Work and Families Bill
published on 19 October 2005 will extend the scope of the flexible working law
to carers of adults. This will benefit the many women who have caring roles
and allow them to balance work with their caring responsibilities.

The Government is also promoting best practice in organisations carrying out
equal pay reviews. The DTI Strategic Partnership initiative is supporting a
team of Equal Pay Panel of Experts led by the TUC. The experts will offer


                                      28
free advice/guidance sessions to organisations looking to investigate or
undertake an equal pay review.

ESF is contributing to policies to tackle gender gaps by funding additional
training for low-skilled women, particularly those in part-time and low-paid
jobs, and by funding activities to help women enter traditionally male
occupations and sectors.

The latest survey of ESF beneficiaries14, which follows up people who had left ESF
projects some 18 months previously, shows that there was, amongst women who
were in employment on entry to ESF, a steady movement in employment status,
from part-time to full-time, during the 18 months after leaving. A higher proportion
of women also reported that ESF had helped them to „work better‟, mainly through
increasing confidence and general increases in skills/knowledge.

However, the update evaluation report found that the contribution ESF can make to
tackling gender pay gap issues is necessarily limited. This is first, and obviously,
because of its scale with respect to mainstream programmes and second, because
it cannot tackle directly employers‟ attitudes and entrenched institutional structures.
The emphasis of Objective 3 funding is to improve the position of women in the
labour market generally, a consequence of which might be a reduced pay gap.




14
     Follow-up survey of ESF Leavers. DWP Research report, 2005



                                                      29
Section 3: Programme Performance

3.1 Progress by Policy Field and Measure

3.1.1 Financial Progress

The tables below show the financial progress by policy fields and measures.
Table 1 provides actual expenditure details for year 2005 only, whilst table 2
provides cumulative actual expenditure to 31 December 2005. Cumulative
actual expenditure at the end of 2005 was €2,271,843,465.82. (NB eligible
expenditure includes actual ESF, national public funding and private funding).
Tables 1 and 2 exclude all revenue.

1 : Expenditure in 2005 (€)
                                                                         %
                 Eligible                                                eligible          Field of
Measures         Expenditure                  ESF                        cost              intervention
1.1              44,914,931.07                19,621,163.03              43.69             21
1.2              309,422,426.48               129,486,158.75             41.85             21
2.1              62,675,229.53                23,069,243.15              36.81             22
2.2              298,194,190.35               123,256,258.71             41.33             22
2.3              19,435,420.21                7,663,290.16               39.43             22
3.1              383,646,809.48               145,178,361.68             37.84             23
3.2              135,305,923.35               57,980,667.72              42.85             23
4.1              93,387,830.51                36,323,262.24              38.90             24
4.2              98,443,823.78                38,536,290.05              39.15             24
4.3              27,550,731.39                10,884,177.61              39.51             24
5.1              63,602,593.57                26,411,423.41              41.53             25
5.2              18,711,794.02                7,708,082.25               41.19             25
6.1              7,852,379.64                 3,384,899.29               43.11
6.2              5,157,315.99                 2,152,040.27               41.73
Totals           1,568,301,399.37             631,655,318.32             40.28

Note: As a result of European Commission audit recommendations, ESF Division implemented changes to
ESF Interim Claim arrangements in 2004. This resulted in providers having to supply additional breakdown
of total eligible expenditure to show actual ESF, public match and private match expenditure. The figures in
these tables reflect the actual expenditure as opposed to the declared expenditure quoted in reports prior to
2004.




                                                    30
2 : Cumulative Expenditure to 31 December 2005 (€)
                                              %
           Eligible                           eligible         Field of
Measures Expenditure         ESF              cost             intervention
1.1        154,906,939.04    67,482,637.31    43.56            21
1.2        1,136,941,675.51 494,964,936.92    43.53            21
2.1        215,857,109.83    94,332,669.56    43.70            22
2.2        1,153,057,593.57 504,354,013.67    43.74            22
2.3        45,486,452.78     20,149,054.07    44.30            22
3.1        1,139,935,340.67 492,361,367.08    43.19            23
3.2        410,566,438.99    185,936,722.42   45.29            23
4.1        286,660,124.83    123,718,637.25   43.16            24
4.2        292,177,075.30    127,270,055.03   43.56            24
4.3        109,735,037.45    46,825,164.98    42.67            24
5.1        185,740,088.21    82,084,979.70    44.19            25
5.2        36,983,907.65     16,158,554.96    43.69            25
6.1        28,444,762.67     12,389,049.28    43.55
6.2        9,543,958.63      3,815,623.59     39.98
Totals     5,206,036,505.13 2,271,843,465.82 43.64

An increased level of ESF provision was delivered through Co-financing
Organisations (CFOs), that provide ESF and all domestic match funding
through a single funding stream. In total there are 77 CFOs operating within
the Objective 3 programme in England. The majority are local Learning &
Skills Councils and Jobcentre Plus regional offices. As at 31 December 2005
59.81% of all approvals were to Co-financing Organisations and CFOs
accounted for 47.13% of all spend.

Table 3 shows cumulative actual expenditure by projects by measure against
total allocations and shows progress at measure level. The table shows
continued steady progress in most measures. In the mid-term review, it was
agreed that new activity would not be funded in measures 2.3 and 5.2 but
would be funded in measures 2.2 and 5.1 instead. Therefore uncommitted
funds for measures 2.3 and 5.2 were vired into other measures. However
existing activity has continued in measures 2.3 and 5.2.

In terms of actual expenditure by projects, the programme achieved its 2005
N+2 expenditure targets. The 2005 target of €2,999,533,014 was met taking
into account the ESF advance.




                                     31
                3: Cumulative expenditure by measure (€)

         ESF Financial
         Allocation 2000-            ESF actual expenditure
Measures 2006                        at 31.12.2005                % expenditure
1.1      118,079,322.00              67,482,637.31                57.15
1.2      975,302,327.00              494,964,936.92               50.75
2.1      214,324,131.00              94,332,669.56                44.01
2.2      873,134,075.00              504,354,013.67               57.76
2.3      32,549,542.00               20,149,054.07                61.90
3.1      847,350,466.00              492,361,367.08               58.11
3.2      363,150,200.00              185,936,722.42               51.20
4.1      221,689,213.00              123,718,637.25               55.81
4.2      247,895,785.00              127,270,055.03               51.34
4.3      87,624,643.00               46,825,164.98                53.44
5.1      223,778,314.00              82,084,979.70                36.68
5.2      24,582,877.00               16,158,554.96                65.73
6        60,532,944.00               16,204,672.87                26.77
Total    4,289,993,839.00            2,271,843,465.82             52.96

During 2005, one interim claim was made to the Commission, details are
provided below:

Date claim made to the Commission                                   Amount €m
6 December 2005                                                     661.3

During 2005 two receipts were received from the Commission, details are
provided below:

Date receipt received from the Commission                           Amount €m
11 March 2005                                                       349.4
1 April 2005                                                        399.4


ESFD wrote to the Commission on 26 August 2005 about changes introduced
to the IT system in June 2005 regarding revenue calculations. Prior to this
date the intervention rate was applied to gross costs at final claim stage and
amendments were made to ensure the intervention rate was applied to net
costs (eligible expenditure less revenue). This amendment was inspected and
cleared by the Commission auditor in September 2005. The 3 box-solution
was inspected and cleared by the Commission auditor in September 2004.

Actual expenditure in 2005 was €1,568,301,399.37 as at 31 December 2005.
The total estimated expenditure for 2005 supplied to the Commission in April
2005 in accordance with Article 32(7) of Council Regulation 1260/99 of the
Structural Funds was €1,364,377,470. However, the estimated figure did not
take into account payments made after 31 October 2005 which are included in
the forecast payments for the following year (2006). The figures are therefore
not directly comparable and it is not possible to make any statements about


                                      32
how closely expenditure has been aligned with the forecast.


3.2 Quantification of Outputs

Introduction

The Objective 3 Operational Programme for England and Gibraltar set out a
number of monitoring indicators of the expected average annual outcomes of
the programme. Most of these indicators are monitored annually and are
presented in the table below for 2005. The data used to monitor the indicators
in 2005 are collected from the project closure forms from those projects that
had completed by the end of that year. It therefore covers all project
outcomes achieved by December 2005. The analysis provided below for 2005
is based on 5,035 projects.




                                     33
INDCATORS                                     PROGRAMME (2000-2008) FORECAST            CUMULATIVE
                                                                                        ACHIEVEMENT
                                                                                        (to end Dec.
                                                                                        2005)
% in work on leaving                          41%                                       44%
% gaining a positive outcome on leaving       80%                                       68%
% young people unemployed less than 6         62%                                       55%
 months
% adults unemployed less than 12 months       36%                                       49%
% beneficiaries completing their courses      75%                                       86%
% gaining a qualification                     45%                                       41%
                                              FORECASTS                                 ACHIEVEMENTS


Active Labour Market Policies                 Annual        Programme     Cumulative    Cumulative     In-Period
                                              (2000-2008)   (2000-2008)   Forecast      Achievement    Achievement
                                              Forecast      Forecast      (to end of    (to end of     (Dec 2004 -
                                                                           Dec. 2005)     Dec. 2005)   Dec 2005)
Number of beneficiaries                       131,528       1,183,749      789,166         612,771       178,647
% of young people receiving help before 6                   60%                             56%           61%
 months unemployed
% of women receiving support                                42%                              46%          46%
% of beneficiaries completing their course                  71%                              84%          78%
% of adults receiving help before 12 months                 33%                              57%           47%
 unemployed
% working towards a qualification                           55%                              50%           44%
% positive outcomes on leaving                              70%                              60%          47%
% in work on leaving                                        40%                              33%          27%
% moving into self employment                               3%                               1%            1%




                                                                  34
                                             Annual        Programme     Cumulative    Cumulative     In-Period
Equal Opportunities and Social Inclusion     (2000-2008)   (2000-2008)   Forecast      Achievement    Achievement
                                             Forecast      Forecast      (to end of    (to end of     (Dec 2004 -
                                                                          Dec. 2005)     Dec. 2005)   Dec 2005)

Number of beneficiaries                      180,232       1,622,089     1,081,393        538,819       203,886
% of women receiving support                               42%                             42%           40%
Number of trainers trained                   3,372         30,352        20,235            9,316         1659
% working towards a qualification                          60%                             58%           56%
Number of capacity building projects         152           1,365         910                447            62
number of research projects                  85            763           509                519            55
% positive outcomes on leaving                             63%                             57%           45%
% in work on leaving                                       27%                             22%           19%
% moving into self employment                              3%                               1%            1%

Lifelong Learning                            Annual        Programme     Cumulative    Cumulative     In-Period
                                             (2000-2008)   (2000-2008)   Forecast      Achievement    Achievement
                                             Forecast      Forecast      (to end of    (to end of     (Dec 2004 -
                                                                          Dec. 2005)     Dec. 2005)   Dec 2005)
Numbers participating in Lifelong Learning   54,853        493,682        329.121         738,553       197,084
% of women receiving support                               50%                              56%          56%
% completing their course                                  85%                              88%          78%
% working towards a qualification                          85%                              84%          99%
number of research projects                  303           2,723            1.815           568           200
Number of trainers trained                   15,445        139,006         92.671          29,384        19,748
Number of capacity building projects         97            875               583            243            47
% of leavers gaining a qualification                       57%                              51%          53%
% in work or further study on leaving                      92%                              71%          66%




                                                                35
Adaptability and Entrepreneurship             Annual        Programme     Cumulative    Cumulative     In-Period
                                              (2000-2008)   (2000-2008)   Forecast      Achievement    Achievement
                                              Forecast      Forecast      (to end of    (to end of     (Dec 2004 -
                                                                           Dec. 2005)     Dec. 2005)   Dec 2005)
Number of beneficiaries getting self-         2,140         19,264          12,843          32,166        2,304
 employment help
Number of companies helped                    7,989         71,904         47,936           68,361       16,496
Number of employees helped                    15,409        138,684        92,456          290,198       87,118
Number of trainers trained                    4,550         40,950         27,.300           6,602        1736
% of women receiving support                                45%                              47%         51%
% working towards a qualification                           60%                              71%         83%
number of research projects                   257           2,310           1,540            1,315         46
% of beneficiaries gaining a qualification                  55%                              44%         38%

Gender Equality                               Annual        Programme     Cumulative    Cumulative     In-Period
                                              (2000-2008)   (2000-2008)   Forecast      Achievement    Achievement
                                              Forecast      Forecast      (to end of    (to end of     (Dec 2004 -
                                                                           Dec. 2005)     Dec. 2005)   Dec 2005)
Number of beneficiaries                       7,607         68,460          45,640          61,980       21,937
% of women beneficiaries                                    85%                              99%         99%
% of projects offering childcare facilities                 75%                              55%
                                                                                                        13%
number of research projects                   119           1,071            714             162          63
% positive outcomes for women                               88%                              67%         50%
% of women setting up in business                                                            6%           7%




                                                                    36
Overall Targets

By the end of December 2005, the number of people leaving the programmes
and going into work was slightly higher than forecast (44% compared to the
forecast of 41%). The proportion of beneficiaries who completed their courses
was also better than originally forecast with 86% achieved in December 2005
compared to 75% forecast. The programme also appears to have been
effective in providing support to adults unemployed for less than 12 months
before they started on Objective 3, with 49% of these adults having received
help compared to the forecast of 36%.

The number that gained a qualification (41%), however, is lower than the
forecast of 50%. This may partly be explained by some qualifications being
awarded after ESF projects have closed and because the programme is
targeting more disadvantaged clients. The number of beneficiaries who
gained a positive outcome (i.e. employment, self-employment, voluntary work,
further education or training) was also lower than forecast (68% compared to
80%). Given that the indicators forecast the average annual outcomes, some
variation above and below the indicators may be expected across the lifetime
of the programme. Where the ethnic and disability status of beneficiaries is
known, 24% were from an ethnic minority background and 12% were
disabled.

Policy Field 1: Active Labour Market Policies

Data relating to this policy field are derived from 1101 projects. The
indications are that projects operating under Policy Field 1 appear to have
been very effective in providing support to adults who have been unemployed
for up to 12 months (57% compared to the forecast of 33%). The forecast for
the percentage of women receiving support has also been exceeded (46%
compared to the forecast of 42%). Similarly, there appears to have been a
very good level of success in beneficiaries completing their course – 84%
compared to the forecast of 71%.

The percentage of beneficiaries with a positive outcome on leaving projects is
below forecast (60% compared to 70%) as is the percentage of young people
who received help before being unemployed for 6 months – 56% compared to
the forecast of 86%.

Closer examination by measure is useful when considering outcomes as the
measures target different groups. Measure 1.1 was designed specifically to
focus on early intervention (preventing people from moving to long term
unemployment). In this case, 69% of young participants received help before
reaching 6 months unemployment and similarly 69% of adults received help
before being 12 months unemployed. Measure 1.2, on the other hand, was
intended to target long-term unemployment and the data suggests that 50% of
young participants were helped within the first 6 months.

Measure 1.1

Analysis for Measure 1.1 is based on 186 projects, with 277,542 beneficiaries
helped. On average each project had 1,492 beneficiaries. The proportion of


                                     37
female beneficiaries helped is 47%, which is marginally higher than the overall
proportion for Policy Field 1. Almost everyone completed their project (95%)
and 59% gained a positive outcome, although only 32% were in work. Where
the ethnic and disability status of beneficiaries is known, 28% were from an
ethnic minority background and 9% were disabled.

Case Study

The Asian women‟s project, run by Highway to Opportunities is delivering
training and advice in a unique way - on a converted doubledecker bus. The
bus goes to nine different sites in Oldham each week, delivering childcare,
training and support in the heart of the community

This project is aimed at overcoming the specific barriers that Asian women in
Oldham face including; a perceived lack of skills; problems with childcare;
overcoming language difficulties and the need to increase confidence.

The project works around each individual woman‟s needs, tailoring provision
as much as possible. There is flexibility built into the programme enabling
women to take time out if needed and the option to return when ready. The
onsite crèche has enabled women without alternative childcare arrangements
to take part in the project

The training that the project delivers is progressive and women can follow a
programme at their own pace, from English lessons to formal qualifications.
The project enables isolated women to make connections and increase their
confidence which will provide a foundation for them to build on when they
finish the programme and go on to employment or further training.
Policy Field 1 Measure 1; Employment Guidelines 1,3,4; Social Inclusion Objective 1.1

Measure 1.2

Data for Measure 1.2 is based on information from 915 projects with an
average of 366 beneficiaries each. The percentage of beneficiaries who
completed the course was 76%, which is substantially lower than the
percentage of beneficiaries in Measure 1.1. Similarly, a lower percentage of
women (44%) received support compared to Measure 1.1, although this is still
higher than forecast. The proportion who gained a positive outcome (60%) is
in line with that of Measure 1.1, but the percentage of beneficiaries working
towards a qualification was 72% compared to only 18% in Measure 1.1.
Where the ethnic and disability status of beneficiaries is known, 29% were
from ethnic minority groups and 14% were disabled.

Policy Field 2: Equal Opportunities and Social Inclusion

Data for this policy field is derived from 1,614 projects. It indicates that the
proportion of beneficiaries achieving a positive outcome is below the forecast
(57% compared to 63%), as is the number of beneficiaries working towards a
qualification (58% compared to the forecast of 60%). The percentage of
people moving into work (22%) is also below the forecast of 34%.




                                          38
However, the women who received support were the same as forecast at
42%. Where the ethnic and disability status of beneficiaries is known, 32%
were from an ethnic minority background and 20% were disabled – which are
both considerably higher than the equal opportunities forecasts of 21% and
18% respectively.

Measure 2.1

Data for this measure is based on information from 278 projects with an
average of 380 beneficiaries in each; a few projects had a large number of
beneficiaries which has increased this average. The percentage of female
beneficiaries (44%) is higher than the overall proportion in Policy Field 2 and
surpasses the forecast.

This measure indicates some success in helping beneficiaries from
disadvantaged groups. Where the ethnic and disability status is known, 34%
were from an ethnic minority group and 19% were disabled.

Project completion was relatively high at 81%, however, only 50% of
beneficiaries gained a positive outcome – lower than the overall proportion in
Policy Field 2. Of those who gained a positive outcome, 22% were in work on
leaving and 35% gained a full qualification.

Measure 2.2

This data is based on 1,241 projects with an average of 224 beneficiaries on
each. The percentage of beneficiaries who were previously unemployed was
10% and 58% were still at school or in Further Education. Measure 2.2 is
specifically geared towards helping those with multiple disadvantages in the
labour market and consequently where the ethnic and disability status of
beneficiaries is known these are quite high, 88% and 87% respectively. The
number of female beneficiaries (33%) is lower than the overall proportion in
Policy Field 2. Although this measure is dealing with the most disadvantaged,
those gaining a qualification (62%) were much higher than that in Measure
2.1.




                                      39
Case Study

„Right to Employment‟ is an ESF project run by City Limits Employment at
Southampton City Council. The aim of this project is to provide people with
severe learning disabilities or other severe mental or physical disabilities with
the help they need to seek, obtain, and retain employment.

Traditionally, if a person is born with a severe learning disability it would be
necessary to attend day centre once he or she reached working age. This
project aims to give giving individuals who express a desire for work the
opportunity to turn their aspirations into reality and give them a choice in
deciding what they would like to do with their lives

The project has a workshop that in which beneficiaries learn to refurbish old
tools which are passed to „Tools For Self Reliance‟ a national charity that
specialises in packing old tools into specialist kits for use in the poorest parts
of Africa. Through attending these workshops volunteers have grown in
confidence, developed better social skills and achieved job satisfaction

This project is proving that with the right support and guidance beneficiaries
with profound disabilities can successfully gain training and employment
opportunities. For many it is the first time in their lives that their abilities rather
than their disabilities are the focus of attention and they can plan to achieve
their own individual goals.

The project which started in January 2004 is due to run until the end of 2006.
It has received £438,791 in ESF funding and its aim is to support 225
beneficiaries over its lifetime.

Policy Field 2 Measure 2; Employment Guideline 1,3,4,7; Social Inclusion Objectives 1.2 and 2



Measure 2.3

Data is based on information from 98 projects with an average of only 120
beneficiaries per project. Where the ethnic and disability status of
beneficiaries is known, 38% were from an ethnic minority background and
36% were disabled (the latter is a reflection of the high proportion of projects
that are aimed towards disabled people). With 49% of beneficiaries under
Measure 2.3 being women, this is much higher than the overall proportion for
Policy Field 2 (42%). Again the proportions of those completing their course
were relatively very high at 93% and 59% gained a positive outcome. Of
those who gained a positive outcome, 40% were in work on leaving projects.

Policy Field 3: Lifelong Learning

Data is based on information from 948 projects. The number of beneficiaries
who completed their course (89%) was higher than the forecast of 85%. The
proportion of women receiving support also exceeded the forecast (56%
compared to the forecast of 50%).



                                              40
The percentage of people working towards a qualification (84%) was below
the forecast of 85%. Similarly, the number of beneficiaries gaining a
qualification (51%) is below the forecast of 61% although some people may
gain a qualification after the project has closed. Furthermore, those in work or
going on to further study on leaving (71%) was considerably lower than the
forecast of 92%.

Measure 3.1

Data has been obtained from 817 projects that fall under this measure with an
average of 695 beneficiaries on each project. (The large UfI project comes
under this measure). A higher proportion of women (58%) have been helped
by this measure compared to the overall proportion for Policy Field 3. Half of
beneficiaries (50%) were previously unemployed. Where the disability and
ethnic status of beneficiaries is known, 19% were from an ethnic minority
background and 10% had a disability. Twenty seven percent of beneficiaries
did not have a previous qualification (29% of male and 26% of female
beneficiaries). Encouragingly, 88% of beneficiaries completed their course
and 69% of beneficiaries gained a positive outcome on leaving. Over half
(54%) gained a full qualification.

Case Study

Sport Direct is a project which offers training and work placements to people
with disabilities to help them achieve qualifications in sports coaching and
development. The project has received £88,000 ESF and is co-financed by
Nottinghamshire LSC.

Beneficiaries can train in a wide variety of different sports. The course
includes mandatory training in sports coaching, child protection, coaching
disabled people and first aid as well as placements with qualified mentors in
clubs and leisure centres.

ICT is a key element of this project. Beneficiaries are taught how to use
mobile training technology which helps them overcome their disabilities and
can also be used to demonstrate a particular move to participants on a laptop.
They are also encouraged to use ICT in other aspects of their work e.g. for
planning sessions and registering participants.

One beneficiary‟s story illustrates the achievements of the project. Dean who
has dyslexia and Bell‟s palsy wants to become a gym/fitness instructor and
eventually own his own gym. Through Sport Direct he found a suitable college
course that could meet his needs and gained Gym/Fit Instructor and Lifeguard
qualifications. He has now been taken on as an apprentice at a local leisure
centre.

Policy Field 3 Measure 1; Employment Guidelines 3, 4 & 7; Social Inclusion Objective 1.1 and 2


Measure 3.2

Data is based on information from 302 projects with, on average, 565
beneficiaries on each. Ninety two percent of beneficiaries were previously


                                               41
employed, as this Measure is aimed at improving the employability of those in
work. Where the ethnic and disability status of beneficiaries is known, 14%
were from ethnic minority groups and 4% were disabled. Of those
beneficiaries being helped by Measure 3.2, 51% were female. The proportion
of beneficiaries working towards and gaining a qualification was 77% and 44%
respectively. As with the previous measure a high proportion (87%) of
beneficiaries completed their course and 82% gained a positive outcome on
leaving. Additionally, where outcome are known, 71% were in work on
leaving.

Policy field 4: Adaptability and entrepreneurship

Data is derived from 804 projects in this policy field. The percentage of
women receiving support is in line with the forecast (47% compared to the
forecast of 45%). The number of beneficiaries working towards a qualification
has reduced to 54% which is below the forecast of 60%. The number of
beneficiaries gaining a qualification (44%) is also well below the forecast of
60%, although again some beneficiaries may gain their qualification after the
project has closed. A large number of beneficiaries completed their course at
89%.

Measure 4.1

This analysis is based on information from 347 projects with approximately
400 beneficiaries on each. The majority of companies supported under this
measure (86%) were SMEs. Eighty four percent of beneficiaries were in work
on completing their projects and 91% gained a positive outcome. Just over
three quarters (76%) were working towards a qualification and just under a
half (48%) gained a qualification. The proportion of female beneficiaries
receiving support was 49%. Where the ethnic and disability status of
beneficiaries is known, the percentage of beneficiaries from ethnic minority
groups was 11%, with 4% of beneficiaries being disabled.

Measure 4.2

Data is based on 274 projects with 414 beneficiaries on each. The number of
beneficiaries who completed their course under this measure was 88%, with
almost all (90%) gaining a positive outcome. The proportion of female
beneficiaries was similar to Measure 4.1 at 49%. Where the ethnic and
disability status of beneficiaries is known, the proportion of beneficiaries from
ethnic minority groups was 13%, and 7% of beneficiaries were disabled.
Eighty three percent of beneficiaries had worked towards a qualification and
46% gained a qualification.




                                       42
Case Study

Hertfordshire Learning and Skills Council have funded the Leadership and
Innovation in Fast Track (LIFT) project through the Objective 3 programme,
which is managed by Hertfordshire Business Link. This project was a new and
innovative mix of support, delivering personal development to the leaders of
new, fast growing businesses. The LIFT project aims to provide a wide range
of training modules to assist small and medium sized enterprises become
more competitive and to increase productivity. These include an analysis of
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, business and strategic
planning, financial management and marketing, with a particular focus on use
of the internet. The project provided additional support through a notional
board made up of training facilitators and advisors acting as mentors for each
company to provide more specific support.

One company to benefit from the training provided was Orion Safety Belts in
Stevenage set up in 2003. It specialises in supplying replacement belts for
particular makes or models of car right through to custom designed belts for
minibuses and vehicles for the disabled. Not having run his own business
before, the owner/manager Mike Cullen realised that he needed to gain some
experience of small business management to help his business run effectively
as possible in a competitive market. Enrolling on the LIFT programme enabled
him to implement a marketing strategy, which included the launching of an
interactive website.

With the help of the ESF funded training, Orion Safety belts now employs five
people and has a turnover in excess of £500,000. This success has resulted
in Orion Safety Belts winning the Structural Fund Enterprise Award at the first
ever East of England Celebrate Awards in October 2005.
Policy Field 4 Measure 2; Employment Guidelines 2,3,4; Social Inclusion Objective 1.2



Measure 4.3

Data is based on 183 projects with an average of 377 beneficiaries on each.
Almost a third (30%) of beneficiaries supported under this measure were
unemployed before starting the project. Ninety three percent of beneficiaries
completed their course, and over three quarters (76%) gained a positive
outcome. Over two thirds (70%) were in employment on leaving. The
percentage of female beneficiaries helped under this measure was 40%.
Where the ethnic and disability status of beneficiaries is known, 11% were
from an ethnic minority group and 4% were disabled.

Policy field 5: Women in the labour market

The analysis is based on 397 projects. The majority of beneficiaries (65%)
were unemployed before starting the project, with three quarters of these
individuals (75%) being aged 25 to 49. Over two thirds of beneficiaries who
received support under this policy field gained a positive outcome (68%). A
small percentage (6%) set up their own business after leaving the project.
Fifty five percent of projects reported that they offered childcare facilities.


                                          43
Measure 5.1

This measure is aimed at improving access to learning. There were 303
projects in total and an average of 197 beneficiaries on each project. Over
two thirds of these beneficiaries (67%) were previously unemployed. Eighty
three percent completed their course and 70% gained a positive outcome -
39% were in work on leaving.

Under this measure 89% of the beneficiaries were working towards a
qualification and 57% have already gained a qualification. It is encouraging to
note that 71% of the projects provided childcare. Where the ethnic and
disability status of beneficiaries is known, 31% were from an ethnic minority
background and 8% were disabled. The percentage of female beneficiaries
was 99% (although projects focus on support to women, it is possible for men
to receive support, for example, male trainers or employers who support
family friendly working practices).

Case Study
ESF funding amounting to £80,000 is supporting CETADs (Centre for
Education, Training and Development – Lancaster University) „Early Years
Training „project via Cumbria LSC. The training is supporting the
Government‟s Skills Strategy, by ensuring that individuals are employable and
fulfilled whilst acquiring the skills to meet employers‟ needs. The women who
take part in this course are a mixture of those who want to enter the field and
those who need the qualification to retain their jobs.

The Early Years Training has received very positive feedback from both
employers and NVQ external verifiers on the quality of the programme and the
team delivering it. A successful element of the training has been its flexibility
in addressing the specific barriers faced by Cumbrian women wanting to
return to work. The courses are only run during term-time between 9.30 and
2.30 to ensure they are as accessible as possible. The programme has also
been adjusted to get over the challenges posed by the Cumbrian geography,
which would otherwise leave people disadvantaged

All of the women who took part in the training felt their skills had improved as
a result. They also felt that the NVQ Level 3 qualification had helped them to
improve their career and employment prospects.

Policy Field 5 Measure 1 Employment Guidelines 1,3,5,6; Social Inclusion Objective 1.1
and 2.



Measure 5.2

This measure focuses on research relating to gender issues and there were a
total of 94 projects. The majority of beneficiaries were women (96%) most of
whom were employed at the start of the project. Where the ethnic and
disability status of beneficiaries is known, 13% were from ethnic minority
background and 8% were disabled. Eighty five percent of beneficiaries
completed their course.


                                         44
Overall Targets

3.1.2 Regional reports

Reports on programme performance in the English regions are given below.
Co-financing is the main method of delivery in partnership with the Co-
financing Organisations (CFOs). The main CFOs are the Local Learning and
Skills Councils (LSCs) and Jobcentre Plus. Other organisations approved as
CFOs in some regions include local authorities, Regional Development
Agencies (RDAs), Connexions Partnerships and Business Link.

East of England

Co-financing within the East of England was fully implemented in 2003. The
six LLSCs and Jobcentre Plus, Bedfordshire and Essex County Council and
the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) have CFO status and are
continuing to play the major role in delivering spend and programme outputs
within the region.

After London won the bid to stage the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games it
was agreed that London and the South East would work in partnership to
identify skills required in key sectors to help make the games a success.
Regions worked with Sector Skills Councils, RDAs and regional CFOs to
identify specifications to begin to meet these needs. This activity will be
launched in 2006

One key regional labour market issue that occurred in 2005 was the
Buncefield explosion in St. Albans, Hertfordshire. The disaster has resulted in
the closure of the plant and extensive damage to surrounding business parks.
This could result in up to 1,200 redundancies and the region is working with
Hertfordshire LSC and East of England Development Agency to work up ESF
co-financed proposals to provide help and support for affected employees and
SMEs.


East Midlands

Each of the East Midlands CFOs is currently running two separate CFO
Plans, one covering 2003/5 activity and one for 2004/6. Alongside these are
130 measure level bids. Claims have been submitted regularly during the
year and the problems with the LSC MI system that were reported in 2004
have now been largely overcome. LSCs have been supporting their providers
so as to ensure regular input of beneficiary data onto the system. This in turn
has allowed starts and outcomes to be captured. 2003/5 plans and associated
measure level bids will close during early / mid 2006.

CFO tendering activity during 2005 has been more irregular than in previous
years, with each CFO launching as and when the need was identified. The
LSCs have worked together to allow regional tenders to be advertised and
supported. These were channelled through Nottinghamshire LSC and
Jobcentre Plus. Each of the LSCs put funds into a regional pot and took the


                                      45
lead for a specific sector. Throughout this process the CFOs worked closely
with the East Midlands Development Agency to ensure that the proposed
activity fully supported what was then the newly emerging Employment, Skills
and Productivity Partnership (ESP).

There are currently 34 live alternative bid projects in the East Midlands. Nine
of these were contracted in 2005 as a result of the Measure 4.3 bidding round
launched towards the end of 2004. A further bidding round was launched on
in December 2005 to support projects under all measures of Policy Field 4.
The focus of this round was higher level skills (NVQ 4/5 or equivalent, activity
not generally covered by co-financing), again in support of the East Midlands
ESP. There are likely to be around ten contracts issued as a result of this
round. Processing of Project Closure Reports remained a priority during 2005,
in particular clearance of some long outstanding issues.

London

London‟s few remaining alternative delivery Objective 3 projects ended in
early 2005, leaving all Objective 3 ESF funds (apart from the global grants
programme) to be delivered via CFOs for the remainder of the current
programme. Overall the London programme continued to perform well during
2005, achieving the region‟s n+2 target for the year by August, thanks to the
generally smooth progress of CFOs in committing funds and submitting claims
to the Government Office.

The Government Office devoted considerable resources throughout the year
to monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the 2000-06 programme.
The majority CFO „Phase 2‟ Co-financing Plans ended on 31 December 2004
or by March 2005 and therefore strategic review meetings were held(attended
by Executive Directors and/or other senior staff). The purpose of the reviews
was to assess the overall performance in delivering those Plans and consider
what lessons could be learnt for the final phase of the programme. These
reviews were additional to the regular „interim‟ monitoring review visits, and a
full programme of Article 4 visits to CFOs also began in the autumn.

Following the successful outcome to London‟s bid to host the 2012 Olympic
Games the Government Offices in London, East of England and the South
East agreed to work together to develop a tri-regional ESF programme. The
aim is to address skill shortages in a number of sectors (especially
construction) relevant to both the Games themselves and the major
preparations required in the lead up period. Towards the end of the year the
London Development Agency and the pan London LSC began drawing up
tender specifications for the London strand of the programme (£5 million ).
The programme was launched in London in February 2006. The Minister with
responsibility for ESF, James Plaskitt, attended and delivered a keynote
speech.

Another highlight for the London programme was the launch, in August 2005,
of the Readiness Assessment Tool (RAT). The Government Office and the
LDA worked together to produce this valuable business planning tool, which
was designed specially to help projects funded by the 2000-06 European
Structural Funds or the Single Regeneration Budget plan for a future where


                                       46
these sources of funding are not assured.

North East

This was a busy year for the programme in the region with all of the remaining
resources being committed to CFOs. Several new initiatives and approaches
have had an effect on planned bidding rounds and contracted activity, the
most significant of these was the launch of the national LSC approach to
workforce development “Train to Gain”.

Provision supported through the programme continues to be flexible in
responding to the demands of the local labour market. In particular the
Government Office has concentrated on reducing the Not in Education,
Employment or Training (NEET) group. ESF has been particularly responsive
to this group with several projects across the region fitting into a portfolio of
services to address the needs of 16-18 year olds identified as NEET but also
young people likely to become NEET.

The programme has also linked very closely with the regional Adult Skills Pilot
which was set up in 2004 with the aim of boosting adult skills, competencies
and knowledge. The project has given One North East (RDA) and the four
LSCs the opportunity to test proposals identified within the Government‟s
White Paper “21st Century Skills- Realising Our Potential” and latterly, the
National Skills Strategy “Getting on in Business, Getting on at Work”.

County Durham LSC provided funding to assist in the re-skilling of individuals
made redundant by the LG Phillips Closure (765 staff), this rapid response
project has seen 90% of individuals resettled in employment as a result of the
activity and made a substantial contribution to maintaining some economic
stability in the sub-region.

North West

Performance across most of the Measures continues to be strong in the
region. Commitment was at 91% of allocation (excluding the performance
reserve that was still to be factored in). Jobcentre Plus had contracted 86% of
allocation and the LSC 88% by the end of the year. Spend was 70% of
allocation and showed a marked increase over the year, especially with the
CFOs. The LSC achieved an increase in spend of 73% over 2004 levels and
Jobcentre Plus an increase of 113% over 2004. However, most CFOs were
still below their profiles and the regional skills plan (developed in partnership
with the Sector Skills Councils (SSC) and the Sector Skills and Productivity
Alliances (SSPA)) had only just started to show some spend.

The allocation from the performance reserve has been allocated to the CFOs
specifically to address the regional skills priorities as agreed by the Regional
Skills Partnership (RSP) and a strategic panel, involving the RSP, will ensure
that any alternative bids also address the priorities. Two alternative bidding
rounds, for activity outside of the CFO remits, were held during the year. The
first round attracted 67 bids, of which 48 were funded to a value of £6.1million.
These projects will run until December 2006. The second round attracted 40
bids of which 24 were funded to a value of £2.8million. These projects will run


                                       47
until June 2007.

South East

In the South East the programme met its 2005 N+2 spending target in August
2005. Expenditure across all Policy Fields ran between 60-90% of allocation
apart from Policy Field Measures 2.1 and 5.1 which remained around 40%.
The programme in the region is designed to support up-skilling and business
start up as well as job access given the low headline rate of unemployment in
the region. 80% of ESF is routed through CFOs (six LSCs, Jobcentre Plus
and SEEDA), 18% through alternative bids and 2% through Global Grants.

South East Region has benefited from £6 million as part of the Greater South
East ESF initiative supporting the employment and skills needs of the London
2012 Olympic Games „On Your Marks‟. A focus group for this initiative has
been formed between the Government Office, LSC and SEEDA and will report
to the SE Regional Olympics Co-ordinating group, Regional Skills Productivity
Alliance, Joining Forces Group and Cultural Learning Group. Specifications
are for activity in the Construction and Sport and Leisure sectors and include
qualifying new entrants, improving leadership and management, increasing
access for women, and improving the ability of SMEs to compete.

South West

The main feature during 2005 in terms of ESF implementation in the South
West has been the further development of the use of ESF to support existing
and emerging regional strategies such as the South West Regional Skills
Partnerships SWESA framework. This has been demonstrated in practical
terms by the development and subsequent approval of a Regional Strategic
Co-Financing Plan (£15m) encompassing all six LSCs and Jobcentre Plus.
This has ensured that maximum benefit to the individuals, groups, businesses
and communities on whom it impacts, as well as the region as a whole.

At the end of 2005 the South West programme had committed £151.4 million
(95%) of the total funding. 230 Project Closure Reports had been completed
and analysis against programme outcomes demonstrates that overall
performance continues to meet or exceed anticipated forecasts in most
priorities. Data capture has been an issue with a large proportion of outcomes
being in „unknown destinations‟. The Government Office is continuing to work
with project managers within sponsor organisations to demonstrate the
importance of robust data collection and tracking systems. There are currently
426 live projects in the region of which 193 are CFO Measure Level
projects.N+2 for 2005 was met in October 2005 and the region has already
achieved 90% against the 2006 target. The Government Office works with key
stakeholders in the region to ensure a fair distribution of ESF funding and
ensures strategic alignment with policies and ensures support addresses key
regional issues




                                      48
West Midlands

Annual reviews of the four CFOs operating in the West Midlands (The
Regional LSC, Birmingham City Council, Walsall MBC and Jobcentre Plus)
have been completed and it was recommended by the Objective 3 Regional
Committee that a further call for CFO activity post 2004 should be launched.
CFO Plans were submitted and approved by the Government Office allowing
activity to commence at the beginning of 2005. A total of £155 million of CFO
activity was approved during which brings the total resource contracted
through the CFO route to £232 million.
Objective 3 ESF funding of some £43 million was earmarked to support
projects related to training, job matching and support to ex-MG Rover
workers. Most of these projects had been running since immediately after the
closure of the plant. But specifically within this, a £10 million „rapid response‟
support package was offered to Birmingham & Solihull LSC to implement a 2
phase approach complementing Jobcentre Plus activity with direct financial
support from ESFD.

Yorkshire and the Humber

By the end of 2005 around 98% of the regional resource had been committed
to four CFOs and a small number of alternative bids. It is anticipated that
commitment will be above 100% by late spring 2006. During the year a more
active project management process was introduced. This has resulted in the
reduction on the average level of underspend on each project from 30% to
20% and the speedy recycling of declared underspends. The 2005 N+2
target was exceeded by 16% (approximately £18 million) and it is anticipated
that the 2006 target will be met well before the end of the year.


3.3 Global Grants

Global Grants are being implemented in line with Article 4.2 of Regulation
1262/99 and paragraph 4.1.9 of the Community Support Framework for Great
Britain. Global Grants are small grants (up to £10,000) made to organisations
or individuals at a local level to help move people closer to the labour market
in line with Global Grants guidance. Funding is made available via ESF
Intermediary Bodies (IBs) at a local level. As at the end of February 2006
there were 37 IBs in England and £27.7 million had been spent on Global
Grants.

The guidance issued by ESF Division (ESFD) in the Department for Work and
Pensions states that Global Grants should build on the experience of UK and
European initiatives with similar objectives, including ESF Article 6 Local
Social Capital projects. It also emphasises the importance of focusing
activities on the areas of deprivation identified in the National Neighbourhood
Renewal Strategy.

 There were no updates to the Global Grants guidance during 2005, though
an update is to be issued to GOs and IBs by summer 2006 to provide further
clarification on administrative requirements such as tendering arrangements.


                                        49
A copy of the guidance is available on the ESF website at www.esf.gov.uk.

A national level evaluation project was undertaken in 2005 to examine the
effectiveness of Global Grants as a mechanism for helping people from
disadvantaged communities or groups move closer to the labour market. The
objectives included the examination and implementation of Global Grants in
each region, the different types of Global Grant provision and the surrounding
issues of impact, added value and capacity building.

The research found that the Global Grants Programme is making it easier for
community groups to access small amounts of ESF to help disadvantaged
people move closer to the labour market. It also found that many
beneficiaries taking part have gained new skills and increased their
confidence and motivation.

The process of determining Global Grant structures and IB geographical
coverage varied between GO regions. While the size, geography and
administrative make-up of regions influenced Global Grant structures, in some
regions the ability of prospective IBs to access match funding appeared a key
determinant, which seemed to have overridden other factors in importance
(for example, experience and understanding of Global Grant target groups).

The specific IB delivery mechanism appeared to be a key factor in explaining
the success of Global Grants. In particular, easily understood and accessible
application systems and procedures, „light touch‟ monitoring and reporting
requirements and the quality, hands-on and practical support provided to
applicants and grant recipients, were found to be critical success factors.

The Global Grants programme had impacted positively on many grant
recipient organisations, helping to build their organisational capacity and
improving their sustainability longer term. Wider community benefits arising
from the Global Grants programme were also commonly reported.
Respondents noted how Global Grants funded projects had acted as catalysts
to increasing community involvement and improved social cohesion, in
addition to providing tangible benefits such as improved local facilities.

In spite of the success of Global Grants, the requirement in EU regulations to
provide match funding had adversely impacted on the effective operation of
many IBs. This was particularly evident amongst smaller, voluntary sector IBs
that sourced their match funding externally. Many such IBs believed they
could have achieved more and better outcomes, but for match funding
difficulties. Some IBs also felt that their ability to respond flexibly to local
needs to innovate and to add value to the Global Grants programme, had
been constrained by match funders. However, match funding remains a key
principle of EU programming.

The full report is available at www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/asd5/reports2005-
2006/rrepp2.87.pdf

The 2005 update report on the mid-term evaluation recommended that a
further evaluation of Global Grants should be conducted to provide more
robust data on their effectiveness in increasing the employability of those


                                       50
groups most disadvantaged in the labour market. The update report also
recommended that if the evaluation provided evidence of the effectiveness of
Global Grants, that the 2007-13 ESF programme should include an element
based on the Global Grant model where small grants are made available to
small local organisations in order to work with the most disadvantaged groups
and communities. It is planned to undertake the evaluation of the
effectiveness of Global Grants in 2006.


Reports on progress with Global Grants in the regions are set out below:

East of England

Global Grants have been fully implemented within the region. The region
currently funds six Intermediary Bodies (one per county) to deliver global
grants, with the first activity commencing in February 2001. To 31 December
2005, nearly £4.9million has been committed to Intermediary Bodies, this
equates to 2.1% of the current regional allocation. A total of 729 grants have
been issued to 31 December 2005 with a total value of nearly £5m at an
average value of £6,806. Of these 184 were issued in 2005 with a total value
of £1.3m and an average value of £7,085 per grant. All six Intermediary
Bodies have set a minimum grant level of £500, with a maximum of £10,000 in
line with national guidance.

Of the six Intermediary Bodies, three are from the voluntary sector; two are
local authorities and one is a Learning and Skills Council (working in
conjunction with two voluntary sector organisations). The majority of
applicants are new to ESF and a small number of these have moved on to bid
for and in some cases access mainstream co-financed contracts. All six
Intermediary Bodies are currently contracted until 31 December 2006, with
plans to further extend to 31 December 2007, in line with co-financed delivery.

The main problem with global grant delivery within the region continues to be
match funding. This relates both to accessing match and the constraints
placed upon the funding by the providers, in relation to client group,
geographic and timing constraints.

East Midlands

The delivery of Global Grants in the East Midlands in 2005 has continued
along the same lines as in previous years. CEFET (Co-ordinating European
Funding for the East Midlands Third Sector) is the only intermediary body and
runs the project as the Catalyst fund. Phases 2 and 4 continue to operate, and
under phase 5 the programme has been extended to three new communities
in Leicestershire – Charnwood and New Parks wards, and people with
disabilities in receipt of Incapacity Benefit in Leicestershire. Phase 6
development began in 2005 with roll out expected during early 2006.

London

In London there continues to be one Intermediary Body for Global Grants
covering the whole of London - Greater London Enterprise (GLE). The main


                                      51
programme is regionally branded as „Fast Forward Grants‟, but the 2005-06
programme also incorporated the second and final year of a small sub-
programme, branded as „Living Learning Grants‟, which was match funded at
£240,000 per year from the LSCs' Widening Adult Participation Action Fund.
The aim of this fund was to support community based non-traditional adult
learning.

GLE launched another application round in April 2005, which again attracted a
high number of bids (721), although this was actually down by 500 from the
2004-05 round. The fall in applications reflected the consistent message put
out by GLE that there would be fewer grants available compared to 2004 due
to a significant reduction in the match funding provided by the LSCs,
previously the main source of match for global grants. The total value of the
2005-06 programme is £1,694,711, of which ESF makes up £762,619 – just
over 1% of London's Objective 3 funds for 2005. Altogether this funding has
supported 146 grants to projects (109 Fast Forward plus 37 Living Learning),
compared to 232 in 2004-05 and 311 in 2003-04.

GLE staged its third annual global grants celebration event in May 2005. The
event was very successful with over 70 groups represented on the day, six or
seven giving formal presentations and others making valuable contributions
from the floor. The event provided an excellent opportunity for projects to
explain what they had achieved with their funding, as well as to build links and
spread good practice.

North East

The four organisations approved as Intermediary Bodies in 2003 continue to
deliver Global Grants in 2005. These were Northumberland County Council,
South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council, County Durham Community
foundation and Tees Valley Joint Strategy Unit.

All four IBs report that Global Grant funding is an extremely popular process
to enable individuals back into work or providing help to community groups.
Over 500 people and groups have benefited from Global Grants in 2005.
Grants have ranged from £33 to £1200 for individuals and up to £10,000 for a
community group. Grants have been issued to provide vocational training for
individuals, protective clothing, and tools and equipment.

North West

One intermediary body in each of the four sub-regions administer the Global
Grants. Cumbria, in particular, showed a very strong performance and
finished the year 42% above profile and has already consumed 81% of the
total allocation to the end of 2006. In contrast Cheshire is lagging behind
profile (at 71%) due to a later than planned start and Lancashire has only
consumed 31% of the allocation again due to a late start. The main reasons
behind the delayed starts were the availability of match funding and the
difficulty securing the involvement of some of the Districts within the sub-
regions. In addition, there was a change of intermediary body in both the sub-
regions. Can they add something on Greater Manchester –the 4th IB?



                                       52
South East

Global Grants continue to be well received and are an important part of ESF
funding in the region. There are ten Global Grant Intermediary Bodies in the
South East, more than in any other Government Office region, giving full
coverage to the whole of the region. These are made up of four
Community/Voluntary Sector organisations, three County Councils, two City
Councils and one LSC. The total ESF Global Grant commitment has
increased from £4.1 million to £4.3 million. Five of our Global Grant
Intermediary Bodies have taken up the offer of further funding and eight have
also taken the opportunity to extend the closure date of their projects.

South West

The South West currently has six Global Grants Intermediary Bodies (IBs).
These consist of five community and voluntary sector organisations and a
local authority. Funds of £2.1 million have been committed to 31 December
2007 [down £0.5m from 04 report…] through contracts with the above
organisations. Activities to date have delivered actual spend of £1.5 million.

Quarterly practitioners meetings are ongoing between IBs and the
Government Office. The meetings continue to facilitate effective management
of the Programme and promote the sharing of information, knowledge and
good practice. The key issue for the region continues to be the full coverage
for all disadvantaged groups in the region, as available match funding has
placed restrictions on the eligibility of individuals/groups, the type of activity
and geography of projects. A further four project applications are being
developed by both new organisations and existing IBs. If successful these
applications will help to address some of the imbalances in relation to
beneficiary groups and geographic areas

West Midlands

The Government Office had four Global Grants operating in the region but due
to problems regarding match funding on the two organisations shown below
have been able continue into 2005. These were Heart of England Community
Foundation Coventry(£811,687) and Voluntary Action Stoke-on-Trent –
Staffordshire( £100,886).

Yorkshire and the Humber

The Government Office currently has contracts with two Intermediary Bodies
to distribute Global Grants although neither of these give full regional
coverage. The Humberside Learning Consortium offer the full range of Global
Grants in the Humber sub region. The Princes Trust offer Global Grants
throughout the region but only in support of the 16-30 age group. Lack of
suitable match funding has prevented Intermediary Bodies from offering the
full range of grants in West and North Yorkshire.

The Princes Trust is new to the role of an Intermediary Body but it does have
a good record of delivering European Funds.The Humber Learning


                                        53
Consortium is an efficient and successful Intermediary Body. Since
September 2005 it has issued 66 Global Grants. As well as the direct impact
on grant recipients and project beneficiaries Global Grants have acted as a
catalyst to increase community involvement and activity.


3.4 National Projects

The majority of Objective 3 ESF support in England is delivered regionally but
the England Monitoring Committee agreed that part of the programme budget
could be made available for projects which would most appropriately be
delivered at a national level. Following the bidding round which took place in
2004, all funding for National Projects was committed with no further plans for
any future bidding rounds. The focus this year has therefore been on the day
to day management of the 47 National Projects which commenced activity in
2005.

A key priority this year has been to establish effective Article 4 monitoring
arrangements for national projects. Suitable arrangements have been put in
place in response to the issues raised in the audits carried out by the
European Commission. All current national projects were risk assessed with
higher risk projects being included in a timetable of Article 4 visits which
commenced in the last quarter of 2005. Further information is provided in
section 4.4.


3.5 Central Projects
Central projects, which are managed by Government Departments, use ESF
to add value to key Government initiatives across England. Central projects
enable direct strategic links to be made between the Objective 3 Operational
Programme and the UK National Reform Programme, (previously the UK
National Action Plan for Employment). The Managing Authority has worked
closely with policy divisions in the Department for Education and Skills (DfES),
Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), Jobcentre Plus and other]
Government Departments to identify central initiatives that could be expanded
or enhanced with the addition of ESF funding. Several approved projects also
support initiatives in the UK Social Inclusion Action Plan.

All central projects must demonstrate that ESF is adding value to core activity
and that ESF is not replacing any centrally available Government funding. The
Managing Authority provides on-going guidance and support to central
projects that have received funding. The Managing Authority has worked
particularly closely with DWP and Jobcentre Plus, DfES, the Learning and
Skills Council (LSC), the Prison Service (PS Plus 2 ESF project) and
Government Offices (GO) to identify and develop new central project
applications. These projects will support the Government‟s active labour
market and skills policies and the Objective 3 England Operational
Programme. All central funds are committed and all project activity will end no
later than 31 July 2008.




                                      54
The Managing Authority continues to work with project managers to help
publicise the added value of ESF funding. Several projects have been
featured in ESF News and national ESF booklets, and some such as the PS
Plus 2 project were showcased at the UK Presidency ESF Conference held in
October 2005. A summary of live central projects as at 31 December 2005 is
provided below, along with details of others being developed early in 2006.

Policy Field 1: Active labour market policy

There were no live central projects in this Policy Field as at 31 December
2005. Jobcentre Plus is developing a number of centrally funded ESF
projects under Measure 1.2. These are expected to run from summer 2006 to
spring 2008 and will add value to New Deal programmes.

Policy Field 2: Equal opportunities for all and promoting social inclusion

There are currently two Prison Service central projects in this Policy Field,
both funded under Measure 2.2. These build on an earlier Prison Service
project that ended on 31 August 2004. The “Prison Service Plus 2” projects
run from September 2004 to December 2006 and are working with offenders,
a key ESF target group. The projects aim to remove multiple barriers to labour
market entry facing disadvantaged (male) offenders through tailored
intervention, prior to and after release. They offer screening, targeting,
assessment, referral and treatment encompassing intensive guidance
counselling, vocational training, employment support and ICT upskilling. This
enables beneficiaries to realise their full potential and compete more
effectively in the labour market post release.
The projects are delivered in over 30 prisons and should assist over 40,000
beneficiaries. Strong working links have been established with the Probation
Service, Jobcentre Plus and others to deliver a “through the gate” model
whereby many beneficiaries will receive continued support for up to 3 months
post –release.

Jobcentre Plus is developing a number of centrally funded ESF projects under
Measure 2.2. These are expected to run from summer 2006 to spring 2008
and will add value to New Deal programmes.

Policy Field 3: Lifelong learning

There are currently six central projects, all being funded under Measure 3.1.
These are as follows:
      supporting “Adult Learners Week”, the annual festival of adult learning,
       by providing a co-ordinated campaign with links to broadcasters and
       local providers nationwide. The project follows on from two earlier
       central projects and is designed to consistently target groups who have
       limited access to learning opportunities, particularly those with few or
       no skills or qualifications;

      the “Summer Schools” project is raising aspirations and widening
       participation in higher education by young people (aged 14-17) from
       under-represented social groups, particularly those from low-income


                                      55
           backgrounds with no family history of participation. The project
           supports the Government‟s target of 50% of young persons between
           18-30 years of age having experience of higher education by 2010. It
           links directly with the Aimhigher initiative;

          the „Get on Campaign‟ project is supporting a national marketing
           campaign to encourage the 7 million adults in England who need to
           improve their literacy, language and numeracy skills to access free
           training;
          the “Enhanced Key Skills Support Programme” (KSSP) project builds
           on two earlier KSSP central projects that supported practitioners in
           both academic and work-based routes as they delivered key skills to a
           wide range of students and/or trainees as part of their curriculum
           and/or work-based training programmes. The current project
           incorporates new measures that support the LSC Skills for Life Quality
           Initiative – providing parallel support to basic skills practitioners. KSSP
           enhances this provision by supporting practitioners who help learners
           progress from Skills for Life to key skills and other achievements and
           on to employment. There is a continued focus on assisting people
           delivering key skills. Activity enhances the skills of existing practitioners
           and those new to the sector.

          The “Post-16 Citizenship Development Project” is a capacity building
           project that facilitates the development of a longer term infrastructure
           for post 16 citizenship activities and will consequently enhance overall
           provision across England. There is a particular focus on increasing the
           social engagement of young people, particularly of disadvantaged and
           disaffected learners. Day to day delivery of the project is being
           managed by the Learning and Skills Development Agency; and

          The “Learning Community Development/Can Do” project is increasing
           the capacity of disadvantaged communities to access learning and
           employment through an enterprise model of learning communities – to
           engage hard to reach people who are unemployed, economically
           inactive, with low qualifications or otherwise disadvantaged.

In 2005 a proportion of ESF central funds were transferred from Measure 3.1
to West Midlands and Yorkshire and the Humber to support their respective
LSC led Birmingham and Bradford „Fair Cities‟ initiatives. Fair Cities has been
developed by the National Employment Panel in DWP, to improve the
employment prospects of ethnic minority people in inner city areas. Also, £5
million of ESF central funds was transferred to West Midlands to contribute to
the response to the MG Rover redundancies.

A number of new Measure 3.1 centrally funded projects are being developed
in early 2006. These include:

           a project to enhance the national roll out of the LSC‟s Offender
            Learning and Skills Service – which supports offenders‟ continuity of
            learning both in custody and in the community. ESF funds will be
            targeted to support offenders in the community, mainly men who are


                                            56
            furthest from being able to succeed in education, training or
            employment. This will complement the Prison Service projects.

           a follow on Prison Service „PS Plus 3‟ (male estate) project that will
            build on the achievements of PS Plus 2 projects. The main aim of the
            new project is to promote lifelong learning leading to improved
            employability for those who would not normally access education or
            training, or those who face barriers that exclude them from education
            provision. ESFD/The Managing Authority? is working closely with LSC
            and PS Plus teams to ensure that their offender related ESF projects
            are compatible.

           a follow on to the current „Summer Schools‟ – Aimhigher project. This
            will extend the provision of (generally two week) summer schools to
            raise the aspirations of a cohort of 14-17 year old students from
            under-represented groups to go on to Higher Education.

Policy Field 4: Adaptability and entrepreneurship
There are currently four central projects, one is funded under Measure 4.1,
two are funded under Measure 4.2 and one under Measure 4.3. These are as
follows:
          the Employer Engagement project (Measure 4.1) is engaging as widely
           as possible with science, engineering and manufacturing technologies
           employers across England and is assisting them to identify and
           address skills development needs.
          the Skills for Work and Life project (Measure 4.2) is undertaking
           research and development into effective ways of improving literacy,
           numeracy, language and ICT skills of adults in England. The lessons
           from this activity should inform future policy, and enhance the
           employability of adults in England who have learning needs in these
           areas;
          the National Occupational Skills for the Legal Advice Sector project
           (Measure 4.2) aims to establish a comprehensive workforce
           development plan for the legal advice sector. It contributes to the aims
           of the Objective 3 programme by analysing skills needs in the legal
           advice sector and putting in place a framework of follow up action. It is
           also helping to adapt and enhance the skills of people seeking to enter
           the legal advice sector, many of whom are from disadvantaged groups;
           and
          the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project (Measure 4.3) aims
           to increase the number of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships that can
           be delivered in England, excluding Objective 1 areas. The KTP
           initiative uses recently qualified graduates to transfer and embed
           knowledge from a further or higher education institution or research
           organisation into small and medium sized companies through a work
           placement that is generally one to three years in length. KTPs help
           strengthen the productivity, competitiveness, wealth creation and
           economic performance of the UK.




                                           57
Policy Field 5: Improving the position of women in the labour market

There is currently one central project – Prison Service Plus 2 (women‟s
estate), that is funded under Measure 5.1. It follows the PS Plus 2 project
model described under Policy Field 2. The project aims to remove multiple
barriers to labour market entry facing disadvantaged female offenders through
tailored intervention. It offers screening, targeting, assessment, referral and
treatment encompassing intensive guidance counselling, vocational training,
employment support and ICT upskilling. This will enable beneficiaries to
realise their full potential and compete more effectively in the labour market.
The project is delivered in 6 prisons and should assist over 6,000
beneficiaries.
A follow on „PS Plus 3‟ (women‟s estate) project is being developed that will
build on the achievements of PS Plus 2 projects. The main aim of the new
project is to promote lifelong learning leading to improved employability for
those who would not normally access education or training, or those who face
barriers that exclude them from education provision.

Olympics Tri-regional partnership

Around £16 million of ESF central funds from across Policy Fields 3, 4 and 5
has been transferred to London, East of England and South East regions to
support the employment and skills needs of the 2012 London Olympics. The
Greater South East initiative, entitled „On Your Marks‟, is making funding
available for a range of activity linked to lifelong learning, adaptability and
entrepreneurship and equal opportunities, principally within the construction,
logistics and sport and leisure industries.

3.6 Major Projects

There were no projects whose total cost exceeded 50 million euro in 2005.
The managing authority has therefore referred no projects to the Commission
under Article 26 of Council Regulation 1260/1999 in 2005.

3.8 Horizontal Themes: Equal Opportunities, Local and Sustainable
Development and the Information Society

Equal Opportunities

This section provides further information on the action that has been taken
during 2005 to strengthen equal opportunities mainstreaming in the Objective
3 programme.

The Equal Opportunities Sub Group issued an equal opportunities
mainstreaming template questionnaire to all of the English regions in February
2005. The reporting template questionnaire was issued to the regions to
check what progress had been made since the mid term evaluation of the
programme. A number of issues were of particular interest to the sub-group:

      the extent to which regions had set baselines and targets for their
       regional mainstreaming pans;



                                       58
      the success of the equal opportunities gateway questionnaire for
       applicant providers;

      ways in which co-financing organisations were contributing to equal
       opportunities mainstreaming.

The regional template returns showed that:

      regional mainstreaming plans were aligned to the national plan and
       nearly all have baselines and targets or are finalising baselines /
       targets ( a recommendation from the mid term review);

      all regional mainstreaming plans had arrangements for formal review -
       a recommendation from mid term review;

      CFOs were using gateway style questions to elicit information from
       applicant providers and this is bolstered by a contractual requirement
       for Jobcentre Plus and LSC providers to have an appropriate equal
       opportunities policy in place;

      CFOs were using pre-contract negotiations to address equal
       opportunities issues with providers where necessary. Providers agree
       future action on their development plan;

      gateway questions are generally working well in CFO tendering and
       alternative bidding rounds Feedback from regions indicate that the
       majority of applicants who fail gateway do so because of the overall
       poor quality of their application;

      the majority of regions had set up review arrangements for equal
       opportunities with their CFOs in terms of performance and
       implementation of their plans;

      CFOs were monitoring providers for equal opportunities -albeit to
       varying degrees. LSCs in the South East, for example, had started to
       use equality and diversity impact indicators which providers have to
       report against and explain what action they will take to improve
       performance where necessary;

      most regions reported that during CFOs had used tendering rounds to
       help target support for people who are economically inactive and
       disabled as well as provide care support.

A number of equal opportunities workshops were run during the UK
Presidency ESF conference, held at the Manchester International Convention
Centre on 14 October 2005. This was a high-profile event and was attended
by nearly 500 key partners from across the United Kingdom and EU Member
States. The workshops aimed to help share good practice as well as highlight
how ESF is adding value to Government programmes which help these
groups in the Objective 3 programme. There were workshops on: gender
equal equality; helping people from ethnic minorities find work‟ helping
disabled people find employment; help provided for other disadvantaged
groups including older people. The workshops were well attended and ESF


                                      59
division received positive feedback from delegates about the workshops.

The sub group has agreed to refocus its work so that greater emphasis is
given to sharing good practice on equal opportunities during the last year of
the current programme period as well as looking at those lessons learned in
equal opportunities mainstreaming which can inform the new 20070-2013
programme.

Sustainable and local development

Guidance on mainstreaming sustainable development was issued to the
English Government Office regions during 2004. This guidance included an
interactive toolkit which was designed to help ESF applicants better
understand the concept of sustainable development in terms of ESF as well
as identify future action which they can take to further promote sustainable
development.

During 2005, a number of regions in England, including London, South East
and the East Midlands have prepared enhanced guidance for their regional
websites as well as offering training in sustainable development for their key
partners. Some regions such as North West have been active in gathering
case studies to share as examples of good practice. During 2006 a
sustainable development working group will be set up to identify lessons
learned in mainstreaming sustainable development and identifying good
practice which can be carried forward into the 2007-2013 programme.

A national ESF Sustainable Development Award was launched during 2005
which aimed to reward projects that had made the greatest effort to effectively
support sustainable development. The award was given to the Groundwork
Erewash Valley Intermediate Labour Market project. The award ceremony
was held during the ESF UK Presidency conference on 14 October. The
project had successfully integrated the themes of social inclusion,
environmental protection and supporting the local economy.

ESF makes an important contribution to promote local development, for
example, by supporting area-based initiatives in policy field 2 as well as
supporting Global Grants.

Information Society

The Operational Programme aims to take account of the social and labour
market dimensions of the information society by supporting projects that
harness the employment potential of the information society. It also helps to
tackle the digital divide by promoting equal access to information and
communication technology. The mid-term evaluation pf the information society
theme of the programme concluded that ICT issues were already well-
embedded in ESF projects and reported that significant proportions of
beneficiaries had clearly increased their IT skills. These beneficiaries included
a wide range of people, including: unemployed people; women returners;
young people; lone parents; disabled people; people with literacy and
numeracy problems; and people from black and ethnic minority groups.



                                       60
3.8 Modifications to the Programme Complement

There were no modifications to the Programme Complement in 2005.

3.9 Financial Engineering

Objective 3 funding in England takes the form of direct assistance to
applicants to deliver agreed inputs and outputs. ESF in Objective 3 does not
provide loans or other forms of financial engineering assistance that have to
be subsequently repaid.




                                      61
SECTION 4: PROGRAMME MANAGEMENT

4.1 Programme Monitoring Committee

The Objective 3 England Programme Monitoring Committee was established
in accordance with Article 35 of Council Regulation 1260/1999. The
committee was established in early 2000 for the life of the 2000 – 2006
programme. It represents the Objective 3 area of England, outside those
areas designated as Objective 1. The committees role is strategic and based
on implementing, monitoring, evaluating and, where necessary, adjusting the
programme in accordance with the Operational Programme for England and
Gibraltar.

The committee is chaired by a representative of the Department for Work and
Pensions. It comprises representatives from the Regional Committees for
England and Gibraltar, the Department for Trade and Industry, equality
commissions, social partners, the European Commission and national
organisations with an interest in, and contribution to make, to the effective
implementation of the programme.

In 2005, the Committee met three times. During the course of the meetings a
range of topics were dealt with. The committee discussed seventeen papers
(not including the minutes and matters arising), took seven oral
reports/presentations and dealt with two topics by written procedure.
Programme performance was a discussion paper at each meeting including
financial aspects of the programme. Equal Opportunities was also a standing
item on each meeting agenda. Other papers tabled were on a range of issues
such as Technical Assistance, Sustainable Development, Publicity, Evaluation
and Inspection.

The Committee has established working groups on national projects, equal
opportunities and evaluation to assist progress. Each group meets between
three and four times a year. ESF Division provides the secretariat to the
Committee.


4.2 Regional Committees

Regional Committees exist in each of the nine English regions and Gibraltar.
They are responsible for decisions relating to the regional implementation of
the programme within the national framework. Regional Committees report to
the England Programme Monitoring Committee on implementation and other
issues. Government Offices provide the secretariat to their Regional
Committees. All regions have adopted strategies to increase the number of
female members on their committees. Brief updates on the work of the
Regional Committees in 2005 are provided below.




                                     62
East of England

An overarching committee, the Structural Fund Strategy Group has
responsibility for Structural Funds throughout the region, ensuring that all
structural fund programmes are fully integrated in relation to regional
strategies, such as the revised Regional Economic Strategy, the Framework
for Regional Employment and Skills Action and Regional Skills and
Competitiveness Partnership. A number of sub-groups have been set up to
consider specific programme issues such as equal opportunities,
communications and sustainable development.

Below the Structural Funds Strategy Group there are operating groups for
each programme. The Objective 3 operating group has overall responsibility
for the day-to-day management of the Objective 3 programme. The group met
six-monthly in 2005 due to full commitment being achieved in 2004. Main
issues discussed in 2005 related to commitment of additional funds made
available from revaluation of the programme and additional funds made
available from central funds, review of programme performance and
monitoring of N+2 spend target. Membership has been revised in line with
increased focus on delivery through co-financing, with all ten CFOs
represented, as well as a wide range of key partners from a wide range of
sectors.

East Midlands

During 2005 the European Secretariat undertook a thorough review
(European Horizons) of the way in which European Funds were managed in
the East Midlands. This led to a number of changes including the
development of new teams within the secretariat, one of which was the Policy
team, who are now responsible for the management and secretariat of the
Regional Monitoring Committee (RMC).

One of the key recommendations that came out of the review was the
suggestion that the Regional Monitoring Committee (RMC) should meet less
frequently (twice yearly) and that the agenda be scheduled to maximise the
committee‟s decision making role and focus on papers that will generate
debate and require endorsement. The overall aim of this was to make better
use of the meetings and those people attending although urgent business is
still conducted through written procedures and ad hoc meetings. Partners are
informed of key decisions through the website. The Objective 3 Regional
Monitoring Committee met twice during the year and considered a range of
items including CFO Plans and Measure Level Bids, approval of allocation of
resources between CFOs and alternative bids, CFO annual reviews, and the
mid -term review. The ESF Strategy Group has met three times during the
year and the CFO Operational Group has met five times.

London

The London European Programmes Committee (LEPC), the overarching body
responsible for London‟s Objective 2, 3 and URBAN programmes, met twice
in 2005, reviewing spend targets and performance in the Objective 3
programme as part of its work. The Objective 3 Support and Advisory Group


                                      63
(SAG), the management committee to which the LEPC delegates
responsibility for day to day implementation of the Objective 3 programme,
met three times during 2005. Members contributed their views on a wide
range of issues over the course of the year and amongst its decisions the
SAG:
    endorsed a regional publicity strategy;
    endorsed a regional Technical Assistance strategy and a number of TA
       projects;
    endorsed virement proposals from a CFO;
    endorsed the replacement of Connexions South London as a CFO by
       the Royal Borough of Kingston-upon-Thames;
    endorsed funding for the region‟s 2005-06 global grants programme.

Throughout 2005 the SAG also continued to acknowledge the work of two
staff recruited by the Government Office to develop equalities and
sustainable development within London‟s Objective 2 and 3 structural fund
programmes. Specifically the SAG endorsed project and research work within
the cross-cutting themes, which led to notable achievements including the
launch on the website of a revised Mainstreaming Equalities Action Plan to
assist the implementation of equal opportunities within London‟s Objective 3
programme through delivery of six key objectives.

North East

The Regional Committee met on two occasions during 2005. It approved
revised CFO Plans following the final allocations to the CFOs. As a result of
the mid term review members were also keen to ensure all relevant
stakeholders/sectors were represented on the Committee and they therefore
agreed to form a sub-group (chaired by a Committee member) to examine the
governance of the Committee.

The sub-group met during June 2005 and reported its findings to the
Committee at it meeting in September 2005. It was agreed to amend its
Terms of Reference and to have additional membership on the Committee.
Representatives from the Regional Skills Partnership, NE Chamber of
Commerce, Northern Business Forum and the Skills for Business Network
were nominated to join the Committee. All nominees are now actively involved
in the Committee.

North West

The Programme Management/Regional Committee(PM/RC) assumes
responsibility for the formal monitoring and programme management
arrangements required in Regulation 1260/1999. The PM/RC is made up of
key stakeholders in the Programme. Government Departments, regional
bodies and key sector organisations are all represented. Both the Objective 2
and Objective 3 Programmes are managed by the PM/RC. This allows for
better linkage between the two Programmes and encourages more strategic
decision making across the Programmes. The PM/RC is also responsible for
developing the overall strategy for the Objective 2 and Objective 3
Programmes in the North West. This includes developing and setting policy
and agreeing the key Programme documents such as the Single Programme


                                     64
Document (SPD) in Objective 2 and the Regional Development Plan in
Objective 3.

The Performance Management Group (PMG) focuses on performance
management information and makes submissions to PM/RC, identifying areas
of underspend and significant issues affecting performance as well as
reallocation of unspent resources of less than £3 million.

Supporting the PM/RC is the Objective 3 Advisory Group which considers
issues such as developing Objective 3 strategy, making recommendations on
allocation of funds to Co-financing Organisations, as well as approval of major
projects up to the value of £3 million. The Advisory Group also works towards
identifying best practice across the Programme and considers linkages with
other Programmes.

South East

The Regional Committee is chaired by the Government Office Regional
Strategy Director and membership includes representatives from CFOs,
Regional Assembly, Local Authority, Sector Skills Council, Trades Unions,
Voluntary Sector, Further and Higher Education, Regional Culture Consortium
and a number of equalities bodies. It met four times in the year. Three sub-
groups report to and make recommendations to the Committee - the
Executive Support Group, Equalities Working Group and Communications
Strategy Group.

The Committee approved a number of funding rounds and initiatives through
the year to ensure that the programme meets the spend targets, supports
individuals experiencing exclusion in the labour market and meets employer
needs including £6.9 million additional funding to the LSCs and £1.5million to
alternative bids.

South West

The South West Regional Committee met three times during 2005.
Membership remains strong with key stakeholders from public, private,
community and voluntary sectors represented along with the TUC and small
business representation. The Committee agrees regional priorities for the
Objective 3 programme and ensures they are clearly identified in the Regional
Development Plan.

A new sub group of the committee has also been established; the Impact
Group. The purpose of this group is to develop a framework to capture the
impact that ESF has had in the South West region during 2000-2006
programme period and to understand better what has been successful and
why and also where performance has not been achieved what lessons have
been learned. This will be taken forward early in 2006 with a research project
being established and findings presented to the RC and RSP to help
implementation of future programmes.




                                      65
West Midlands

The Regional Committee met three times in 2005: March, July and November
with key discussions around the Rover Crisis.
Following negotiations between the Government Office , DWP and
Birmingham & Solihull a £10 million ESF Objective 3 MG Rover Support
Package was awarded to Birmingham & Solihull LSC: £5 million from existing
Government Office West Midlands 3.1 allocation and a further £5 million from
central funding.

Yorkshire and the Humber

The Objective 3 Regional Committee has recognised that the programme has
now clearly moved from the phase of commitment to delivery. It has accepted
that the nature of Co-financing means that the main function of the
management authority has changed from contract manager to performance
manager and that performance of the CFOs and the delivery of outputs is key.
The Committee receives regular reports on output performance and will seek
to add value in identifying areas of both over and under performance and
possibly commissioning relevant research.

The Committee decided that it can be more effective by delegating more
detailed management to specialised sub committees or groups. As a result
the full Regional Committee now only meets on three occasions a year with
regular reports from sub committees. The Co-financing sub Committee has
delegated responsibility for monitoring the performance of CFOs. The
remaining alternative bidding resource is directed by sub groups of the
regional committee.


4.3 Regional Development Plans (RDP)

The RDPs for the Objective 3 programme are designed to help inform CFO
plans and provider/project selection processes by highlighting priorities for
support at local level within the context of the national programme.

East of England

A supplement to the RDP was produced in 2004. This highlighted key
changes and target groups identified within the programme mid-term review
and key sectors identified within the revised Regional Economic Strategy. The
supplement was used to influence the activity approved through co-financing
in 2005.

East Midlands

The East Midlands RDP was updated in October 2004 to reflect the findings of
the mid-term evaluation and the latest developments in regional strategies
and national policies. Positive feedback was received from ESF Division
following submission of the revised RDP, along with suggestions for a few
enhancements. Further revisions to the RDP have not been made during


                                       66
2005, as, due to the limited amount of bidding / tendering, this work was not
considered a priority. However, as mentioned above, during the run-up to a
regional tendering round in mid 2005, CFOs worked closely with the East
Midlands Development Agency to ensure that tender specifications supported
the (then) newly emerging East Midlands Employment and Skills Partnership
Action Plan (ESP). This action plan replaced the Framework for Regional
Employment and Skills Action (FRESA) to which the RDP makes reference.

London

In 2004 the RDP was reviewed and a foreword produced by the London
Development Agency. The foreword provided an update on the main labour
market and policy developments in London since June 2002 (when the RDP
was previously revised), particularly the development of the Framework for
Regional Skills and Employment Action (FRESA).

The foreword also highlighted key recommendations of the national Objective
3 mid-term evaluation, the growing need for recognition of social and
environmental responsibilities, the creation of the London Sustainable
Development Commission and its role to advise on sustainability matters and
policy in the capital. It also referred to the Mayor‟s annual Equalities Report
on the promotion of equal opportunity for black and minority ethnic
communities, women, and disabled people.

Following these significant developments in 2004, no more changes were
made to the RDP during 2005. However, the Government Office
commissioned an evaluation of the CFO 2004 tendering rounds. It then issued
some further guidance which focused on certain gaps in the delivery of RDP
priorities identified in the evaluation. Key priorities emphasised by the London
Skills Commission in its new Action Plan (the successor document to the
FRESA) were also highlighted.

North East

Following agreement to the updated RDP in late 2004 the Co-Financing
Organisations modified their CFO Plans to incorporate the increased focus on
helping people who are economically inactive by improving their employability
and skills. The RDP Update has also set the CFOs aspirational targets of
supporting 50% females per Measure, 15% disabled beneficiaries across
each Measure and 4.5% BME beneficiaries across each Measure by the end
of the Programme.

North West

The Regional Development Plan was comprehensively reviewed and revised
in the year to take account of the other emerging regional strategies and
priorities within the RES and the agreed regional skills priorities of the
Regional Skills Partnership. In the process it was also sharpened-up and
made much more user-friendly.




                                      67
South East

The RDP was updated in Summer 2004 to reflect the changes in activities and
target groups in the England Operational Programme following the mid-term
review. The revised plan is the driver for the design of projects in the period
2005-07. The plan was also updated to include statistical data from the 2001
census, including information on equalities groups and other labour market
information. No further revisions have been necessary

South West

Changes to the RDP following the mid term review were made in 2004. During
2005 the Regional Committee developed the ESF Objective 3 programme‟s
links to key regional strategies in order to enhance the impact of the
programme. The Committee was keen to ensure this was not a theoretical
exercise and should focus on real, practical links that would lead to improved
results and impacts. To do this a presentation was given to the SWESA Board
with a view to establishing formal links between the Board and the SW
Regional Committee. It is intended that this will be formalised in 2006 in
preparation for delivery of new programmes from 2007.

West Midlands

The RDP was revised in 2003 and no further revisions have been made. All
subsequent bidding refers to this document and also the findings from the mid
term evaluation. The Government Office in co-operation with the four CFOs
carried out a mapping exercise in 2005 to ensure that all the beneficiary
groups and actions identified by the mid term evaluation had been addressed.

Yorkshire and the Humber

The RDP was revised in 2004 to incorporate the changes agreed as part of
the mid- term review. The outputs and targets were also updated to reflect
the achievements of the programme to date and to give the Co-financing
Organisations a clear baseline as plans for the final part of the programme
were developed


4.4 Monitoring Systems and Data Collection

Data Collection

During 2005 monitoring data were collected at the start and end of the project.
The data necessary to monitor the indicators, agreed in the Operational
Programme, were collected via an interactive disk using the applications and
project closure forms. The interactive disk has a number of checks
programmed into it to ensure that the data provided by project promoters is
consistent and answers are provided to the questions before the data can be
transmitted. The questions used in the applications and project closure forms
have been designed to collect the data needed to monitor the indicators. Some
limited interim data was also available during 2005. However, following advice
from the ESF Evaluation team, this was suspended until changes to the data


                                      68
collection systems had been made.

For the impact indicators, which look at outcomes at six months, data has been
collected from final beneficiaries using an annual leavers‟ survey (Beneficiaries‟
Survey). Data from the 2005 Beneficiaries‟ Survey is currently available.

The Programme Monitoring Committee has discussed steps to take to
improve monitoring data. Enhancements are due to be implemented in 2006
which will include the collection of interim data. Previously, all data were
based around closed projects.

Article 4 - overview
An audit mission by the Commission to look at the management of co-
financing in 2004 (report dated 10 June 2004) concluded that:
      for CFOs, the quarterly reviews were felt to meet the “delivery”
       requirements of Article 4, but the checks on the reality of expenditure
       must be carried out by the Managing Authority or by Government
       Offices acting under their delegated authority from the Managing
       Authority. The argument was that a Final Beneficiary (in this case a
       CFO), could not carry out Article 4 checks on itself, even though it was
       acknowledged that the internal audit functions of the main CFOs, the
       Learning and Skills Council and Jobcentre Plus, were independent of
       the operational and management functions; and

      for alternative bid projects, the regime of monitoring visits and external
       audit certificates did not fulfil Article 4.

ESFD accepted these recommendations and put in place a plan to implement
procedures that fully met the requirements of Article 4. It should be recognised
that moving from one system to a very different one midway through the
programming period was not straightforward.
The main elements of this action plan are:
             revised instructions;
             development of formal Article 4 plans by each GO and agreed
              with ESFD;
             training of staff carrying out Article 4 visits; and
             oversight of Article 4 activity by ESFD.
These elements are described in more details in the following sections of this
report.
Revised instructions
ESFD decided that initially the work should concentrate on the alternative bid
projects, which have higher risks than the CFOs, as these are major public
bodies and will be delivering ESF activity until the end of the Programme.
ESFD issued Action Note 75/04 on 19 July 2004 “Revised procedures for
Article 4 checks on alternatively funded (non-CFO) Projects”.
In summary, these instructions require GOs to:



                                         69
             follow the new procedures and adopt the standard checklist;
             ensure that every Article 4 visit is written up using the checklist;
             ensure that follow up action is agreed with the project promoter
              where any issues are outstanding;
             ensure that the project promoter receives a copy of the
              completed checklist and signs it off as “agreed”;
             ensure that all outstanding action agreed with a project promoter
              is followed up and implemented; and
             produce and send to ESFD an annual plan to identify the
              process for selecting projects for visits and to explain the
              sampling method used where fewer than 100% of projects are to
              be visited.
The Action Note also gives guidance about different methods for applying risk
based selection of projects for visits.
Revised instructions for Article 4 visits to CFOs were included in a major
revision of the Co-financing guidance, which was issued at the end of April
2005.
The main changes from the previous guidance were:
             the introduction of a specific annual check on the reality of
              expenditure, with a pro-forma on which to record details of the
              check;
             the requirement to visit CFO providers (final recipients) as part
              of Article 4 activity; and
             the requirement to include match funded activity within the
              scope of the Article 4 checks, including visits to CFO match
              funded providers.
Following a review of the guidance relating to Article with GOs, it is intended
to add some important enhancements to the guidance in the spring of 2006:-
             inclusion of a standard pro-forma to record visits to CFO
              providers;
             good practice guidance on following up outstanding issues to
              ensure that all action is concluded as quickly as possible; and
             good practice guidance on keeping relevant documents on the
              Article 4 visit file, such as copies of invoices investigated as part
              of the financial check.
Article 4 plans and activity
As noted above, GOs were required to send Article 4 plans to ESFD by the
end of August 2004 for comment and approval. Although most plans were
received on time, ESFD concluded that the target date had been ambitious,
especially as it was clear that several GOs did not fully understand what was
required of them. In addition, several GOs felt that it was not possible to
develop a realistic plan without knowing what impact there would be on staff
resources; until they had received training, it would not be possible to forecast
how long it would take to carry out a visit, complete the documentation and


                                        70
follow up outstanding issues. These were all legitimate points. So, there was
not a realistic and agreed plan for every GO until the training had been
completed at the end of February 2005.
Article 4 plans required GOs to confirm that they would follow the correct
procedures and use the standard checklists and forms. Any proposals to use
a revised form must be approved by ESFD.
GOs were required to produce a progress report on the 2004-5 plan and
produce a 2005-6 plan.
ESFD is placing particular emphasis for support and training on those GOs
that have carried out fewest visits.
Training
Training was carried out jointly with the Office for the Deputy Prime Minister
(since renamed the Department for Communities and Local Government), the
Managing Authority for ERDF. This was done both to ensure common
standards and also because some GOs have joint ESF/ERDF teams.
Training was carried out at a series of one day regional seminars during
January and February 2005. The first half of the training covered generic
issues that apply to both ESF and ERDF, and then the afternoon session
covered ESF specific issues.
Since the training was carried out there has been staff turnover, several GOs
have recruited new staff for this work. Some GO staff have also said that they
would like more detailed training on technical issues such as accounting for
staff time; eligibility of expenditure; apportionment of overheads; recording of
in kind match funding.
ESFD decided to arrange further training seminars, to cover the basics for
staff new to the work, but also expert workshops covering items such as those
mentioned above. This further training started in November and will continue
according to needs after that.


Action plan for oversight by the Managing Authority
ESFD recognises that there are some differences between GOs in the quality
of the Article 4 work and the importance that they attach to it. It is intended to
raise the standard of all GOs to that of the best, and there is already much
evidence of good practice emerging that needs to be disseminated. In order to
take the work forward, a number of steps have been taken and are planned.
ESFD has appointed a new Article 4 Officer, who has specific responsibility
for:
              Monitoring Article 4 activity in every Govt Office in terms of
               quantity and quality – visits have already been made to every
               GO to assess activity and training needs.
              Introducing new quarterly reporting arrangements for GOs to
               report on Article 4 activity – for introduction by the end of 2005.
              Ensuring that staff carrying out Article 4 visits are properly
               trained and equipped for the task – an Article 4 practitioner
               group has been established and is developing the content for a


                                         71
              series of seminars. As noted above, these will cover an
              introduction to Article 4 work for new staff and also more
              specialist workshops to cover such subjects as
                   o Recording of staff time
                   o Eligible expenditure
                   o Apportionment of overheads
                   o Recording in kind match funding
             Developing and enhancing the guidance and spreading good
              practice – establishment of the practitioners group is intended to
              help spread good practice.
Article 4 issues are now a standing agenda item on the quarterly GO
Practitioners‟ Group meetings, both raising awareness of the importance of
the work and allowing the exchange of good practice.
In addition ESFD has introduced annual management reviews with each GO
to satisfy the Managing Authority that GOs are fulfilling the responsibilities of
the Managing Authority in accordance with the annual letter of delegation and
in accordance with Regulations and ESFD instructions. The first set of reviews
took place in early 2006.
The review team is led by the Head or Deputy Head of ESFD and looks at all
aspects of ESF related work in the GO. Specifically in respect of Article 4, the
review takes note of the information in the new quarterly reports mentioned
above and question the GO on the following:
      Article 4 strategy and plans; percentage coverage of direct bid projects;
       rationale for sampling; risk assessment;
      Article 4 visits done compared with plan; visits to CFO providers;
       checks on CFO match funding; numbers; issues arising;
      recording Article 4 visits; follow up of outstanding issues; follow up
       visits;
      recording, following up and concluding irregularities;
      any systemic faults;
      improvements to control systems made by the GO resulting from
       feedback from Art 4/10 controls;
      liaison with Article 10 team (FAM);
      training and development;
      good practice suggestions by the GO;

Where it becomes evident that a particular GO is not carrying out Article 4
checks in accordance with instructions, then a remedial action plan will be
drawn and the GO will have to carry out that plan.
Article 4 visits

In November 2005 all Government Offices submitted individual Article 4 Plans
to ESFD following an approach agreed with the Court of Auditors. The plan
gives a risk analysis of all alternative bidding organisations, the staff resource
allocated to A4 by each Government Office and the number of visits to be
undertaken. ESFD now monitor the performance of the Government Offices
through a quarterly return which lists the visits and identifies common


                                        72
          problems found on visits. These returns are sent to DG Employment.

          ESFD formed an A4 working group which has organised meetings and a
          conference with the aim of improving:

                 the processes involved in organising A4 visits;
                 quality assurance of the reports;
                 staff training;
                 resolving issues; and
                 spreading good practice.


                            Article 4 visits October to December 2005
Government         Number of    Number      Number of      Total Visits   Number of        Number of
Office             visits       of visits   visits made    Oct-Dec        visits made      follow up
                   proposed     made        Oct-Dec        2005           Oct-Dec 2005     Actions
                   by end of    Oct-Dec     2005                          to                Oct-Dec
                   2006         2005        CFOs                          CFO providers    2005
                                ABs
North East         147          24          1              25             1                4
North West         77           5           3              8              0                0
Yorks & the        60           6           0              6              0                7
Humber
East Midlands      42           10          0              10             0                7
East of England    233          4           10             14             10               4
West Midlands      43           7           0              7              0                1
South West         72           7           3              10             3                5
South East         30           8           1              9              1                6
London             11           0           4              4              2                2
ESF Division       30           1           0              1              0                7
TOTALS             745          72          22             94             17               43


          Figures are only available for the last three months of 2005 because before
          that all Article 4 work (apart from National, Central and Equal) was undertaken
          and monitored by the Government Offices. Last year, following advice from
          the Commission, ESFD decided to take a more active approach and set up a
          working group to look at Article 4 issues and to update the guidance. GOs are
          now all using the same reporting forms. From September 2005, all GOs are
          required to submit a quarterly report to ESFD. The figures are then collated
          into a report for the Commission.

          The figures for proposed visits are taken from the Article 4 plans provided by
          each GO. The quarterly reports provide the number of in-period visits made
          to CFOs, CFO providers and Alternative Bidders. ESFD also asks each GO
          to tell us the number of follow up actions and visits they have done in the
          period.




                                                 73
In addition to the findings on Article 4 checks which are discussed above, the
following issues required remedial action by the Managing Authority:

   o Management Override. The practice of paying and blocking at the
     PCR stage was identified as a significant weakness in the operation of
     financial controls by the European Commission auditors. The majority
     of „management override‟ activity was in Objective 1 and 2
     programmes but a smaller sum of €185,433 was in Objective 3.
     DWP subsequently revised and strengthened its financial procedures
     and controls to avoid a recurrence of this problem. Revised payment
     claims were submitted to the Commission that removed the
     projects and the expenditure affected.

   o Voluntary contributions. Commission auditors ruled that some of the
     requests made by Government Offices for contributions from providers
     in support of Technical Assistance were not genuinely voluntary. For
     the Objective 3 programme, the North West and North East
     Government Offices were affected. In order to remedy the situation the
     Government Offices obtained signed declarations from each provider
     stating that their contributions were made on a voluntary basis.

   o Private match funding. Auditors raised concerns about the audit trail
     relating to private match funding and requested that certification for
     these funds be treated in the same way as public match funds. In
     response, the Managing Authority devised and issued a private match
     funding certificate and this is now an integral feature of the ESF
     certification system.


4.5 Financial Control

In England, the audit requirements of Regulation 438/2001 are coordinated by
the ESF Division‟s Verification and Audit (VA) and Programme Delivery
Teams. The delivery of the inspection programme required under article 10 is
co-ordinated by the VA Team and carried out by the nine Government Offices
(GOs) for ESF delivered within each region and the VA Team‟s own visiting
team for national and centrally funded programmes, EQUAL , and for ESF in
Gibraltar.

To ensure effective delivery of 438/2001, the VA team have:

      provided comprehensive guidance to the GOs on:

           annual planning - to enable GOs to assess risk factors, meet
            targets and focus on specific issues;

           management information – in order to check progress against
            plans;

           selection of samples – to ensure compliance with article 11 of



                                      74
             438/2001;

           how to carry out Article 10 checks on projects, whether directly
            funded or co-financed;

           irregularity reporting in line with EC Regulation 1681/94;

           the rules and regulations that govern the use of ESF;

           dealing with financial corrections in line with EC Regulation
            448/2001;

           introduced new guidance on the treatment of systemic errors.

      carried out annual quality assurance visits to all regions to gain
       assurance that published guidance on inspection planning, reporting
       irregularities and applying financial corrections is applied correctly and
       consistently, and that an effective audit trail exists to support
       management information provided by the GO;

      carried out additional visits to all regions to check the accuracy of the
       MI provided on progress against Article 10 checks and reported
       irregular payments;

      carried out quarterly GO Network Meetings, where new guidance is
       discussed and disseminated, progress on inspection reviewed, key
       common issues raised and action agreed, and good practice shared;

      led discussion with GOs on effective preparation for closure of the
       2000-2006 programmes focussing on the lessons learned from the
       1994-999 process;

      worked with CFOs on preventative work to improve the quality of
       financial controls;

      provided support to GO Secretariat (MA) staff on checking claims to
       enhance article 4 controls;

      agreed a programme of additional article 10 visits to compensate for
       identified inadequate article 4 controls;

      agreed a programme of additional article 10 visits to projects with
       contracts rewarded retrospectively during 2003/4 to check that
       regulatory requirements have been met;

      provided training for GO inspection staff; and

      provided support and advice on issues raised during the course of
       inspection work.
As part of the coordination role, GOs are required to produce a quarterly
inspection report to VA Team. This report provides:

      details of progress against meeting the 5% targets;


                                        75
        details of resources allocated to inspection work;

        an update on the progress made towards the conclusion of a reported
         irregularity;

        details of amounts recovered and associated financial correction action
         under 448/2001; and

        information on issues raised through inspection work.

These reports help the VA Team to focus the inspection efforts and influence
general policy on ESF.

Progress on the Inspection Programme
As at 31 December 2005, progress against the 5% in year targets is shown
below:

                                                                2005 *                 Cumulative
 Total eligible expenditure paid and
                                                                1,381,019,199 5,240,010,297
 certified (€)

 Inspected Value (€)                                            19,015,233             540,482,972

 % inspected                                                    1.38                   10.31

* Note – inspection work on 2005 will be continued during 2006.

Irregularities
The number and value of irregularities reported in compliance with
Commission Regulation 1681/94 is as follows:


Irregularities report as a result of A10 Inspections

                                                     Number Reported
 Reported irregularities as at 31                                                           Cumulative
 December 2005                                                                              Value (£)
                                                     In 2005            Cumulative
 Irregularities reported                             56                 143                 4,268,183

 Irregularities closed                               27                 98                  1,417,767

 Open irregularities                                 NA                 45                  2,850,416*

*Note – in 29 of the 45 cases the true amount of the irregular payment has yet to be quantified. This amount
will reduce when the true value of the irregularity is established.




                                                     76
Irregularities reported as a result of other methods of detection (ie A4
visits)

                                                     Number Reported
 Reported irregularities as at 31                                                            Cumulative
 December 2005                                                                               Value (£)
                                                     In 2005             Cumulative
 Irregularities reported                             12                  33                  2,356,194

 Irregularities closed                               9                   24                  1,931,270

 Open irregularities                                 NA                  9                   424,924*

*Note – in 4 of the 9 cases the true amount of the irregular payment has yet to be quantified. This amount will
reduce when the true value of the irregularity is established.


Irregularities below the de minimis (€4000)
A total of 39 of the irregularities reported under Regulation 1681/94
culminated in amounts below the de minimis once they had been quantified –
a cumulative value of £22,596. In addition to the reported irregularities there
has been a further 15 minor irregularities that have fallen below the de
minimis level with a cumulative value of £29,502.

Once the irregularity is identified, it is reported to the VA Team and logged.
Details are then passed to the Department of Trade and Industry which
coordinate all the irregularity reports for European Structural Funds within the
UK. They then forward details to OLAF.

Once reported the project is then given time to gather further evidence to
support the claim. If they fail to produce satisfactory evidence the amount
identified as irregular is recovered either by off-setting this from future claims,
or by repayment. If the organisation fails or refuses to pay, legal advice is
usually sought.

Progress on clearing irregularities is monitored by the VA Team. The VA
Team also conducts visits to GOs to discuss audits, issued raised, and to offer
advice on progressing difficult cases. If the irregularity is of a systemic nature,
audit work is extended to other projects run by the organisation. In all cases a
report is produced that provides recommendations that will help prevent any
re-occurrence of the irregularity.

The main causes of irregularities reported as a result of A10 inspections, up to
31 December 2005 are detailed below:


          Irregularity                                                  % of irregularities
                                                                        reported
          Ineligible costs                                              69.9
          Financial control                                             32.9
          Non-verifiable match funding                                  23.1
          Beneficiary Records                                           8.4
          Beneficiary Costs                                             7.0


                                                      77
          Voluntary Liquidation                                4.2
          Incorrectly Completed Claim                          2.1
          Not delivered in line with specification             2.1
          Costing Methodology                                  0.7


The main causes of irregularities reported as a result of other activities up to
31 December 2005 are detailed below:

          Irregularity                                         % of irregularities
                                                               reported
          Ineligible costs                                     54.6
          Financial control                                    45.5
          Beneficiary Records                                  15.2
          Non-verifiable match funding                         9.1
          Liquidation                                          9.1
          False Claim                                          9.1
          Incorrectly Completed Claim                          3.0
          Beneficiary Eligibility                              3.0
          Non existent operation                               3.0
          Underclaim on Eligible costs                         3.0

[Note: Most irregularity reports raised more than one issue]

These causes are discussed with GOs and within ESFD to help prevent re-
occurrence. Preventive measures taken include issuing revised guidance,
briefing sessions for project applicants and the different systems operated
under Co-financing.

4.6 Evaluation

The UK Evaluation Standing Group (UKESG) was set up in 1999 to ensure that
all Structural Fund programmes in the UK carry out effective evaluation of ESF
interventions. The UKESG oversees the Objective 3 evaluation strategy as part
of its remit and provides feedback to the Objective 3 Monitoring Committee on
relevant lessons for programme implementation emerging from the evaluation.
Meetings of the UKESG are chaired by the ESFD. Membership includes
representatives from: the European Commission; Objective 1, 2, and 3
programme committees; Government Offices; Scottish Executive; Welsh
representatives and the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. There is an equal
opportunities expert on the group.

During 2005 the UKESG met twice (March and November). The main focus for
the meetings was the development of evaluation work for the update to the mid-
term evaluation. Issues discussed included:

        progress reports on the four homes country updates to the mid-term
         evaluation and CSF reports;

        progress reports on the Objective 1 and 2 updates to the mid-term
         evaluation;



                                                     78
       findings from studies that informed the England update report – the
        companies survey and case studies of projects supporting hard to reach
        beneficiaries.

Evaluation Strategy

The England Objective 3 Operational Programme had a rolling programme of
evaluation activity that informed the update to the mid-term evaluation report.
This was based on an evaluation strategy which had a bottom-up approach that
focused on measuring the impact of Objective 3 on the individuals, companies
and organisations that have received support rather than attempting to look at
the macro-impact of the programme. The 2004-05 evaluation strategy is
attached at Annex D. A new evaluation strategy and work programme will be
produced for 2006.

The ESF Evaluation Team manages the rolling programme of evaluation in
Objective 3. During 2005 the team comprised a statistical officer and
researchers in Jobseekers and Crosscutting Division of the Department for
Work and Pensions (DWP) and is independent from ESFD. The team is
responsible for carrying out economic analysis of monitoring and survey data,
commissioning external evaluators to carry out specific research and managing
the follow-up surveys. Steering groups made up of ESF partners guided
individual research projects.

Funding for the national evaluation of Objective 3 in England comes from two
sources: the DWP research and other budget and ESF technical assistance.

Work Undertaken for the Update to the Mid-term Evaluation of Objective 3

The purpose of the “Update to the Mid-term Evaluation of the Objective 3
Operational Programme for England and Gibraltar” was to assess the
programme in meeting its objectives – since the mid-term evaluation (end
2003). A further aim second aim was to provide recommendations which would
help prepare for any further interventions post 2006. The evaluation report was
submitted to the Commission in December 2005 and was published by DWP in
April 2006.

During the months leading up to the production of the update to the mid-term
evaluation report the ESF Evaluation Team collated, interrogated and analysed
data from the main sources detailed below. The four main tools in delivering
the evaluation strategy are:

   Monitoring information based on administrative data – The update to the
    mid-term evaluation interrogated and analysed administrative data (March
    2005) which is obtained when projects close. (Data predominantly referred
    to projects funded by alternative bid projects as very few CFO projects had
    closed by March 2005). The information gained supported an assessment
    of the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme and was essential to
    monitor the targets set out in the Operational Programme.

   Follow-up survey data on the labour market experience of individual
    programme participants around six months and eighteen months after
    leaving the programme - The monitoring data generated through the


                                      79
    administrative systems are only collected at the project level and although
    this produces useful aggregate data on the progress of the programme, it
    cannot provide very detailed information on the gross impact of the
    programme on particular groups of individuals. In order to gauge the effect
    of the Programme on individuals, the update to the mid-term evaluation
    utilised data from the 2004 Beneficiaries‟ Survey and the 2002 Follow-on
    Study.

   The former is a large-scale quantitative (telephone and face to face
    interviews) survey based on both “real time” data (that is it contacted
    individuals whilst they were still being supported by projects) and more
    retrospective data collected around six months after beneficiaries left
    projects. This provided information on beneficiary characteristics and views
    of the support they received. (It includes data from beneficiaries supported
    on projects funded by CFOs). The Follow-on Study re-contacted individuals
    who previously participated in the 2002 Leavers‟ Survey, about eighteen
    months after leaving ESF projects. It provided information on the
    effectiveness of the programme in relation to the longer term labour market
    outcomes.

   Data on companies receiving ESF support – The administrative monitoring
    data provides limited data on companies. The update report was informed
    by a qualitative case study of companies that been supported by ESF.

   Ad hoc research into emerging issues – Four further studies contributed
    towards the update report. Two case study based projects looked in-depth
    at the type and content of Objective 3 support provided to individual
    beneficiaries and how this related to individual‟s needs. This included
    examining the effectiveness of ESF in relation to those who are
    economically inactive/multiply disadvantaged. A third project looked at the
    effectiveness of Global Grants as a mechanism for helping people from
    disadvantaged communities or groups move closer to the labour market.
    Lastly, interim findings from a study which looks at the impact of co-
    financing were also included in the report. This is considered in more detail
    below.


Follow up to the MTE update evaluation

The December 2005 England Objective 3 update evaluation report made
recommendations about both the 2000-06 and the 2007-13 ESF programme.

Four of the recommendations concerned the focus of the 2006-06 programme
since the mid-term review. The first recommendation asked for further
investigation of the focus on economically inactive and disadvantaged people.
The ESF Evaluation Team will undertake this using data available from the
Beneficiaries‟ Survey, project interim reports and CFOs.

In response to the other three recommendations, the Managing Authority will
encourage projects to provide more effective and focused support to the
economically inactive, and to ensure that equal opportunities
recommendations from the December 2003 mid-term evaluation report


                                       80
continue to be implemented. In an action note issued to Government Offices
in March 2006 the Managing Authority provided details of the relevant
recommendations and a menu of good practices to assist in meeting them.
The action note and recommendations were discussed at the annual reviews
with GOs in early 2006. The Managing Authority has also disseminated the
evaluation findings and good practice through the ESF Website and ESF
News.

Two recommendations concerned further evaluation work on support for
people with disabilities and on the effectiveness of Global Grants. These will
be taken forward by the ESF Evaluation Team. The other recommendations
will be taken forward in the context of the design of the 2007-13 programme.

Evaluation of Co-financing

A third evaluation of co-financing took place in 2005, which expanded the
scope of the previous two evaluations which were described in previous the
Annual Implementation reports for 2003 and 2004. The main aims of the 2005
evaluation were to investigate:

   the steps taken to maintain or increase the quality and appropriateness of
    provision;

   the influence of co-financing on access for funding for both providers and
    beneficiaries (particularly disadvantaged groups);

   how co-financing has influenced a more strategic approach, for example,
    coherence with and contribution to local, regional and national policy aims.

The research comprised visits to Government Offices where interviews were
held with key staff, including those from CFOs and detailed case studies of
fifteen CFOs where further interviews took place. Forty three current and former
Objective 3 providers were also contacted. The report will be published in
Spring 2006. The main findings were as follows:

Overall, co-financing has become embedded as the main mechanism for the
allocation of ESF under Objective 3 in England and the processes underpinning
the implementation of co-financing have become more refined across the case
study areas, with steps being taken to address many of the practical issues
experienced initially. However, the extent to which the co-financing mechanism
has met its initial objectives of improving the co-ordination, strategic direction
and targeting and overall effectiveness of ESF expenditure remain unclear in
the absence of comprehensive management information (MI). To a large
extent MI is not available as few contracts had completed at the time of the
study. In terms of the specific thematic objectives of the study:
 Delivery standards – Evidence is derived from the perceptions of CFOs,
    stakeholders and providers with regard to mechanisms such as CFO
    appraisal processes, application of standards, enhanced monitoring and the
    provision of pre- and post-application support. These indicate that delivery
    standards have been at least maintained or raised in the case study regions
    and that the most appropriate and able providers were being engaged.




                                       81
   Provider access - CFOs have made considerable efforts to market to, and
    enable the involvement of, appropriate and able providers from a wide
    range of sectors and sizes. There is limited data on the scale of provider
    involvement by sector and size, but it appears that smaller providers often
    face challenges in applying and delivering services under co-financing.
    Factors such as the requirement for outputs/outcomes as payment triggers,
    increased contract size, continued levels of bureaucracy and provider‟s own
    perceptions can influence both their ability and willingness to participate.
   Beneficiary access – data is again based mainly on CFO, stakeholder and
    provider perceptions which suggest that the targeting of beneficiaries under
    co-financing remains in line with the appropriate RDPs in the case study
    regions. The LSC and Jobcentre Plus CFOs had focused increasingly on
    harder to reach and more challenging target groups, but providers may be
    less willing to contract to work with the more challenging beneficiaries if
    these groups remain a target group in the next programme period. This is
    largely due to the increased focus on outcomes and associated risks of
    achieving these with this client group.
   Coherence and contribution – while RDPs remain the main strategic
    reference points in the case study regions, the influence of subsequent
    regional and sub-regional strategies has increased. Most significantly,
    considerable progress has been made in some of the case study regions in
    promoting coherence and towards the truly strategic use of ESF – first on a
    sectoral level (between LSCs) but also in the form of cross-sectoral planning
    and proposal development.

The study identified that while the co-financing mechanism is increasingly seen
as part of the „ESF landscape‟ by providers and stakeholders, their views on its
effectiveness and equity can still vary considerably. In some cases these views
are based on perceptions rather than reality, or on negative experiences of the
early stages of the co-financing regime. The challenge remains to inform and
counter any misunderstandings and suspicions.


4.7 Technical Assistance

 The Objective 3 Technical Assistance Strategy for England for the period
2000-2006 (annex X) concentrates on four main areas of work:

       publicising the Objective 3 programme;

       delivering Objective 3 effectively at a national level across the English
        regions;

       evaluating the results of Objective 3 investments; and

       disseminating good practice.

                    Technical Assistance allocations by measure




                                        82
Measure         Current             ESF committed      Actual ESF      Spend as
                allocation (€m)     €m                 expenditure     % of
                                                       (€m)            allocation
6.1 Effective
delivery        30.8                22.0               12.3            39.94
6.2 Other
activity        29.7                8.7                3.8             12.79

                       Technical Assistance allocations by region

                Measure 6.1
Region          (€m)                Measure 6.2 (€m)          Total (€m)
East Midlands   2.8                 0.7                       3.5
East            2.7                 1.0                       3.7
London          3.4                 2.2                       5.6
North East      3.0                 0.9                       3.9
North West      3.6                 2.7                       6.3
South East      3.0                 1.5                       4.5
South West      1.8                 1.0                       2.8
Yorks &
Humber          2.7                 1.0                       3.7
West Midlands   5.2                 1.9                       7.1
National        2.6                 16.8                      19.4
Total           30.8                29.7                      60.5


Take up of Technical Assistance has been affected by low demand in some
regions and in the 6.2 measure and, nationwide, by a lack of match funding.

Technical Assistance has been used to support a range of activity at national
level including projects that support the national development of ESF IT,
evaluation and publicity systems for the Learning and Skills Councils. It has
also been used to support the Third Sector, and the annual Adult Learners‟
Week programme and „Sign Up Now‟ campaign delivered by the National
Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) – see section 4.8 on publicity.


Examples of TA national projects supported in 2005 are listed below:

Third Sector Employment Network (TSEN) Photo Competition, Exhibition
and conference

TSEN in collaboration with CSV and Community Development Foundation
launched a photographic competition to raise awareness of the impact funds
received from Europe, in particularly ESF and the contribution it is making in
communities in terms of supporting individuals to become more active in their
communities, accessing skills training and jobs.

The competition resulted in an exhibition of 30 photographs which were first
displayed in July in London and subsequently at events supporting the UK
Presidency including the ESF conference in Manchester.

In addition, TSEN, CSV and the National Council of Voluntary Organisations



                                           83
organised a conference for 120 people as part of the UK Presidency of the
European Council. The aim of the conference was to raise awareness of the
impact of EU funds in terms of supporting individuals to become more active
in their communities and access skills training and jobs.

ESFD UK Presidency ESF Conference

ESF Technical Assistance was used to support the UK Presidency ESF
conference and exhibition. These activities showcased how ESF has been
used in the UK during the current programme period and will help share good
practice. The UK presidency ESF Conference and exhibition was held at the
Manchester International Conference Centre in October 2005.

Other projects

Funds are also used to support activity under Evaluation and Publicity in the
following key areas:

    Undertaking national events and conferences to ensure development of
     common understanding of good practice, policy, developments and
     process improvements across the LSC. Where relevant this will include
     partner organisations, GOs and others.

    Provision of data for the GOs and ESFD for analysis and interpretation,
     (see section 4.6 on evaluation).

    Provision of a forum for the development and dissemination of good
     practice in systems, processes and guidance to be shared between
     CFOs, GOs and ESFD.

Voluntary contributions for Technical Assistance
In four regions under the Objective 3 programme, project promoters have
been asked to make a contribution towards the cost of match funding
Technical Assistance. The Technical Assistance is then deployed in support
of managing the programme, usually through the use of seconded staff. This
type of action is more widespread in other structural fund programmes in the
UK. Commission auditors felt that in some cases, the letters asking for
voluntary contributions did not make it sufficiently clear that the contributions
were indeed voluntary.
Following the receipt of guidance from the Commission on the steps needed
to maintain the voluntary principle, Action Note 112/05 was issued on 9
August 2005 explaining what requirements had to be met in the future for any
requests for voluntary contributions and providing standard letters in order to
have a consistent approach.
That left the question of contributions that had already been received, and it
became clear that GOs had used a number of differently worded letters from
start of the programme. Copies of the various letters that had been used were
sent to the Commission, who came to a conclusion on which letters met the
voluntary principles, and which did not. Where the Commission judged that
the letter could be interpreted as meaning a mandatory contribution, GOs



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were required to write to contributing organisations with a standard pro-forma
asking for confirmation that their contributions were given on a voluntary
basis. That exercise continued into 2006 and will be concluded then, but the
early indications were that the majority of responses indicated that
contributions had been given voluntarily.

4.8 Publicity

The main publicity priority for the second half of the ESF 2000-2006
programme period is promoting ESF achievements and disseminating ESF
good practice. This has been addressed in the updated Information and
Publicity Strategy and Communications Action Plan agreed by the England
Objective 3 Programme monitoring committee in October 2003, which is
attached at Annex G. The updated strategy and plan take account of Co-
financing arrangements and include publicity measures introduced since the
original strategy was approved in 2000. The strategy aims to help increase
public and beneficiary awareness of ESF activities, and reflects the
requirements of European Commission Regulation 1159/2000 of 30 May 2000
on publicity measures to be taken forward by Member States in 2000-06.

To assist effective implementation of the Strategy - ESF Division, Government
Offices and Jobcentre Plus and Learning and Skills Council (LSC) Co-
financing Organisations produced a Publicity Plan and Resource Folder in
February 2004 to raise awareness of publicity requirements amongst
practitioners and highlight specific tools and resources.

The main focus of national and regional publicity activity in 2005 was to
maximise the opportunities presented by the UK Presidency of the Council of
the European Union to promote ESF achievements and good practice at a
national and regional level.

There was also a continued emphasis on publicising how ESF is adding value
to domestic employment and skills policies and programmes. A key target
audience has been decision makers at national, regional and local level. Good
progress has been made, particularly through improved targeting of publicity
messages and products during the UK Presidency.

Core publicity tools such as the main ESF website (www.esf.gov.uk) and the
ESF News magazine have also been restructured to showcase achievements,
highlight latest news and to provide clear information about the development
of the 2007-13 ESF programme.

The UK Presidency was the main driver for new ESF publicity activity in 2005.
A separate Information and Publicity Strategy (and Communications Action
Plan) for the UK Presidency was agreed with Government Offices, Jobcentre
Plus and the LSC in February 2005. Its main aims were to publicise how the
2000-2006 ESF programmes in England (and across the UK) are:
    adding value to national and regional action to increase employment
       and develop skills, especially among people who are excluded from or
       at a disadvantage in the labour market; and
    supporting the Lisbon employment agenda by contributing to the


                                      85
       European Employment Strategy and the National Action Plan for
       Employment.

The main target group during the Presidency was national and regional
decision makers who are responsible for employment, training and social
inclusion policy and programmes. The aim was to reach out to a non-
traditional ESF audience, who may be interested in learning from and
embedding innovation and good practice developed by projects across all
ESF programmes.

Other key target groups were:
    officials from across the European Union, particularly new Member
      States and the European Commission, the aim being to showcase the
      impact of ESF and to exchange good practice with others, particularly
      through the UK Presidency ESF conference in October.
    the general public, ESF providers and national, regional and local
      media.

The UK Presidency ESF conference on 14 October 2005 was the centrepiece
of the Presidency promotional strategy. Titled „ESF at work‟ the conference
held at Manchester International Conference Centre was attended by over
300 delegates, including around 60 from 20 Member States. There were
keynote speeches from James Plaskitt – DWP Minister, and Vladimir Spidla –
European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal
Opportunities. The conference also included a “learning the lessons from
2000-2006 programmes” plenary session, the first showing of a new ESF
DVD, 15 workshops and an over 50 exhibitors including national and regional
level strategic partners, delivery organisations and projects.
National and regional press releases were issued about the conference, and
there was some regional and local press coverage, particularly in areas where
the case studies featured on the DVD were located. Positive feedback was
received from the European Commission and others. Other Member States
are now being encouraged to run similar ESF events during their respective
Presidencies of the EU. Copies of speeches and presentations, and reports
from workshops were placed on the ESF website.
Other key ESF publicity and promotional activity during the UK Presidency
included:
   ESF representation at a range of other official Presidency and related
    events across the UK, such as the Skills Summit held in July and events
    focusing on employment, social inclusion, disabled people and gender
    equality. In most cases ESF Division also provided an exhibition stand and
    publicity materials.

   Development of new products for use during the UK Presidency and
    beyond. These included:

                    a professionally produced 15 minute ESF DVD and
                     supporting booklet titled “ESF at work” telling the stories
                     of three beneficiaries who through ESF projects have


                                       86
                      gained new skills and found employment. The case
                      studies can be viewed on the ESF website and CD-Rom
                      and VHS versions are also available;
                     20 new (eight to twelve) page booklets showing ESF
                      achievements. Each booklet provides a policy context,
                      sets out key priorities, describes what has been achieved
                      and incorporates project case studies, key performance
                      data and evidence from evaluations where appropriate.
                      There are nine regional, five priority field, four horizontal
                      theme, national and Equal booklets. They are also
                      downloadable from the ESF website.
                     a new large ESF stand that was used extensively during
                      the Presidency.
   James Plaskitt, the Minister for ESF, visited ESF projects in Southampton
    in July and South London in October and November.
   the launch of a new home page on the national ESF website:
    www.esf.gov.uk at the end of June 2005, to coincide with the start of the
    UK Presidency. This focuses more on news items, achievements, lessons
    and good practice and future arrangements. There is currently a UK
    Presidency section under “Achievements”, which includes speeches,
    presentations and reports from the ESF conference. There were over
    540,000 website hits over the year.
   an „ESF News‟ magazine conference special in December that provided a
    comprehensive report of the event and which was circulated to conference
    attendees.
The LSC, Jobcentre Plus and a number of Government Offices, such as North
West, East of England and the South East also organised celebratory events
that coincided with the UK Presidency. More details are provided in the
regional summary of publicity activity later in this section.

All the ESF information and publicity material produced for the UK Presidency
was distributed extensively to Government Offices and Co-financing
organisations and continues to be used extensively in 2006. For example the
ESF stand, DVD and booklets will be used at two high profile Adult Learners‟
Week events in London in May that will be attended by Ministers.

Ongoing publicity activity

There has also been a significant amount of ESF information and publicity
activity not related directly to the UK Presidency. Some key activities include:
       there were 4 issues of the quarterly “ESF News” magazine, each of 20
        pages. The magazine continues to cover latest news, links between
        ESF and national skills and employment policies and programmes, plus
        the showcasing of ESF project achievements across the country. It is
        circulated to over 10,000 people and is also available on the ESF
        website.
       a number of press releases have been issued covering Ministerial visits
        to ESF projects, national and regional ESF events and the publication


                                        87
       of ESF evaluation findings.
      regional ESF events have been held that showcase the impact of
       projects.
      ESF has continued to support Adult Learners‟ Week (in May) and the
       related Sign Up Now campaign (in September) with more ESF
       coverage at national and regional events and on nationally distributed
       publicity materials. This has included supplements in national
       newspapers and some television and radio coverage.
      the Third Sector European Network has produced a booklet titled
       “What has being European done for us?” and organised a photo
       competition of the same name. The 30 winning photos were displayed
       at the UK Presidency ESF conference and other official Presidency
       events.
      there has been good visibility for the ESF brand in key initiatives such
       as the national adult basic skills “Get on campaign” (including ESF logo
       on gremlin television adverts).
      collaborative work with colleagues within DWP, DfES, Jobcentre Plus
       and the Learning and Skills Councils to raise awareness of how ESF is
       adding value to their employment and skills strategies. Activities have
       included Ministerial visits to projects, press releases, intranet articles
       (DWP), fact sheets, booklets and targeted mail shots.
      there were clear references to ESF‟s role in supporting policies and
       programmes in the UK National Reform Programme (formerly known
       as the National Action Plan for Employment) published on 13 October.
       There are also ESF references in the current Social Inclusion Action
       Plan.
      18,000 ESF plaques have been issued since summer 2002.
      press coverage of ESF has also been monitored. For example, over a
       three month period in 2005 there were 150 national or regional press
       articles containing positive references to ESF activities.

      an interactive „succession strategy‟ business planning tool for Structural
       Funds projects has been promoted at the ESF conference, through
       ESF News and the ESF website. The „readiness assessment tool‟ has
       been developed by GO London and the London Development Agency.
       Providers are being encouraged to consider succession strategies on
       the basis that there will be less funding available in the future ESF
       programme in England. The tool can be accessed via
       www.gos.gov.uk/gol

To assist the effective co-ordination of publicity activity two ESF publicity
workshops were held for ESF publicity officers in GOs and LSC and Jobcentre
Plus Co-financing Organisations. These informed publicity planning and
collaborative activity such as the production of the new booklets as well as
allowing good practice to be shared.

In 2006 there is a continued emphasis on promoting ESF achievements, best
practice and innovation from the current programme, including the results of
the update to the mid-term evaluation. The ESF website and ESF News were


                                       88
restructured in January and will continue to be the primary means for
communicating information about future ESF arrangements. Work is
commencing on the development of a Communications Action Plan for the
new ESF programme and on capturing good examples of publicity practice
from the current programme to inform future arrangements.

Examples of publicity materials are listed at Annex G.

East of England

A Structural Fund wide publicity strategy has been created to ensure
complementarity across the funds. A sub-group has been set up to manage
the strategy and consider all publicity and communications issues. In addition
a private publicity company has been employed through a technical
assistance contract to deliver key activity and to ensure the Objective 3
programme and structural funds activity in general are publicised across the
region.

Quarterly co-financing reviews include an agenda item relating to publicity and
the review also incorporates a project visit. This is to ensure that projects
visited adhere to publicity requirements, ensuring that they have an ESF
plaque and that any publicity materials and project paperwork include logos
and statements highlighting ESF support. The majority of CFOs produce their
own publicity materials and newsletters/magazines aimed at a range of
audiences. They provide general information on ESF and include co-financed
case studies.

East Midlands

A Programme Development & Communications Manager for the Objective 3
programme was appointed in 2005. A key project for the year was the
redevelopment of the Government Office European web pages, which now
have a new branding and a more user friendly structure. Feedback from
users has been positive. The seven CFOs in the region produced a DVD
presenting an interesting range of co-financed projects. The DVD has been
shown at events to promote ESF in the region.

The region was well represented at the ESF At Work conference in October
2005, with four projects showcasing their achievements, including
Groundwork Erewash, the winner of the national Sustainable Development in
ESF Award. The Government office in-house magazine, “Spotlight”, was
published 5 times during 2005 and featured a variety of ESF stories from
across the region.

London

During the year the tendering rounds held by the London CFOs in support of
their 2004-06 updated Co-financing Plans were completed and a number of
publicity events were staged in support of these. For example, LSC London
North held a celebratory project launch event and also produced a DVD, LSC
London Central launched the Central London Councils for Voluntary Service



                                      89
Network at the Commonwealth Club, and the Pan London LSC launched the
LORECA project at the London Design Museum.

In addition, in March Adam Sharples, Director General in DWP visited
Islington Training Network‟s „Place Project‟, geared to helping economically
inactive and disadvantaged people back to work. A number of internal
systems have been set up to support the regional Structural Funds publicity
strategy. This includes a Structural Funds events folder. And following a
review of its search capabilities the ESF Projects Directory on the website was
re-launched in April. The enhanced Directory now permits an increased
number and variety of searches and has proved to be a valuable source of
information for both ESF practitioners and the London public.

North East
The Government Office has been extremely active on publicising European
activity in 2005. It introduced a “Last Tuesday Event” (which was held on the
last day of the month) where staff from the Government Office met with
sponsors to discuss management of the programme. It has also produced
brochures entitled Project Closure, Environmental Sustainability, Equal
Opportunities, „What is Eligible Expenditure?‟ and „Getting the Most out of
European Funding‟, all of which have been well received.

North West

An easy-to-use booklet (How to understand your European Commission
Publicity Guidance‟) was developed and issued to all projects to ensure full
publicity compliance. Several editions of the glossy publication, „At Home in
Europe,‟ were produced and issued to regional, national and European
stakeholders, to highlight project best practice and raise the profile of the
Objective 3 Programme.

The publications included features on the Cross Cutting Themes, how the
North West‟s European Programmes are supporting the Lisbon Strategy
objectives, and projects that are using both ERDF and ESF. The UK
Presidency of the EU provided the opportunity to raise the profile of the
Programmes further, with a large number of case-study, image and
information requests. Key messages about the Presidency were developed
and embedded in press releases, publications and articles.

In December the North West regional Partnership hosted the Success North
West awards event in Liverpool in conjunction with the Merseyside Objective
One Programme. Awards were given to European-funded projects which
demonstrated innovation in six categories: business development, diversity
and inclusion, information communication technologies (ICT), environmental
sustainable development, training and skills and community and voluntary-led
projects.

South East

Unlike other regions that have a strong regional focus, there are no media
organisations that cover the South East Region as a whole. Coverage is
therefore focused at a local level. CFOs report difficulty in engaging local


                                       90
press in good news stories and displaying the ESF logo but they persevere
and have some success.

A range of publicity media are used to ensure good coverage across the
Region including regular CFO Newsletters and e-bulletins, provider and
networking events, regularly updated websites, Global Grants conferences.
Two Celebratory Events were held in Autumn 2005 to coincide with the UK
Presidency of European Council. The events, held in Kent and Slough, were
attended by over 250 delegates including providers and beneficiaries. The
DWP Minister, James Plaskitt, visited an ESF project in Southampton in
September 2005 and details were published in ESF News. Regional partners
and the Government Office participated in the UK Presidency ESF
Conference held in Manchester in October 2005.

South West

A number of case studies have been provided for inclusion in a series of ESF
booklets and ESF News. These included:

      Somerset LSC Co-financed project „Releasing the Skills Potential of
       Women in rural Somerset‟
      Southmead project „Consonance‟
      D&C LSC + N Devon College „Positive Support for Rehabilitation‟
      Somerset LSC Co-financed project „Leaving Care‟
      Jobcentre Plus Co-financed project „Opening the Gates‟

All booklets were distributed to all CFOs in the region. The winter 2005 issue
of the Government Office Newsletter contained a 2 page ESF project feature
on Bridgewater YMCA‟s project „Project Pugwash‟.

A substantial amount of effort was put into identifying potential invitees -
senior people in organisations not closely engaged with ESF but with the
potential to develop closer links for the UK Presidency ESF conference which
took place on 14 October 2005. In addition, a number of South West
projects had stands at this very successful event.



West Midlands

During the year the European Structural Funds publicity strategy has
continued to progress in a positive and effective manner. Successful working
relationships between colleagues from Government Office, CFOs and ESF
Division have developed through the year. West Midlands Working Together
Structural Funds website continues to be the key communication and source
tool for partners to access important information on Structural Funds
developments. During the year the website attracted a total of 170,000 hits
and over 2,400 registered users.
Throughout the year four editions of the quarterly Structural Funds newsletter
have been produced and distributed to over 2,000 interested parties and
individuals in the region. In addition to the regular channels of communication,



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the Government Office has been involved in a wide variety of activities, all
with the sole aim of raising awareness and celebrating the achievements of
ESF projects. Highlights have included the UK Presidency ESF conference
held in Manchester and the EU Gender Equality Ministerial and Conference
held in Birmingham.

Yorkshire and the Humber

The main focus is on projects reporting good news or interesting stories which
can be published. All CFOs have, as part of their administration budget, an
element of publicity in their measure level bids. Publicity materials are
examined at d h quarterly visits to CFOs and at Article 4 to directly funded
projects. The closure of the coalmines in Selby, North Yorkshire was a
prominent item in the news and LSC North Yorkshire set up an ESF project to
support those made redundant. Press releases were sent out and the
closure was featured in a double page we obtained a double page spread in
the Yorkshire Evening Post which has an average readership of 230,000.

North Yorkshire LSC publishes its own newsletter Skillscope. This is
published quarterly and each issue contains an ESF specific article. West
Yorkshire LSC also periodically publishes brochures about successful
projects. Jobcentre Plus also covers ESF projects in an ESF extra publication
which contains case studies from each region. Government Office publishes a
monthly newsletter (Euronet) which has recently been revamped.




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SECTION 5: LINKS WITH OTHER COMMUNITY POLICIES

5.1 Co-ordination with Other Structural Funds

The Department for Trade and Industry (DTI) is responsible for the co-
ordination of the Structural Funds in the UK. ESFD is represented on the UK
Structural Funds Steering Group which is chaired by the Department of Trade
and Industry and includes representatives from other Government
Departments and Devolved Administrations involved in the Structural Fund
implementation. In addition ESFD attends regular meetings hosted by the
Department for Communities and Local Government as the Managing
Authority for Objective 1 and Objective 2 programmes in England. These
meetings involve Government Offices and other government departments
involved in the implementation of regional programmes and address common
delivery and co-ordination issues.

ESFD and the Government Offices continue to pay particular attention to
promoting complementarity between ESF in Objective 2 and 3 programmes.
The Managing Authority has applied the principle, set out in Article 19 of
Regulation 1260/1999, that aid should be concentrated where it is needed
most. Therefore, 6.68% of Objective 3 funding has been reserved to address
the needs of Objective 2 areas.

Complementarity with Objective 2

Complementarity is an integral feature of the application process. Applicants
must indicate on their application if their project will provide support in
Objective 2 areas and project closure reports provide information on the
number of beneficiaries from Objective 2 areas receiving assistance.
The nine Government Offices in England have delegated authority to deliver
the majority of Structural Fund Operational Programmes and ESFD has
established comprehensive joint working arrangements that include the
promotion of complementarity between Objective 2 and 3 programmes.
Regional Committees and partners have identified specific areas and activities
for the use of Objective 3 resources in Objective 2 locations.

They have ensured that the activities to be supported were within the scope of
the Objective 3 programme whilst meeting the specific needs of the Objective
2 areas. Regions have developed a range of strategies to deliver
complementarity including using common scoring questions for both
Objectives; sharing information between Objective 2 and 3 committees;
common project databases; targeted bidding rounds for Objective 3 funding in
Objective 2 areas and joint committees or cross-representation.

Details of regional initiatives taken in the regions are provided below:

East of England

The Structural Funds Strategy Group was set up to ensure complementarity
between all structural funds and to ensure that strategies are fully integrated.
The European team within Government Office consists of one ESF team to
manage both the Objective 2 and 3 programmes. This ensures that a


                                       93
coherent approach is maintained, avoiding duplication of activity. Local Area
Group representatives (O2) attend Local Management Group meetings (O3),
including Co-financing Organisation representation, to discuss issues and to
ensure that both programmes work in complementing each other.

A proportion of the Objective 3 programme was originally ring-fenced for
specific activity within Objective 2 areas. This was for activity that could not be
funded through the Objective 2 programme. This generated a number of
alternative bids specifically focussing on the needs of the Objective 2 area.
This stopped on the introduction of co-financing, with individual co-financing
plans stating clearly what activity is planned for Objective 2 areas by each
individual CFO.

East Midlands

The East Midlands European Directorate underwent a significant re-
structuring in mid 2005. As a result of this, ESF, ERDF and LEADER +
programme performance falls under the management of one Team Leader.
At the Partnership Manager level, there is responsibility for activity across
both ESF and ERDF partnerships and bodies. At Contract Manager level,
there is responsibility for ERDF and ESF projects. The work is allocated on a
geographical basis, which fits in with the emerging emphasis on place rather
than programme as a basis for office organisation. It also enables staff within
the Programme Performance Team to identify links between the programmes
at a practical level. Other teams within the European Secretariat such as the
Policy Team and the Article 4 team also deal with all programmes and are
able to identify links. The ESF Strategy Group has met several times during
2005. This group includes Objective 2 partnerships as well as Objective 3
CFOs and bringing these people together has enabled us to identify further
opportunities for co-financing of Objective 2 ESF. This has helped significantly
with the commitment of Objective 2 funds

North West

A significant development during the year was the re-structuring of the
European Executive into geographically-focussed teams, covering both the
Objective 2 and 3 programmes. The benefits of this have already been seen
in being able to give a more targeted service to delivery partners in both
programmes. It has also enabled programme managers to maintain a better
understanding and overview of what is happening in the sub-regions to
promote better complementarity between the two programmes.

North East

ESF support for human resource development is available in the North East
both under Objective 2 and Objective 3. There continues to be a high level of
complementarity between the two Programmes which work together in
delivering aspects of the Regional Economic Strategy and the worklessness
agenda for the region. However, it is made clear to all applicants, including
CFOs, through the Regional Development Plan and the Single Programme
document that the ESF Regulations requires that ESF under Objective 2
should not simply duplicate action under Objective 3.


                                        94
Addressing the concentration of unemployment, activity and other social
problems in specific areas is a significant element of regional strategy. It is
mainly being pursued through Priority 4 of the Objective 2 programme which
focuses on targeted communities. Objective 3 complements this activity
through more general actions outside of the designated targeted communities.
Accordingly, CFOs are asked to ensure they develop projects which
complements the Objective 2 Programme. The RDP for the Objective 3
Programme clearly summarises how actions under the various Policy Fields
are different from the scope of ESF under Objective 2

South East

The South East Objective 2 programme has a resident base of some 165,000
inhabitants and funding of around £26 million. As a result it was decided at
the outset of the programme that all training for the Objective 2 area would
come from the Objective 3 budget. Some £180,000 annually has therefore
been ring-fenced to support training in the programme area. To ensure
complementarity with the Objective 2 programme and to maximise the local
impact, the ESF Objective 3 Regional Committee include representatives from
the eligible areas of Thanet and Hastings

South West

Objective 3 works closely with Objective 2 to ensure programme activities are
aligned to the European Employment Strategy and the National Action Plan
for Employment. Since April 2005 the teams have merged under one team
leader to ensure a streamlined approach is taken. Project selection, appraisal
and monitoring procedures are designed to ensure a transparent and
measurable contribution to programme objectives. The lead officer for
Objective 2 ESF also works with Objective 3 CFOs in the O2 areas.

 This has helped to ensure that communication between the Programmes has
improved enormously and a consistency in decision making has also resulted.
The monitoring and management of LSC Devon and Cornwall, who have
large programmes of delivery for Objective 2 and 3, are also undertaken
together. This has enabled the GO to ensure that there is more
complementarity between Programmes and duplication of activity is avoided.
Once again this approach has enabled the LSC to receive consistent advice
and guidance.

London

The London European Programmes Committee continued to be responsible
for co-ordinating the strategic direction of both the Objective 2 and 3
programmes in London, identifying opportunities for delivery which best meets
their strategic objectives and maximising the impact of funding on targeted
communities and sectors.

Throughout 2005 the Objective 3 programme continued to work successfully
alongside Objective 2. Eight CFOs committed funding to ESF in areas where
ERDF is active. Specifically, the CFOs involved were the Learning and Skills


                                      95
Councils for London East, London North, London West and London Central. A
further four CFOs provided funding to ESF projects within Objective 2 wards.
These were the London Development Agency, Association of London
Government, Business Link for London and Jobcentre Plus. All the Objective
2 Area Partnerships benefited from this harmonised investment.

The Objective 3 Global Grants programme continued to complement activities
under Priority 1 of the Objective 2 Programme, while in Lambeth the Stockwell
URBAN initiative continued to be complemented by Objective 3 funding
provided by CFOs.

Yorkshire and the Humber

The Yorkshire and the Humber Objective 2 Programme includes around £42
million ESF. The challenge facing the region's partners is ensuring that
activity is closely co-ordinated between the Objective 3 and 2 Programmes,
and that the unique nature of the two is maintained, whilst maximising the
benefit to the region's beneficiaries. In particular, there is some competition
between the two Programmes for match funding. However, a positive
development in promoting complementarity has been the extension of the
West Yorkshire LSC‟s Co-financing remit to the business support measures of
the Objective 2 programme. At present this only applies to West Yorkshire,
but with the reorganisation of LSCs is likely to see this Objective 2
involvement extended to North Yorkshire and the Humber region

5.2 Contribution to the European Employment Strategy Guidelines and
Recommendations.

ESF supports the European Employment Strategy guidelines by enhancing
and adding value to the wide range of Government employment programmes
and initiatives described in the UK National Action Plan for Employment
(which was replaced from October 2005 by the UK National Reform
Programme).

At the national level, centrally funded ESF projects use ESF to add value to
key Government initiatives such as the Connexions service, Adult Basic Skills
Strategy, and the Prison Service.

At the regional level, co-financing arrangements with the key organisations
responsible for delivering Government employment and skills programmes
(Jobcentre Plus and LSC) help strengthen the strategic link between the ESF,
Government programmes and the EES Guidelines.

The strategic guidance issued to the Objective 3 regions following the MTR in
2004 recommended a shift in focus towards helping people who are
economically inactive. This guidance was used to inform CFO plans to ensure
that key players respond to the MTR recommendations. It coincides with and
complements the UK Government‟s renewed focus towards helping such
groups and helps ensure that ESF is being used to respond to one of the key
Employment Recommendations made to the UK.

The UK National Reform Programme states that the Government‟s


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employment agenda “is supported by the European Social Fund (ESF), which
is delivered through Jobcentre Plus, Learning and Skills Councils and other
agencies. One of the main priorities for the European Social Fund is to help
disadvantaged groups move from unemployment and inactivity into work. As a
result of the mid-term review of the European Social Fund in 2004, there is an
increased focus on targeting groups who face particular barriers to entering
and making progress in employment. In England, the ESF co-financing
system also enables Jobcentre Plus and Learning and Skills Councils to work
effectively in partnership with external stakeholders to deliver specific targeted
services outcomes such as jobs, qualifications and positive movement
towards the labour market.”15

Employment Guidelines (July 2003)

This section explains how the Objective 3 programme in England supports the
employment guidelines which were adopted by the Council on 22 July 2003.
These guidelines were in force when most of the expenditure reported on in
this report was committed. New guidelines were adopted by the Council on 12
July 2005 following the mid-term review of the Lisbon Strategy.

There is clearly much overlap between the programme policy fields and the
various employment guidelines. The table at the end of this section indicates
the broad financial allocation across the various policy fields/ guidelines.

Guideline 1: Active and preventative measures for the unemployed and
inactive

ESF adds value to active labour market policies under measures 1.1 and 1.2
of the England Operational programme. Measure 1.1 aims to prevent people
from drifting into long term unemployment and economic inactivity and
measure 1.2 aims to improve the employability of the economically inactive
and long term unemployed as well as returners and young people. Jobcentre
Plus is a key player in the implementation of the Government‟s Welfare to
Work initiatives, including the New Deal programmes.

Examples of how ESF is adding value to Government programmes relating to
the above guidelines during 2005 include:

         Job Anchors Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities -
          which is co-financed through Jobcentre Plus in Bristol under measure
          1.1. It supports former Incapacity Benefit Clients in the early days of
          new employment by providing advice and guidance to help them
          remain in work and retain jobs over the longer term. The aim is to
          ensure that any difficulties identified during the move from benefit to
          employment are resolved, thus helping the client to make a successful
          transition. Job Anchors, which started in January 2005, plans to help
          more than 230 beneficiaries over 18 months.

         Better Prospects, which is co-financed via Jobcentre Plus in
          Northamptonshire, offers a tailored specialist service to the most

15
     UK National Reform Programme (October 2005), HM Treasury


                                           97
       disadvantaged, helping them more towards sustained employment.
       Under the project Jobcentre Plus Disability Employment Advisors refer
       customers to Better Prospects to receive intensive mentoring,
       coaching, advice and guidance to target identified barriers and get a
       guaranteed work placement. So far 86 beneficiaries have benefited
       from the project. Of these 18 entered voluntary work, 13 gained paid
       employment, 14 transferred to other Jobcentre Plus provision and 23
       entered further education, and 18 are still awaiting placement.


Guidelines 2 & 3: Job Creation and Entrepreneurship / addressing
change and promoting adaptability and mobility in the labour market.

One of the strategic objectives of policy field 4 of the English Objective 3
programme is to increase the level of entrepreneurship in England.

Measure 4.1 supports training for workers threatened with redundancy as well
as promoting employee development by updating and upgrading skills,
including basic and ICT skills. An example of how ESF has helped under this
measure includes a Jobcentre Plus project which was set up to retrain
workers at the Cadbury Trebor Bassett factory in Chesterfield. A decision had
been made to close the factory on March 2005. The project used ESF to help
retrained 22 site engineers beginning with a programme of learning activities
that allowed them to enhance their current skills in line with local employers‟
demands. Job vacancies in the area indicated that employers were looking
for multi-skilled engineers – therefore the electrical engineers were given
further mechanical engineering training to help them find work.

Measure 4.2 is used to fund research into skills needs, particularly those of
SMEs – as well as funding follow-up actions such as training to meet skills
needs. An example of how ESF is funding such research include the LSC‟s
co-financed Sector Skills Development Project which is targeting skill
shortages in Norfolk‟s engineering, care, tourism and retail sectors - all of
which have been highlighted as having a skills deficit. 100 companies from
each sector are receiving help from a specialist advisor who carries out on-
site training needs analysis to help identify skills gaps in the company as well
as producing a training plan. Subsidies are being granted for the
implementation of the training plan.

Measure 4.3 encourages entrepreneurship of individuals and the
competitiveness of business – especially SMEs.

Business Link is a business support service managed by the DTI and offers
services on line and through a network of local offices. ESF has been used to
add value to Business Links by providing skills training grants for owners of
new SMEs or for people planning to set up their own company.

Guideline 4: Promoting development of human capital and lifelong
learning

The strategic aim of policy field 3 is to support the Government‟s Learning
Age vision by helping to widen the participation in lifelong learning so that


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more people, including those who are economically inactive, continue to
develop their knowledge and skills throughout their working lives and improve
their employability in a changing labour market – as well as easing any skills
mismatches and bottlenecks arising in the economy.

Measure 3.1 promotes wider access and participation in lifelong learning,
especially for those groups east likely to take part in lifelong learning activities
such as people who are economically inactive. It supports collaborative action
through Learning and Skills Councils, local learning partnerships, FE and HE
establishments and other innovative means of opening up access to learning
for adults least engaged in the education system. For example, Greater
Manchester LSC is co-financing a project run by Hopwood Hall College which
offers community centre courses ranging from the Community Sports Leader
Award to the Personal Trainer Award for over 100 women. A key feature of
the project is that its outcomes are sustainable. The project has been
successful in helping Asian women, by way of developing other Asian women
in the local area. Out of the 100 women participating 80 will achieve an NVQ
level 1 or 2 unit or full award in professional qualifications essential to gain
employment in sport and leisure industries.

Guideline 5: Increasing labour supply and promoting active ageing

Policy field 1 supports and adds value to a raft of measures which are
designed to move people who are at different stages of unemployment into
the labour market, thereby adding to the supply of labour.

Measure 3.2 aims to improve the employability of those in work through
lifelong learning provision to develop their skills and helps them meet the
changing needs of employers. Older people are one of the key target groups
for this measure.

The Jigsaw project, which receives ESF co-financing under measure 3.2 via
Tyne and Wear LSC, has undertaken a tailor-made training course to improve
the skills of staff working in the retail sector. In total 142 employees from 16
companies in Gateshead are still on their training programme or have
completed it. The project meets the needs of local retail employers and has
given companies the chance to work towards recognised retail qualifications.
The initiative has allowed the large Metro Shopping Centre in Gateshead to
develop a unique model to assist the retail sector locally. Measure 4.3
includes support for improved working practices as well as helping companies
develop new forms of work organisation, including active ageing company
policies, thereby providing greater flexibility for employees such as older
workers.

Guideline 6: Gender equality

The England programme has adopted a dual approach to gender equality and
promoting equal opportunities. The dual approach consists of mainstreaming
equal opportunities and support for specific actions.

Equal opportunity has been integrated into all aspects of the programme, from
planning, implementation, through to monitoring and evaluation. During 2004,


                                        99
training was delivered in GO regions which explained how the equal
opportunities gateway questions should be used in the tendering process for
CFOs and also how equal opportunities can be reviewed by Government
Offices and CFO providers.

Measure 5.1 tackles barriers to the labour market, such as childcare and out
of date skills as wells as supporting measures which help women move into
non-traditional occupations. For example, the main aim of the LSC sponsored
Lambeth Women‟s Workshop is to make unemployed women aware of
opportunities available to them in construction and to equip them to enter
employment in an industry where women are vastly underrepresented and
where there are severe skills shortages. Over 260 beneficiaries have
achieved or are working towards achieving NVQ accreditation and health and
safety training. The workshop targets unemployed women facing multiple
barriers, including women from black and minority ethnic communities, women
with little or no formal education, older women and ex-offenders. 75% of
trainees have moved into either further education or employment.

Measure 5.2 supports research and follow up actions related to gender
discrimination, pay, segregation and progression (in 2004,following the mid-
term review, this measure was effectively merged with 5.1 for new
applicants).

Guideline 7: Promote the integration of and combat the discrimination
against people at a disadvantage in the labour market

Policy field 2 aims to reduce the impact of disadvantage faced by excluded
groups, especially economically inactive people, and support their integration
into the labour market through target group or area-based approaches.

Measure 2.1 funds intensive and integrated basic skills provision as well as
vocational guidance. An example includes a pilot project co-financed by the
LSC and run by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE).
The project appointed an advisor to work with a number of doctors in
Nottingham. The project helped to create new learning opportunities for
people with disabilities and health conditions following initial advice
beneficiaries were helped to make choices about the type of learning they
wanted to pursue and individual learning plans were developed. The LSC
funded pilot was so successful it has spread across the country. In the period
of the project 223 individuals were helped. Of these 194 went into further
learning, 14 entered employment and 15 went into voluntary work.


Measure 2.2 develops local and area based responses to help disadvantaged
people move into employment. The Jobcentre Plus in Leeds have used ESF
co-financing to help fund the Equal Access to Employment Project, one of the
UK leading positive action training organisations, which works closely with the
academic business, statutory and voluntary sectors. The project helps black
and ethnic minority ethnic people achieve their potential in Leeds. The
project helped draw up individual plans for trainees that include work-based
training, further education options, information technology, personal
development skills and employability training so participants can compete for


                                      100
jobs with confidence. The project helped 70 unemployed beneficiaries into
jobs between June 2003 and July 2005 – more than half its intake.

Measure 2.3 recognises that supply side measures are not enough to tackle
discrimination and aims to fund research into discrimination and support
follow-up actions which need to be taken.

Guideline 8: Making work pay through incentives to enhance work
attractiveness

The UK Government recognises that the main route out of poverty is work –
and progression within work. Policy field 1 contributes to this by providing
additional support to help people move from unemployment and inactivity to
work.

Guideline 9. Transform undeclared work into regular employment

This guideline is not relevant to the Objective 3 programme.

Guideline 10: Address regional employment disparities

Although Objective 3 is a national programme, much of it is delivered through
the network of Government Office regions. The different levels of
unemployment between the Government Office regions was one of the key
factors which helped determine the levels of ESF funding allocated to each
GO region. The whole programme therefore contributes to addressing
regional disparities by addressing local needs within the context of a national
programme.

The co-financing arrangements require CFO organisations to prepare
business plans which are based upon regional consultation and set out how
they will use ESF within the regions. The CFO plans cross-refer to Regional
Development Plans which set-out regional priorities for support.

Employment Recommendations (14 October 2004).

The Council made four country specific Employment Recommendations to the
UK on 14 October 2004. These are:

a) Ensure that wage developments do not exceed productivity developments

b) Ensure that active labour market policies and benefit systems prevent de-
skilling and promote quality in work, by improving incentives to work and
supporting the sustainable integration and progress in the labour market of
inactive and unemployed people; address the rising number of people
claiming sickness or disability benefits, and give particular attention to lone
parents and people living in deprived areas,

c) Improve access to and affordability of childcare and care for other
dependants, increase access to training for low paid women in part-time work,
and take urgent action to tackle the causes of the gender pay gap.



                                      101
d) Implement national and regional skills strategies to provide better
incentives for lifelong learning and thereby increase productivity and quality in
work; place particular emphasis on improving literacy and numeracy of the
workforce, the participation and achievement of 16-19 year olds, and low-
skilled workers, especially those in poorly paid jobs.

ESF is relevant to recommendations (b) and (d) and partly relevant to
recommendation (c). ESF is not used to address recommendation (a).

Recommendation (b): active labour market policies

ESF is adding value to the Government‟s active labour market strategy to help
people who are long term unemployed or economically inactive (including
people on incapacity benefits, lone parents and people in deprived areas) to
develop their skills and enter sustainable employment.

During 2005, Jobcentre Plus continued to use ESF to add value to a range of
Government active labour market programmes and initiatives designed to help
people who are long term unemployed or economically inactive through
disability, ill health or age discrimination. Such support is described above,
especially under Guidelines 1 and 7.

Recommendation (c): childcare and women

ESF is adding value to strategies to improve access to childcare and care for
other dependants and increase access to training for low paid women in part-
time work. Through these initiatives, and by helping women enter traditionally
male occupations, ESF can make a limited contribution to helping to tackle
some of the many causes of the gender pay. However, ESF does not tackle
the wider complex causes of the gender pay gap such as societal and cultural
attitudes to gender roles, and pay systems within companies.

Strategic guidance issued to Government Offices and Co-financing
Organisations following the mid term review recommended that all providers
should provide funding for childcare provision where lack of such provision is
an identified barrier to labour market entry and retention for beneficiaries. Co-
financing providers are expected to take account of the support needs of
beneficiaries with caring responsibilities so that they can participate in
projects. This is built into tender specifications across all priorities, not just
Priority 5. Activity can include childcare, travel and other support.

At the mid-term review, Priority 5 was amended to include training of both
men and women care workers. Furthermore, across Priorities 3, 4 and 5,
there are projects which are working to develop the care workforce and so
improve the capacity of the care industry.

Most of the programme‟s measures include activities to develop basic and
vocational skills and women make up just under half the beneficiaries on ESF.
For example, Measure 3.2 seeks to help develop skills of employees in SMEs,
in particular those who are less likely to undertake courses or engage in
learning and this will include women working part-time.



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A wide range of research projects investigating pay-gap issues are being
undertaken in the Higher Education sector and are being funded as national
projects. Learning and Skills Councils are using ESF to help train low-skilled
women and thereby contribute to tackling the gender pay gap. Examples are
given in Guideline 6 above.

Recommendation (d) lifelong learning

ESF is adding value to national and regional skills strategies, in particular to
improve adult basic skills, participation among 16 to 19 year olds, and the
qualifications and skills of low skilled workers. During 2005, Learning and
Skills Councils and other partners continued to promote lifelong learning.
Examples are given in the Guidelines above, especially Guideline 4.




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                                              Estimated expenditure by policy field / EES guideline (£000s) 2005



              EES Guideline                                                                            Policy Field



                                             1.1          1.2       2.1     2.2      2.3         3.1           3.2        4.1       4.2      4.3         5.1         5.2


1. Active and preventative measures for
the unemployed and inactive                    7,384       44,303                                                                                          2,710


2. Job Creation and entrepreneurship                        4,430                                                           2,485    6,592     3,724           903


3. Address change and promote adaptability
and mobility in the labour market                  671               789     4,217                 9,934          3,967    17,399   10,548     1,862           903


4. Promote development of human capital
in the context of lifelong learning                         4,430   1,578    4,217                89,410          5,951     1,242    1,318                     903


5. Increase labour supply and promote
active ageing                                      2013    13,291   3,156    8,434                 9,934         17,854     1,242              1,117           903


6. Gender equality                                 671      4,430    789     4,217         262     4,967          3,967     1,242     1318         372     9,940      5,274


7. Promote the integration of and combat
the discrimination against people at a
disadvantage in the labour market                  671      4,430   8,682   46,391     4719


8. Making work pay through incentives
to enhance work attractiveness                     1342     8,860                                                 7,934                                        903


9. Transform undeclared work into
regular employment


10. Address Regional employment                    671      4,430    789    16,868         262     4,967          1,983     1,242     3955         372         903
disparities

TOTAL                                         13,426       88,607 15,786    84,344     5243       99,345         39,676    24,856   26,370     7,448      18,073      5,274

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5.3 Contribution to the Social Inclusion Plan

The England Objective 3 programme supports the UK Government‟s goal of
an inclusive society by funding additional activities to help excluded groups
access the labour market. About half the programme‟s resources are targeted
on the unemployed and other disadvantaged groups. Key target groups
include long-term unemployed people, people lacking basic skills, people with
disabilities, and ethnic minority groups.

The UK National Action Plan on Social Inclusion 2003-05 outlines the most
important issues for the UK in the fight against poverty and social exclusion
over the 2 year period and policies to address them. The plan contributes to
the long-term goal, set by EU Member States at the Nice European Council in
December 2000, that there should be a decisive impact on the eradication of
poverty, across Europe, by 2010.

The England Objective 3 Operational Programme supports those parts of the
UK Social Inclusion Action Plan which aim to help people back to work and
combat exclusion from the labour market.16 All policy fields contribute to the
plan, though Policy Fields 1 and 2, which have experienced the highest
demand, are particularly relevant. Annex D of the plan describes ESF links in
detail, including equal opportunities mainstreaming activity. It also provides
examples of projects under each Priority field.

The table below shows where ESF can support the Social Inclusion Plan.
Under Objective 2 of the plan ESF support is limited to activities related to the
labour market.

 Social Inclusion Plan Objective 1.1 – Facilitating participation in
 employment
 Pathways to employment                         ESF Policy Fields 1 and 2 (e.g. adding value
                                                to Jobcentre Plus; and the New Deals -
                                                particularly for lone parents, people with
                                                disabilities and over 50‟s).
 Making work pay                                ESF Policy field 5 (tackling wider causes of
                                                the gender pay gap)
 Making work skilled                            ESF Policy field 3 (adding value to the Skills
                                                for life strategy – basic skills initiatives)
 Balancing work and family life                 ESF Policy fields 2 and 5 (support for lone
                                                parents and measures to improve the
                                                participation of women in the labour market -
                                                adding value to the National Childcare
                                                Strategy, including Sure Start and the
                                                Neighbourhood Childcare Initiative)


16
   The Social Inclusion Plan also sets out policies and programmes which are not directly relevant to the labour
market and which would be ineligible for ESF support. Under Objective 1 of the Plan these include: modernising
social protection; access to decent housing/healthcare/justice and culture sport and leisure; services for the most
vulnerable citizens. Most policies and programmes under Objective 2 do not relate to the labour market and are also
ineligible for ESF support.




                                                       105
 Social Inclusion Plan Objective 1.2 – Access to resources, rights,
 goods and services
 Access to education               ESF Policy fields 2 and 3 (support for young
                                   people at risk of exclusion)
 Social Inclusion Plan Objective 2 – Preventing the risk of exclusion


 Exploiting the potential of the   ESF Policy Fields 3 and 4 (adding value to
 knowledge-based society and       policies such as IT for All, IT Learning
 IT                                centres in deprived areas etc…)
 Teenage pregnancy                 ESF Policy field 2 (adding value to Sure
                                   Start programmes and other initiatives that
                                   include provision of advice and support
                                   relating to employment issues).
 Support for families and          ESF Policy field 2 (adding value to Sure
 family members                    Start programmes and other initiatives that
                                   include provision of advice and support
                                   relating to employment issues).
 Support for older children and    ESF Policy fields 1 and 2 (adding value to
 young people                      the Connexions Service - including Personal
                                   Adviser training)
 Deprived areas                    ESF Policy field 2 (adding value to the
                                   national strategy for Neighbourhood renewal
                                   and other area base initiatives).
Central Projects
ESF Central project arrangements add value to Government initiatives, and
during 2004 several have helped to strengthen the strategic fit with the Social
Inclusion Plan. These include:

      the „Prison Service Plus 2‟ projects run from September 2004 to
       December 2006 and are working with offenders, a key ESF target
       group. The projects aim to remove multiple barriers to labour market
       entry facing disadvantaged (male) offenders through tailored
       intervention, prior to and after release (Measure 2.2).

       the „Learning Community Development/Can Do‟ project is increasing
       the capacity of disadvantaged communities to access learning and
       employment through an enterprise model of learning communities – to
       engage hard to reach people who are unemployed, economically
       inactive, with low qualifications or otherwise disadvantaged (Measure
       3.1).

      the „Summer Schools‟ project is raising aspirations and widening
       participation in higher education by young people (aged 14-17) from
       under-represented social groups, particularly those from low-income
       backgrounds with no family history of participation (Measure 3.1).

      the ‟Enhanced Key Skills Support Programme‟ project is supporting



                                       106
               practitioners in both academic and work based routes as they deliver
               key skills to a wide range of students and/or trainees as part of their
               curriculum and/or work based training programmes. This follows on
               from a similar central project. A key focus of this new project is
               promoting established and innovative best practice and establishing a
               cadre of professional trainers; (Measure 3.1)

              the „Enhanced Key Skills Support Programme‟ (KSSP) project builds
               on 2 earlier KSSP central projects and supports practitioners in both
               academic and work-based routes as they deliver key skills to a wide
               range of students and/or trainees as part of their curriculum and/or
               work-based training programmes. The current project incorporates new
               measures that support the LSC Skills for Life Quality Initiative –
               providing parallel support to basic skills practitioners. KSSP enhances
               this provision by supporting practitioners who help learners progress
               from Skills for Life to key skills and other achievements and on to
               employment. (Measure 3.1)
   Additional Central projects are being developed during 2006 that will add
   value to activities described in the Social Inclusion Action Plan. ESF Division
   is currently working with DWP/Jobcentre Plus, DfES, the Learning and Skills
   Council (LSC) and the Prison Service (PS Plus 2 ESF project) to develop new
   project applications. These discussions will result in new or follow-on central
   projects and the largest proposals being developed are outlined below. Each
   will start in 2006 and run to 2008:
              Jobcentre Plus: new central projects in Policy Fields 1 and 2 that add
               value to New Deals.
              LSC: a transfer of Policy Field 3 ESF central funds to the LSC via GOs,
               to support the delivery of learning and skills for offenders.
              Prison Service: follow on „PS Plus 3‟ central projects in Policy Fields 3
               and 5 that promote lifelong learning to offenders to improve
               employability.
   Participation
   Data from project closure reports up to the end of 2005 provides statistical
   evidence showing how ESF contributes to the UK Social Inclusion Action Plan
   by targeting those most disadvantaged in the labour market and helping them
   into work. The data shows how ESF supports the Action Plan‟s aim of
   improving the participation of women, ethnic minorities and people with
   disabilities in the labour market. A breakdown detailing ESF participation by
   these key target groups is provided in the table below:

Target Group            Participation expressed as percentage of total beneficiaries by Policy Field
                        1.Active   2.Social      3.Lifelong     4.Adaptability/    5.Women     Total
                        labour     inclusion     learning       entrepreneurship
                        market
Women                   46%        42%           56%            47%                99%         50%

Ethnic minorities       28%        32%           18%            12%                30%         24%

People           with   12%        20%           8%             5%                 8%          12%
disabilities


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Base: 5,035 projects and where beneficiary status was known – 2,276,227 beneficiaries. Source: ESF closure
data – December 2005




5.4 Compatibility with Community Policy on the Award of Public
Contracts

In order to make a claim for ESF on the basis of contractual payments made
to sub-contractors, Co-financing Organisations (CFOs) must select providers
on the basis of open and competitive tendering by following national rules on
public procurement. Regular Monitoring of CFOs by Government Office staff
and by CFO internal audit staff ensures that this is happening correctly.
Examples of good practice were developed jointly by the Learning and Skills
Council and ESF Division and made available to other CFOs.
Although not a formal requirement, OJEC Notices have been placed in
respect of ESF Co-financed activities, Global Grants and ESF non co-
financed activities. This is to help ensure that prospective providers can be
made aware of funding available from the ESF.

5.5 Conformity with Competition Rules

The Managing Authority has taken all appropriate measures within the
framework of the assistance to ensure conformity with Competition rules. The
Department of Trade and Industry ensure consistency between the contexts
of the annual report under Article 37 of Regulation 1260/99 and the annual
reporting system under the block exemption regulations.

In 2004 Government Offices have continued to embed the revised guidance
issued by the ESF Division to ensure a common approach across the
Objective 3 area. As previously reported, this included detailed guidance on
monitoring „de minimis‟ aid together with a proforma for final beneficiaries to
use to ensure that the financial ceilings were not exceeded. The Training Aid
and Employment Aid block exemptions are available in the Objective 3
programme in England.

As has been previously reported, the Training Aid and Employment Aid block
exemptions are available in the Objective 3 programme in England. In 2004,
€4.136million was granted under the employment aid bock exemption and
€41.653million was granted under the training aid block exemption. We will
report on 2005 levels of aid in the 2006 report

5.6 Compatibility with Community Policy on Equality between Men and
Women

The Managing Authority has taken all appropriate measures within the
framework of the assistance to ensure conformity with Community policy on
equality between men and women. The ESF Objective 3 programme has a
dual approach to promoting gender equality.

The first approach is through mainstreaming equal opportunities (in its widest
sense). During 2002 ESFD worked closely with the ESF sub-group to devise



                                                  108
equal opportunities gateway criteria for alternative bidders as well as
developing comparable standards for LSCs and Jobcentre Plus. During 2004-
05 guidance was issues to regions on how best to review equal opportunities
with co-financing organisations. Baselines and targets were also prepared for
the regional equal opportunities mainstreaming plans.

The second approach is through funding gender-specific training / support
through policy field 5. For example, in policy field 5.1 ESF funds training which
helps women work in non-traditional areas and thereby helps the Government
address some of the gender gaps which exist in the labour market. During
2004 this measure was merged with 5.2 which funds research and follow-up
actions. This amendment to the programme is designed to offer greater
flexibility for providers and facilitate greater take-up of funding for research
and follow up action in the second half of the programme

The England Objective 3 Monitoring Committee has discussed equal
opportunities, as a standing agenda item, at each meeting. It has an equal
opportunities sub-committee which includes:

       the Equal Opportunities Commission;
       the Disability Rights Commission;
       the Commission for Racial Equality;
       Jobcentre Plus;
       LSC;
       voluntary sector (Third Sector European Network);
       EQUAL Support Team;
       Scottish Executive;
       Welsh European Funding Office
       Department for Communities and Local Government


5.7 Links to the Equal Community Initiative

In 2005, Round 1 of the Equal programme was closed with all activity in the
delivery (Action 2) and mainstreaming (Action 3) phases completed by the
end of the year. Action 1, the development phase of Round 2 of the Equal
programme, was also completed during the spring / summer of 2005, with all
DPs progressing into Action 2. Many opted to begin their Action 3 delivery
concurrently with Action 2 to ensure opportunities for mainstreaming could
take place from the earliest possible time. It is expected that all activity under
Actions 2 and 3 in Round 2 will be completed by the end of 2007.

In 2005, ESFD and the Government Offices have continued to work to ensure
complementarity between Equal and the Objective 3 programme.
Representatives from the Government Offices engaged with Equal in 2005 in
a number of ways: as members of the Monitoring Committee and
representatives in some of the Thematic Networking Groups, where strategic
advice was provided to DPs funded under Themes A and B specifically which
are targeting deprived neighbourhoods. ESFD regularly attends meetings of
the Regional Government Offices to raise awareness of Equal outcomes,
relating to specific regions and across the programme as a whole. In addition,


                                        109
ESFD speakers have been invited to attend regional dissemination events to
link in outcomes from Equal to other regionally delivered ESF funded activity.

The Equal and Objective 3 Monitoring Committees continued to be linked
through the Equal Opportunities sub-committee. The Sub-Committee brings
together a range of organisations delivering ESF funded activities to promote
equality and diversity and identifies, disseminates and mainstreams emerging
good practice at a national level. The sub-committee met twice in 2005.

The Scottish Executive and the Welsh Assembly Government also co-ordinate
structural assistance in their respective countries. The Equal Support Units in
both countries also administer Objective 3. Representatives from the Equal
programmes meet on a quarterly basis with ESFD to ensure that the Equal
programme is effectively co-ordinated across the whole of GB.

Case Study

Access to employment: Building London, Creating Futures DP was funded
under Theme E (Lifelong Learning) of the Equal programme, and was
completed during 2005. The DP developed a workplace co-ordinator scheme
in the construction sector in which Equal funding supported the employment of
mentors in companies. A key success of the scheme has been the high level
of private sector buy-in. Three major developers have chosen to retain and
fund workplace coordinators on their sites. As one private developer delivering
the scheme commented ‘it’s a good idea that is being effectively delivered in
partnership with the private sector. It’s not seen as a government-led initiative
which is a refreshing change for us and because workplace coordinators are
part of our organisation, the scheme is taken seriously… it’s our reputation on
the line’. At least one London borough has firm plans in place to allocate
„Section 106‟ monies17 towards supporting the scheme‟s continuation. The DP
worked closely with its local / regional partners and substantial RDA and ESF
monies have been secured for Jobcentre Plus clients to receive training
through the programme.


5.8 Compatibility with Community Policy on Sustainable Development
and Environmental Protection

The Managing Authority has taken all appropriate measures within the
framework of the assistance to ensure conformity with Community policy on
sustainable development and environmental protection. Sustainable and local
development is selection criteria within both co-financing and alternative
bidding arrangements. During 2004 a new interactive ESF Sustainable
Development toolkit was launched. The toolkit is designed to help project
applicants assess their project‟s contribution to sustainable development and
identify possible areas for future action. Environmental considerations are
embedded in the toolkit. This toolkit will help providers in the application
process as well as inform post-tender negotiations where appropriate.

The ESF technical assistance–funded Sustainable Development Officer post

17
     raised from private developers through planning approvals


                                              110
finished in June 2005. Much had been achieved in terms of mainstreaming
sustainable development in ESF: guidance on sustainable development was
issued to CFOs and Government Office staff during 2004. This guidance was
designed to inform CFO plans and application/tendering guidance. A
sustainable development webpage was also launched on the ESF website
and the sustainable development officer delivered a number of training
sessions/workshops in the Government Office regions designed to widen
understanding of sustainable development issues.

During 2005, a number of regions in England, including London, South East
and the East Midlands prepared enhanced guidance for their regional
websites as well as offering training in sustainable development for their key
partners. Some regions such as North West have gathered case studies to
share as examples of good practice.

A national ESF Sustainable Development Award was launched during 2005
which aimed to reward projects that had made the greatest effort to effectively
support sustainable development. The award was given to the Groundwork
Erewash Valley Intermediate Labour Market project. The award ceremony
was held during the ESF UK Presidency conference on 14 October. The
project had successfully integrated the themes of social inclusion,
environmental protection and supporting the local economy.

A sustainable development workshop was run during the ESF UK Presidency
conference held in Manchester on 14 October. The workshop showed how
sustainable development was being mainstreamed at national and regional
level. The workshop was chaired by the chief executive of Groundwork UK
and presentations were given by the Environment Agency and Government
Office for the East of England.

5.9 Enlargement: Assistance to New Member States
Ending in July 2005, ESF Division, in partnership with the Ministry of Labour in
Finland, delivered a Twinning project in Poland to help them prepare for ESF.
A key objective of the project was to develop the capability of Polish
colleagues to prepare Operational Programmes including an EQUAL
programme and the respective programme complements. An equally
important objective was to help the Managing Authority at the Ministry of
Economy, Labour and Social Policy, prepare their management and control
systems for ESF funding.
The Twinning project in the Czech Republic finished in February 2005, though
small scale bilateral exchanges have continued, notably with the Ministry of
Education, Youth and Sport in helping them to develop major infrastructure
programmes. There is also regular contact with Prague City Council, which
will be the Managing Authority for the Prague Competitiveness and
Employment programme from 2007-2013.
It was decided not to bid for an ESF Twinning project in Bulgaria, although
ESF Division did host a week long study visit from the Bulgarian Managing
Authority.
A member of staff from ESF Division gave a presentation at a seminar in
Romania on the development of an Operational Programme.


                                      111
                                                                                                                                  ANNEX A
                 OVERVIEW OF ESF OBJECTIVE 3 POLICY FIELDS AND MEASURES (As amended at mid-term review)

Policy field           Strategic objectives                 Measures
                     To reduce long term unemployment Measure 1: 11%
Active labour market in England through the use of active To provide advice, guidance and support to enable people to develop active and
policies             labour market measures and assist continuous job search strategies and prevent them from moving into long term
                     the unemployed and economically unemployment or economic inactivity.
                       inactive (back) into employment
                                                            Measure 2: 89%
                       To reduce the flows into long        To improve the employability of the unemployed, particularly the long term
                       term unemployment in England         unemployed, returners, those inactive in the labour market and young people
                       through the use of active labour     through targeted intervention to enhance vocational and other key skills and
                       market measures targeted at          removing external barriers to labour market entry.
                       those recently unemployed or
                       about to become unemployed
                       To reduce the impact of             Measure 1: 17%
Equal opportunities    disadvantage faced by excluded      To widen access to basic skills provision: through the development of innovative
for all and            groups     and     support   their  and effective ways of promoting and providing basic skills, directed at those
promoting social       integration into the labour market  groups disadvantaged, excluded from or under-represented in the workplace.
inclusion              through target group or area        Measure 2: 80%
                       based approaches.                   To develop local and area based responses to assist individuals with multiple
                                                           disadvantage, especially economically inactive people of working age, in the
                       To promote equality through         labour market who face the risk of exclusion.
                       research into direct and indirect   To provide help to improve the employability and remove barriers to labour
                       discrimination in the labour        market entry for those groups disadvantaged in the labour market, including
                       market and support follow on        economically inactive people of working age, with particular emphasis on
                       actions to combat the institutional combating race, disability and age discrimination.
                       aspects of discrimination.          Measure 3: 3%




                                                                       112
                                                         To combat discrimination in the labour market, in particular to combat race,
                                                         disability and age discrimination and improve the employability of these groups.
                      To widen participation in lifelong Measure 1: 70%
Lifelong learning     learning so that more people       Promoting wider access and participation in life long learning (especially for
                      continue throughout their lives to those groups least likely to take part in lifelong learning activities and lacking
                      develop their knowledge, skills    basic and key skills, including economically inactive people of working age)
                      and understanding and improve
                      their employability in a changing Supporting the key policy developments in lifelong learning to improve
                      labour market                      participation.

                                                         Measure 2: 30%
                                                         Improving the employability of those in work through lifelong learning provision
                                                         which develops their skills and helps them meet the changing needs of
                                                         employers, such as in the fields of IT, management and the environment.

                      To improve the skills base and Measure 1: 39%
Adaptability and      adaptability of the employed To support companies, especially SMEs to update and upgrade their employees‟
Entrepreneurship      labour force in England        vocational, basic and key skills.

                      To increase the level of           Measure 2: 45%
                      entrepreneurship in England        Research to identify emerging skills shortages and follow up actions

                                                         Measure 3: 16%
                                                         Encourage entrepreneurship of individuals and competitiveness of businesses,
                                                         particularly SMEs.
                      To reduce the level of             Measure 1: 90%
Improving the         disadvantage faced by women in     To improve access to learning and remove barriers to employment, and to
participation of      the labour market                  research issues related to gender discrimination in employment such as
women in the labour                                      recruitment, pay, segregation and progression, and to support follow up




                                                                   113
market   activities arising from the research.
         Measure 2: 10%
         To research into issues related to gender discrimination in employment such to
         recruitment, pay, segregation and progression and follow up activities arising
         from the research.




                   114
                                                  ANNEX B


THE EMPLOYMENT GUIDELINES 2003


1. ACTIVE AND PREVENTATIVE MEASURES FOR THE UNEMPLOYED
AND INACTIVE


2. JOB CREATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP


3. ADDRESS CHANGE AND PROMOTE ADAPTABILITY AND MOBILITY IN
THE LABOUR MARKET


4. PROMOTE DEVELOPMENT OF HUMAN CAPITAL AND LIFELONG
LEARNING


5. INCREASE LABOUR SUPPLY AND PROMOTE ACTIVE AGEING


6. GENDER EQUALITY


7. PROMOTE THE INTEGRATION OF AND COMBAT THE
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE AT A DISADVANTAGE IN THE
LABOUR MARKET


8. MAKE WORK PAY THROUGH INCENTIVES TO ENHANCE WORK
ATTRACTIVENESS


9. TRANSFORM UNDECLARED WORK INTO REGULAR EMPLOYMENT


10. ADDRESS REGIONAL EMPLOYMENT DISPARITIES




                                                  ANNEX C
                           115
EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES MAINSTREAMING PLAN

AGREED BY ENGLAND ESF OBJECTIVE 3 MONITORING COMMITTEE
MARCH 2002

Outline Structure

Purpose of the plan

This plan sets how equal opportunities will be mainstreamed in the English
Objective 3 programme for 2000-06 and sets out in more detail how the key
principles laid down in the GB mainstreaming plan will be implemented in
England. Separate plans will be drawn up for Scotland and Wales.

The plan is a monitoring tool and will be subject to continuous change during
the life of the programme.

What are equal opportunities mainstreaming?

Equal Opportunities mainstreaming involves a systematic process of
identification and integration of equal opportunities into all aspects of the
planning and implementation of the programme including monitoring and
evaluation. It involves identifying lessons learned and promoting good practice
in equal opportunities through appropriate dissemination strategies. The
guiding principle for mainstreaming equal opportunities is simple: policies,
programmes and services should meet the needs of all groups in society. This
means ensuing there is no discrimination and proactively dealing with barriers
to participation and success.

Who is the plan for?

At national level:

The English OP mainstreaming action plan will be monitored and reviewed by
The Equal Opportunities Sub-group who will report to the English OP
Monitoring Committee and the GB Monitoring Committee.

At regional level:

The plan sets out key priorities and principles that Objective 3 regional
committees should follow. This will help ensure consistency in approach –
although regional committees may want to tailor aspects of the plan to meet
regional needs as well as including additional objectives.

How will the plan be monitored?

The plan will be monitored by means of a standard reporting template issued
to all regions. The template was designed in consultation with the Equal
Opportunities Sub-group. The first reporting templates were completed by the
regions in November 2001. The template gathers information primarily to
inform the Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Action Plan but the information
gathered can also be used to inform Regional Development Plan progress
reports as well as the Objective 3 Annual Reports and the ESFD contribution
                                     116
to the UK Employment Action Plan.

The current template gathers information on issues such as:

           -    commitment to equal opportunities within the regional committees
           -    regional equal opportunities strategies
           -    equal opportunities strategies in the CFOs
           -    coverage of equal opportunities in project scoring.

Later versions of the template will include information on:
-     Overview of provision at regional level – spread, coverage, types of
project funded;
       - Outcomes for beneficiaries according to gender, disability and race
           – compared with national and regional averages. Any significant
           differences to be explained as far as possible;
       - Progress towards objectives set out in this English mainstreaming
           plan;
       - Good practice identified at regional level which could be shared –
           including case studies;
       - Suggestions for activities that could be explored under the EQUAL
           programme.

           NB the above list is not exhaustive but illustrates what The Equal
           Opportunities Sub group will be monitoring.

The GB mainstreaming plan sets out the key quantitative data and monitoring
data sources and emphasises the need to consider `net impact‟ of the
programme as well as `gross impact‟ in terms of outcomes.


What does the experience from the previous Objective 3 programme tell
us about equal opportunities?


 In general, women were successfully targeted onto the Objective 3 programme.
  However, there was evidence that women returners were not being effectively
  targeted. Qualitative research suggested the existence of barriers which prevented
  some women from taking part on the programme. The main barriers were lack of
  childcare and lack of flexibility on projects. As well as preventing some women from
  joining a project, these barriers can also create problems in them completing their
  projects.

 The evaluation evidence was mixed in terms of labour market outcomes for men and
  women. Immediately after leaving Objective 3 support, a lower proportion of women
  than men moved into jobs, yet a higher proportion obtained a positive outcome 18.
  This was due to the higher proportion of women moving on to further education or
  training after Objective 3. However, six months after leaving their projects, women
  had a higher probability than men of being in work. In line with the wider labour
  market, women were much more likely to get a part-time job with a lower weekly rate
  of pay.

 There is strong evidence of a better performance in terms of achievement of
18
     A positive outcome is a job, self-employment or further education/training.
                                                  117
           qualifications for women. However, at least a higher level of previous qualifications
           may explain some of this. Women returners and lone parents were more likely than
           other groups of beneficiaries to gain a qualification.

        Both job outcomes and positive outcomes are consistently lower for lone parents,
         women with no qualifications and women returners than for women beneficiaries as
         a whole, which reflects the disadvantage suffered by these groups. This also
         emphasises the point that it is misleading to look at women as a homogenous group
         and that some sub-groups of women face greater disadvantage in the labour market
         than others.

        Overall, the previous Objective 3 programme reinforced traditional gender
         stereotypes in the types of occupations for which men and women were being
         trained. In addition, women were less likely than men to be on projects which were
         offering wage subsidy or which gave advice about the types of jobs to look for.

          In looking at the other disadvantaged groups, the evaluation evidence suggests that
           the previous Objective 3 programme did successfully reach most of its main target
           groups. In particular, targeting of ethnic monitories was good at the national level;
           14% of Objective 3 beneficiaries were from an ethnic minority compared to 11%
           amongst the unemployed as a whole.

          While providing a tailor-made package of support to meet individual needs had a
           positive impact on the outcomes of all beneficiaries, it was those from the more
           disadvantaged groups who benefited the most from this more intensive type of
           support.

          The disabled and the long-term unemployed were the two groups that had the least
           success in moving into a job on leaving their ESF project.




       Equal Opportunities ESF Forecast Data For England

       Equal Opportunities Forecasts

1.Table 1 below sets out the proposed Equal Opportunities forecasts for the English
Objective 3 Operational Programme (OP). The forecasts are set out both for the
overall Objective 3 programme and for each individual policy field. Data limitations
have meant it was not possible to produce all of the targets for every policy field. This
annex gives a brief overview of how the forecasts came about.

2.The methodology used to set the forecasts is underpinned by two main factors.
Where possible we have used monitoring data from the old programme to assess
previous performance. In addition, Labour Force Survey (LFS) data on each of the
target groups of working age, in employment and unemployment has been used to
provide a baseline, and to inform our thinking in terms of scope for improvement
under the new programme. For example, 1999 monitoring data revealed that 15% of
beneficiaries supported on Objective 3 in England were disabled. According to the
LFS, 21% of ILO unemployed people were disabled, therefore the forecast for the
Active Labour Market policy field was set at the midpoint between the two, at 18%.
This approach is consistent with that used to develop the OP targets.
                                              118
3.A significant problem exists in that the policy fields under the new programme do
not precisely relate to the previous programme. For policy fields 1 and 2 of the new
programme, this was not a huge issue as similarities exist with the old Objective 3
programme. For policy field 4 we were able to use monitoring data from the previous
Objective 4 programme. For policy field 3 we looked at monitoring data on national
projects whose focus was on advice and guidance and data relating to both
employed and unemployed beneficiaries. For policy field 5 we analysed those
projects that had 98% or more female beneficiaries.

4.For forecasts on projects offering support to disabled people and projects offering
childcare facilities, the only option was to use monitoring data taken from application
forms under the new programme. Applications data is based on forecasts made by
projects so these targets should be treated with a degree of caution.

5.For some indicators targets already exist in the OP and these have been repeated
to maintain consistency. Examples of this include the % of women receiving support
in all policy fields and the % of women in positive outcomes immediately on leaving
in policy field 5.

6. Once forecasts for each individual policy field have been set, these are then
weighted according to the allocation of resources between policy fields to derive the
overall targets.




                                             119
       Table 1 – Forecasts for the Equal Opportunities Indicators for England

       NB: The equal opportunities mainstream plan will be updated by 31 July
       2003. Forecast figures will be reviewed following the mid-term
       evaluation

Overall
Indicator                                                                       Forecast
% women receiving support                                                       47%
% ethnic minorities receiving support                                           15%
% disabled receiving support                                                    15%

% of women in jobs immediately after leaving                                    54%
% of women in positive outcomes immediately after leaving                       70%
% of women in jobs six months after leaving                                     60%
% of women in positive outcomes six months after leaving                        74%

% of ethnic minorities in jobs immediately after leaving                        51%
% of ethnic minorities in positive outcomes immediately after leaving           72%
% of ethnic minorities in jobs six months after leaving                         53%
% of ethnic minorities in positive outcomes six months after leaving            73%

% of disabled people in jobs immediately after leaving                          43%
% of disabled in positive outcomes immediately after leaving                    59%
% of disabled in jobs six months after leaving                                  46%
% of disabled in positive outcomes six months after leaving                     63%

% of projects offering support measures to enable disabled people to take part on
the project                                                                       85%
% of projects offering childcare facilities                                       61%


Active Labour Market
Indicator                                                                       Forecast
% women receiving support                                                       42%
% ethnic minorities receiving support                                           21%
% disabled receiving support                                                    18%

% of women in jobs immediately after leaving                                    34%
% of women in positive outcomes immediately after leaving                       56%
% of women in jobs six months after leaving                                     42%
% of women in positive outcomes six months after leaving                        61%

% of ethnic minorities in jobs immediately after leaving                        29%
% of ethnic minorities in positive outcomes immediately after leaving           60%
% of ethnic minorities in jobs six months after leaving                         32%
% of ethnic minorities in positive outcomes six months after leaving            61%

% of disabled people in jobs immediately after leaving                          18%
% of disabled in positive outcomes immediately after leaving                    41%
% of disabled in jobs six months after leaving                                  22%
% of disabled in positive outcomes six months after leaving                     47%
                                             120
% of projects offering support measures to enable disabled people to take part on
the project                                                                       85%
% of projects offering childcare facilities                                       59%


Social Inclusion
Indicator                                                                       Forecast
% women receiving support                                                       42%
% ethnic minorities receiving support                                           21%
% disabled receiving support                                                    18%

% of women in jobs immediately after leaving                                    34%
% of women in positive outcomes immediately after leaving                       56%
% of women in jobs six months after leaving                                     42%
% of women in positive outcomes six months after leaving                        61%

% of ethnic minorities in jobs immediately after leaving                        29%
% of ethnic minorities in positive outcomes immediately after leaving           60%
% of ethnic minorities in jobs six months after leaving                         32%
% of ethnic minorities in positive outcomes six months after leaving            61%

% of disabled people in jobs immediately after leaving                          18%
% of disabled in positive outcomes immediately after leaving                    41%
% of disabled in jobs six months after leaving                                  22%
% of disabled in positive outcomes six months after leaving                     47%

% of projects offering support measures to enable disabled people to take part on
the project                                                                       85%
% of projects offering childcare facilities                                       59%

Lifelong Learning
Indicator                                                                       Forecast
% women receiving support                                                       50%
% ethnic minorities receiving support                                           8%
% disabled receiving support                                                    14%

% of women in gaining qualification                                             62%
% of ethnic minorities gaining qualification                                    58%
% of disabled people gaining qualification                                      54%

% of projects offering support measures to enable disabled people to take part on
the project                                                                       85%
% of projects offering childcare facilities                                       59%

Adaptability/Entrepreneurship
Indicator                                                                       Forecast
% women receiving support                                                       33%
% ethnic minorities receiving support                                           6%
% disabled receiving support                                                    8%

% of projects offering support measures to enable disabled people to take part on 85%
                                               121
the project
% of projects offering childcare facilities         59%




                                              122
Gender Equality
Indicator                                                                       Forecast
% women receiving support                                                       100%
% ethnic minorities receiving support                                           18%
% disabled receiving support                                                    12%

% of women in jobs immediately after leaving                                    67%
% of women in positive outcomes immediately after leaving                       88%
% of women in jobs six months after leaving                                     71%
% of women in positive outcomes six months after leaving                        90%

% of ethnic minorities in jobs immediately after leaving                        65%
% of ethnic minorities in positive outcomes immediately after leaving           80%
% of ethnic minorities in jobs six months after leaving                         66%
% of ethnic minorities in positive outcomes six months after leaving            81%

% of disabled people in jobs immediately after leaving                          59%
% of disabled in positive outcomes immediately after leaving                    71%
% of disabled in jobs six months after leaving                                  61%
% of disabled in positive outcomes six months after leaving                     74%

% of projects offering support measures to enable disabled people to take part on
the project                                                                       85%
% of projects offering childcare facilities                                       86%




                                             123
Aim 1 Ensure high level commitment to equal opportunities

Objectives                         Performance measure          Baselines(B)    /
                                                                Targets (T) etc.
1a. Monitoring committees /        (i) Number of regional (where
sub-committees     to     have     committees              with appropriate)
appropriate   structure    and     appropriate gender balance
gender / race / disabled                                        (i) B = 4 T = 9
balance. Where balance has         (ii)    No.      of  regions
not been achieved, strategy for    committed to developing B= 3 no strategy
improvement to be developed        strategies      for  gender &
and     implemented      where     balance                      6 committed to a
possible.                                                       strategy
Ongoing                            (iii) Number of regional T = 9
                                   committees which have B = 0
                                   strategies for improving T= 9
                                   balance        (gender     /
                                   disability/race)

                                                                B= 0 T = 6
1b. ESF Division and equality      (i) No of regions consulted /
partners to consult regions to     monitored           (detailed B=0 T = 1 report
follow-up progress made in         consultation)
developing gender balance
strategies and identify good       (ii) Report produced for
practice     for     improving     discussion – containing
representation of women /          good practice etc
disabled / ethnic minorities on
committees and disseminate
any guidance advice available
to regions                                                      B & T - TBA
Ongoing


1c. English regional monitoring    (i) No of regions which have
committees continue to seek        equal opportunities rep(s) B = 2
expertise      from       equal    who have an active role on T = 9
opportunities    experts    and    regional committee;
ensure that formal links exist
(either by working group
representation    on    regional   No of regions committed to
committee      or    nominated     having equal opportunities
individual      member        of   as a standing     agenda
committee) to ensure equal         item
opps is standing agenda item.
Ongoing




                                      124
Aim 2 English Regions to develop regional mainstreaming strategies for equal
opportunities
                             Performance measure         Baselines (B) / targets
                                                         (T)where appropriate
2a. GOs / regions to consult Number      of     regional B=8    regions    have
partners as appropriate on monitoring       committees discussed plan
English       mainstreaming which have discussed / T = 9
strategy                     considered the English
Ongoing                      Mainstreaming plan;


2b) All regions to develop      (i) Number of GOs with
regional equal opportunities    mainstreaming plan aligned B = 1 ( South East)
mainstreaming strategies in     to English mainstreaming T = 9
line with English plan ( as a   plan
minimum)
                                (ii) Number of regions which B = 1 (partially)
Ongoing                         have set equality objectives, T = 9
                                baselines and targets for
                                their         mainstreaming
                                strategy;
                                                              B=0
                                (iii) Number of regions T=9
                                which have established
                                monitoring arrangements;
                                                              B = 0 T = System for all
                                (iii) Executive information 9
                                system     /    management
                                information system set up in
                                regions by ESF Division
                                                              B=0
                                (iv) Number of regions T = 9
                                which have established
                                appraisal arrangements for
                                reviewing     mainstreaming
                                plan


2c. ESF evaluation team to      (i) LMI data has already
supply LMI data / leavers‟      been supplied to the
survey data and suggested       regions. 2001 Leavers‟
targets at national level and   survey data will be available
explain    methodology     to   in September 2002
regions ;
Ongoing                         (iii) Targets – by end of
                                January 2002


2d. Equal opportunities sub-    (i)   Reporting   template
group to agree new regional     designed and agreed
reporting     template     /    Template and guidance
arrangements for May 2002       issued to GOs
Ongoing
                                      125
Aim 3: To ensure that new Co-Financing Organisations contribute
effectively to the regional mainstreaming plan

Objectives                     Performance measure Baselines / Targets –
                                                     where appropriate
                                                     (TBA)
3a.ESFD to meet with CFOs         Equality standards
representatives to discuss        /         guidance
equal opportunities criteria /    produced       and
standards                         issues to CFOs

Ongoing




Aim 4. To ensure that equal opportunities is strengthened in project
selection system

Objective                      Performance measure          Baselines / targets
                                                           where appropriate


4a. ESFD to organise           Initial training event to
training event for project     develop materials /
scorers with view to them      trainers held
`cascading down‟ training to
partner colleagues within      Training materials to
regions. (Links with CFO       be developed for use
bids too?)                     within regions.
Ongoing

4b. Equal opportunities to
become a „gateway‟ question
on the application form.
Applicants      must    meet
minimum criteria on equal
opportunities in order to be
eligible for approval




                                     126
Aim 5: To ensure that good practice identified in EQUAL programme is
shared / mainstreamed within regions, between regions and between
programmes

Objective                         Performance measure   Baselines / targets
                                                        where appropriate
5a. Establish dissemination Strategy devised
strategy / liaise with thematic
network         groups      as
appropriate

(this objective will need to be
developed / expanded at
later date)

Ongoing




Aim 6: To ensure that equal opportunities is promoted by projects /
CFOs

Objective                         Performance measure   Baselines / targets
                                                        where appropriate
6a. Regions to report on Regional             report
publicity methods used by compiled for equal
projects and identify any opps sub-group
good practice – report to be
discussed at equal opps
sub-group;
Ongoing
                             Website to be set up
6b. ESFD to set-up equal
opps website on PRISM –
use this to share good
practice;
Ongoing                      Appropriate    training
                             materials developed
6c. Ensure that publicity is
covered in any training
packages developed for
ESF application scorers
Ongoing




                                       127
                                                                 ANNEX D

EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND OBJECTIVE 3 EVALUATION STRATEGY
AND WORK PROGRAMME
(2004 - 2005)

England



Contents


Evaluation Strategy
Introduction Page 1
Labour Market RationalePage 1
Findings from the Mid-term EvaluationPage 1
Programme ObjectivesPage 3
Organisation and Funding of Monitoring and EvaluationPage 4
Overall Evaluation StrategyPage 4
MonitoringPage 5
Beneficiaries‟ SurveysPage 6
Adding a Qualitative DimensionPage 7
Ad hoc ResearchPage 7
Soft OutcomesPage 8
Evaluation of Equal OpportunitiesPage 8
Evaluation of Local Development/SustainabilityPage 9
Evaluation of the Information SocietyPage 10
Measuring the Impact of Objective 3Page 10
Cost-benefit Analysis of Objective 3Page 11
Feeding Evaluation Findings into the UK National Action PlanPage 11
TimingPage 11
DisseminationPage 12
Annex 1 Conclusions and Recommendations - Mid-term Page 13
Evaluation
Annex 2 Indicators for each Policy FieldPage 22

Further information

If you would like further information on ESF programme evaluation please
contact one of the team.

Yvonne Smith0114 209 8111e-mail yvonne.smith3@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Rob Hardcastle0114 209 8113e-mail rob.hardcastle@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Margaret Hersee0114 209 8114e-mail margaret.hersee@dwp.gsi.gov.uk
Maureen Moroney0114 209 8232e-mail maureen.moroney@dwp.gsi.gov.uk

Address:DWP, Level 2, 80, Hanover Way, Sheffield, S3 7UF




                                   128
EUROPEAN SOCIAL FUND OBJECTIVE 3 IN ENGLAND: EVALUATION
STRATEGY 2004 - 2005


1.Introduction

1.1This paper sets out an approach to the evaluation of the Objective 3
programme in England leading to the update of the mid-term evaluation which
is required by end 2005.

“As a continuation of mid-term evaluation, it shall be updated for each
Community support framework and assistance and completed no later than 31
December 2005 in order to prepare for subsequent assistance operations.”
(Council regulation 1260/90 Article 42.4)

1.2The evaluation strategy is informed by the broad framework for Objective 3
evaluation set down by the European Commission in its publication
"Guidelines for systems of monitoring and evaluation of ESF assistance in the
period 2000-2006". In line with this document one of the central aims in
carrying out an evaluation of the programme is to assess its effectiveness in
meeting its objectives. However, the publication also states that “an updated
assessment should be carried out at the end of the programming period in
order to prepare for later interventions” (our emphasis). Arrangements after
2006 will be subject to the outcomes of negotiations at EU level. These
negotiations are expected to begin later this year following the tabling of draft
regulations for 2007-13. Therefore it is not possible for the evaluation strategy
to anticipate what arrangements will exist after 2006.

1.3Bearing the above issue in mind, this evaluation strategy sets out initial
evaluation plans which relate to an assessment of the programme in meeting
its objectives - since the mid-term evaluation (end 2003). The strategy will be
updated when clarification is received on the future of the ESF programme in
England. This strategy document also takes into account the guidance
received from the Commission (Guidance Paper on ESF „Final Evaluation‟ –
April 2004) on issues to be covered in the update to the mid-term evaluation.
The strategy has been discussed and agreed with the Evaluation Standing
Group and will be presented to the England Objective 3 Monitoring
Committee. Separate evaluation strategies will need to be agreed for the other
ESF programmes running in the UK.

2.Labour Market Rationale for ESF Funded Activity Under Objective 3

2.1Before outlining the key elements of the evaluation strategy, it is important
to briefly set the evaluation in context by re-stating the underlying labour
market rationale for ESF activity under Objective 3. The three objectives of the
European Employment Strategy – full employment, quality and productivity at
work, and an inclusive labour market – are reflected in the National Action
Plan for Employment (NAP). The ESF Regulation makes clear that the main
task of the ESF is to contribute to the EES by supporting and complementing
activities in Member States‟ NAPs. Hence the implementation of Objective 3
in England sits within the wider labour market policy of the UK (a fuller
account of the rationale is included in the “Operational Programme for
England & Gibraltar Objective 3 2000-2006”).

                                      129
3.Findings From the Mid-Term Evaluation

3.1It is also worth briefly considering some of the findings from the “Mid-term
Evaluation of the Objective 3 Programme for England and Gibraltar 2000-
2006”, as the recommendations from the report shape the issues to be
evaluated until end 2005 when the update report is required by the
Commission.
3.2The mid-term evaluation report mapped the ESF policy fields against the
EES Pillars and Guidelines to ascertain if there was evidence of links between
them. This indicated that the ESF policy fields and measures are, at a
qualitative level, still relevant to changing European and national policies.
Hence no changes were recommended to the programme at a strategic level.
3.3The mid-term evaluation also provided an update of the labour market
information included in the Operational Programme (OP), in order to assess
whether amendments were required to the priorities and focus of the current
programme. This showed that in general the labour market had remained
largely unchanged since the OP was produced, but that there were several
emerging issues that had assumed greater significance since the start of the
programme. These include the findings that:
- Long-term ILO unemployment rates have fallen since the beginning of the
programme by almost 40%;
- Economic inactivity rates remain at relatively high levels (especially amongst
young people aged 16-24);
- There are disparities in rates of employment/unemployment in relation to
those from groups disadvantaged in the labour market;
- There is an increasing skills gap between those in and out of work –
particularly in relation to basic skills.
These findings were further reflected in, and expanded on, in the remainder of
the report (see Annex 1 for Conclusions and Recommendations from the mid-
term evaluation). In relation to the above issues the report indicated that
whilst the economically inactive may be regarded as being well catered for
under Objective 3 - beneficiaries who were economically inactive on joining
projects (excluding those in education/training) were less likely to be in
employment on leaving the projects than those who were previously
unemployed. In short, the Programme is less effective with the inactive
compared to the unemployed.

3.4Many of those who are economically inactive (but also those         who are
unemployed) may experience a combination of disadvantages that         together
limit labour market potential. The report indicates that around        40% of
beneficiaries supported by Objective 3 projects experience              multiple
disadvantages.

3.5Regarding equal opportunities issues – the numbers of disabled people
entering the programme and achieving work immediately afterwards were
much lower than expected relative to the forecasts. Projects providing
childcare or other care provision were lower than expected, and the training
and employment provided by Objective 3 projects appear to reflect, rather
than challenge, gender stereotyping.

3.6In relation to basic skills, whilst the Programme‟s focus on those with low
basic skills is appropriate, it has also been shown that at mid-term take-up of
Policy Field 2, measure 1 (widen access to basic skills provision) - the main
measure to provide basic skills to the most disadvantaged - is very low.
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3.7Following these, and other findings, a series of recommendations were
made which either:
i) specifically relate to further evaluation/research activity; or
ii) suggest remedial activity to be undertaken by projects/ESFD – which will
require further evaluation to examine the effectiveness of the activity.




4.Programme Objectives

4.1The broad focus of activity under ESF is to ensure that all, including those
currently unemployed or inactive, have the skills they need to allow them to
access employment opportunities and remain employed. Activity funded under
Objective 3 is carried out under five policy fields, which are divided into
specific measures which detail the areas where ESF support will be
concentrated19:
        Active labour market policies.
       Strategic objectives
       To reduce long-term unemployment in England through the use of
          active labour market measures and assist the unemployed and
          economically inactive into employment.
       To reduce the flows into long-term unemployment in England through
          the use of active labour market measures targeted at those recently
          unemployed or about to become unemployed.
       Key questions to be answered by the evaluation
       To what extent has Objective 3 helped the economically inactive (and
       unemployed) into positive outcomes – including jobs?
       What actions are most effective in helping the economically inactive
          (and unemployed) into positive outcomes including jobs?
       To what extent does Objective 3 activity with the economically
          inactive/unemployed add value (and can add further value) to
          domestic programmes?

         Equal opportunities for all, promoting social inclusion.
        Strategic objectives
        To reduce the impact of disadvantage faced by excluded groups,
           especially economically inactive people of working age and support
           their integration into the labour market.
        To promote equality through research into direct and indirect
           discrimination in the labour market and support follow-on actions to
           combat the institutional aspects of discrimination.
        Key questions to be answered by the evaluation
        How successful was Objective 3 in targeting those from disadvantaged
           groups (particularly those who experience multiple disadvantages in
           the labour market) onto the programme?
        To what extent has Objective 3 helped excluded groups enter/move
           towards the labour market?
        How far has Objective 3 been successful in widening basic skills

19
  The Operational Programme for England and Gibraltar gives more detail of the types of action
funded under each of the five policy fields.
                                              131
        provision to the most disadvantaged?
      How well have equal opportunities issues been addressed across the
        Objective 3 programme – particularly in relation to disabled people?
      To what extent does Objective 3 activity with excluded groups add
        value (and can add further value) to domestic programmes?

       Lifelong learning.
      Strategic objectives
      To widen participation in lifelong learning so that more people,
         including economically inactive people of working age continue
         throughout their lives to develop their knowledge, skills and
         understanding and improve their employability in a changing labour
         market.
       Key questions to be answered by the evaluation
      How many people took part in lifelong learning as a result of being on
         Objective 3?
      How many people gained qualifications while on Objective 3?
      Has Objective 3 improved attitudes towards lifelong learning?

       Adaptability and entrepreneurship.
      Strategic objectives
      To improve the skills base and adaptability of the employed labour
         force in England.
      To increase the level of entrepreneurship in England.
      Key questions to be answered by the evaluation
      To what extent has Objective 3 promoted a culture of
         entrepreneurship?
      How has Objective 3 helped the workforce adapt their skills to suit
      changing working practices – particularly in relation to micro and small
      companies?
      To what extent does Objective 3 activity with companies add value
      (and can add further value) to domestic programmes?

       Improving the participation of women in the labour market.
  Strategic objectives
  To reduce the level of disadvantage faced by women in the labour market.
      Key questions to be answered by the evaluation
      How well has Objective 3 helped women gain jobs or qualifications?
      Is Objective 3 tackling labour market segregation – in terms of the type
      of employment obtained and by challenging labour market
      stereotypes?
      What barriers exist for women entering onto Objective 3?

4.2The Operational Programme estimates the impact of ESF-funded activities
under Objective 3:

      41% in work on leaving;
      80% gaining positive outcome on leaving;
      62% young people unemployed less than 6 months;
      36% adults unemployed less than 12 months;
      75% beneficiaries completing their courses;
      45% gaining a qualification.


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4.3The OP also sets out more detailed indicators under each of the five policy
fields. These are shown at Annex 2. It must be stressed that, in line with
Recommendation 16 in the mid-term evaluation report, the equal opportunities
forecasts will be reviewed and supplemented. The feasibility of the impact
indicators will also be reviewed.

5.Organisation and Funding of Monitoring and Evaluation

5.1The Evaluation Standing Group has been set up to ensure that all
structural fund programmes in the UK carry out an effective evaluation of ESF
interventions. As part of its remit, the ESG will oversee the Objective 3
evaluation strategy for England and feedback to the Objective 3 Monitoring
Committee any relevant lessons for programme implementation emerging
from the evaluation.

5.2The evaluation of Objective 3 in England will be managed by the ESF
Evaluation Team. The team is made up of a statistician and
researchers/economists in the Social Research Division of DWP. The team
will be responsible for analysis (including economic analysis) of monitoring
and survey data, drafting the final evaluation report, commissioning external
evaluators to carry out specific research and managing these
evaluation/research projects. Individual research projects will be guided by a
steering group made up of a number of ESF partners.

5.3Funding for the national evaluation of Objective 3 in England will come
from three sources: the DWP Research Budget, ESF technical assistance and
other DWP budgets. Funds from the DWP Research Budget require
Ministerial approval. The ESG has made recommendations to the Monitoring
Committee requesting the use of technical assistance to support the research
programme.




6.Overall Evaluation Strategy

6.1The evaluation strategy follows the broad approach suggested by
European Commission guidelines. One of the main aims of the evaluation is
to identify the added value of ESF. The European Commission guidelines
suggest that evaluation of added value should be based around four
principles which the evaluation will aim to address:

       Relevance i.e. How relevant was the activity in the social and
        economic context?

       Consistency i.e. What value does the programme add to national
        policies?

       Effectiveness i.e. Has the programme achieved its expected
        outcomes?



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        Efficiency i.e. What are the costs of the interventions in relation to
         the effects?


6.2In essence, the evaluation of the England Objective 3 programme is based
on a bottom-up approach. This focuses on measuring the impact of Objective
3 on the individuals, companies and organisations who have received support
rather than attempting to look at the macro-economic impact of the
programme. This approach has worked reasonably well in evaluating the
programme so far.

6.3This update to the mid-term evaluation will, however, extend the above
issues and also consider the extent to which ESF supports national policy in
relation to the EES and Social Inclusion Strategy. In order to ascertain the
added value that ESF brings to national policy the evaluation will make
comparisons between ESF and similar national policies and try to ascertain if
ESF supports innovative practice. These issues will be particularly explored
in the two case study based projects discussed below (paragraphs 10.2 and
10.4).

6.4The four main tools in delivering the evaluation of the Objective 3
programme up until the update to the mid-term evaluation are:

       monitoring information based on administrative data;
       beneficiaries survey of individuals –- (including interviews with
         project staff) whilst beneficiaries are still being supported by projects
         and a follow-up survey with these beneficiaries six after leaving
         projects;
       beneficiaries surveys of companies receiving ESF support;
       ad hoc research into any emerging issues.
These tools are discussed in detail in the following sections.


7.Monitoring

7.1The ESF Division‟s administrative database system has the prime aim of
supporting the processing, approval and payment of project claims. However,
the system has also been designed to gather a range of information to feed
through into programme monitoring and evaluation. The aim is to keep
information asked of projects to a minimum, whilst ensuring it is sufficiently
robust to:
 judge the success of the programme, and
 to identify any areas needing remedial action to ensure the programme
   remains on track.

7.2Of particular importance for evaluation is the administrative information on:
costs, number and characteristics of participants (including gender), project
activities, number and type of qualifications gained and, crucially, the labour
market destinations of participants. This information supports an assessment
of the effectiveness and efficiency of the programme and is essential to
monitor the targets set out in the Operational Programme.


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8.Beneficiaries’ Surveys

8.1The monitoring data generated through the administrative systems can
produce useful aggregate data on the progress of the programme. However,
as the administrative data is only collected at the project level, it is not
possible to look in detail at the individuals who are on the programme. Neither
can the monitoring data provide very detailed information on the outcomes of
the programme on particular groups of individuals. The beneficiaries‟ surveys
(individual and companies) provide the only source of information at the level
of the individual participant.

8.2Beneficiaries’ Survey of Individuals - up until the mid-term evaluation,
and throughout the previous programming period, an Objective 3 Leavers‟
Survey of individuals was conducted. The survey involved sending
beneficiaries a self-completion questionnaire around six months after leaving
their Objective 3 project. The primary purpose of the survey was to provide
data on the outcomes of receiving ESF support. However, at the time of
drafting this evaluation strategy it is anticipated that the Leavers‟ Survey will
be replaced by a Beneficiaries‟ Survey. This new survey will include both
“real time” data (that is beneficiaries will be contacted whilst they are still
being supported by projects) and more longitudinal data – contacting
beneficiaries approximately six months after leaving projects.            Hence
information on outcomes will be available. It is expected that a number of
qualitative interviews with project workers will also take place.

8.3The decision to replace the Leavers‟ Survey was made following a
consultation exercise with the other home countries and Government Offices.
There are two main reasons for designing a new survey. First, because there
were increasing problems in obtaining from projects contact details of
beneficiaries. Second, because “real time” data would provide in depth
information on project activities which, as indicated below (9.1), has been
previously lacking.

8.4Beneficiaries’ Survey of Companies – a quantitative survey of company
beneficiaries informed the mid-term evaluation report. This provided
information on the type of beneficiaries which received ESF support, the
content of the training provided and the outcomes of this training for the
companies involved. This phase of the evaluation strategy will involve a
qualitative case study based project to look, in depth, at issues raised in the
previous quantitative study. Of particular interest will be the type and extent of
added value engendered by the ESF training. A further quantitative study
exploring these issues may be undertaken to provide the final report with up to
date information.

8.5Data from the beneficiaries‟ surveys of individuals and companies will
complement the administrative monitoring data. Together this provides a
powerful tool for assessing the impact of the programme on the labour market
prospects of programme participants overall, and for those in specific target
and sub-target groups.

8.6Longitudinal Study – a longitudinal study has been commissioned in
order to obtain information on the effectiveness of the programme on the
longer term labour market outcomes of individual beneficiaries. This survey
will contact individuals who previously participated in the 2002 Leavers‟
                                       135
Survey. It will provide information on whether improvements in employment
or employability following participation in ESF funded projects have been
sustained over time and where they have - the extent to which ESF support
contributed towards these positive outcomes.               Where beneficiaries
circumstances have not improved over time it will consider what barriers may
have hindered progress. The study will involve both quantitative telephone
interviews and a limited number of qualitative in depth interviews.

9. Adding a Qualitative Dimension

9.1As outlined previously, the beneficiaries‟ surveys of individuals and
companies; and the longitudinal study will all incorporate a qualitative
element. Qualitative research can allow exploration of some issues in greater
depth than is possible using quantitative methods. It can also be used to
identify examples of good practice at the project level. The evaluation of the
Objective 3 programme, up until the mid-term, tended to focus on using
quantitative methods for obtaining information on project activity and
outcomes (although qualitative interviews were used in three studies
evaluating the horizontal themes). During the course of conducting the mid-
term evaluation, one major limitation of using predominantly quantitative
methods was identified. It was seen that the evaluation evidence to date,
lacked in depth data on project activity.

9.2In order to ensure this information is fully accessed during the remainder of
the programme, the evaluation strategy will include in depth case studies of
projects. These will incorporate qualitative interviews with beneficiaries,
project staff and other key stakeholders (see below 10.2 and 10.4).



10.Ad Hoc Research Projects

10.1The following issues will be the subject of ad hoc research projects.

10.2Economically Inactive/Multiply Disadvantaged – As highlighted above
(section 3), findings from the mid-term evaluation suggested that Objective 3
projects should be encouraged to provide more effective and focused support
to those who are economically inactive/multiply disadvantaged. In line with
this finding, the evaluation strategy will include a project which will specifically
examine the effectiveness and impact of a range of measures and practices
(from both ESF and other domestic programmes) which are used to improve
the outcomes of those who are economically inactive/multiply disadvantaged.
This study will be based on in depth case studies of ESF projects and will
provide examples of good practice to enable projects to provide more effective
and focused support, particularly in relation to helping beneficiaries access
positive outcomes including jobs. The project will also consider how ESF
projects add value (and can add further value) to domestic programmes such
as New Deal.

10.3Co-financing – Up to the mid-term, one of the key issues to be included
in the evaluation strategy was an evaluation of the implementation of co-
financing. The second evaluation of Co-financing, which is due to be
published in June 2004, focused on implementation issues including
accessibility and administration. During this phase of the evaluation strategy
                                        136
the focus will shift to an evaluation of the impact of co-financing. (However,
one implementation issue will continue to be evaluated – the links between
regional development plans and the co-financing plans). For the most part,
however, the evaluation will look at how co-financing impacts on the type and
nature of ESF provision and whether the quality of provision has been
maintained. A further issue to be looked at will include an examination of how
far co-financing has contributed to strengthening national policies. This project
will involve in-depth analysis of ESF provision at local level using qualitative
interviews and an extensive quantitative survey of providers.

10.4Project activity – It is intended that a further case study based
evaluation project will take place which will look specifically at the type and
content of Objective 3 support provided to individual beneficiaries and how
this relates to individual‟s needs. Although beneficiaries who are economically
inactive will be considered, unlike the project mentioned in 10.2 this study will
also consider beneficiaries outside this group. Further knowledge of the type
and content of provision in relation to individuals‟ needs, characteristics,
attitudes and labour market circumstances is required to inform future policy
and to help assess whether and to what extent ESF is adding value to
mainstream programmes such as New Deal. For example, the mid-term
evaluation found evidence of integrated packages of support which the
previous programme found effective. This project will look in detail at what
type of activity comprises an “integrated package” across the five policy fields
and look at their relative effectiveness. As with the project mentioned in 10.2,
it will look at effective exit strategies and particularly good practice in relation
to helping beneficiaries‟ access employment. Furthermore, knowledge on how
projects recruit beneficiaries is limited and neither management information
systems nor the Leavers Surveys‟ distinguish between those individuals and
projects whose training is linked to a mandatory government programme such
as New Deal and those who access ESF through other routes. We therefore
need a greater understanding of the routes through which individuals are
recruited onto ESF projects and how this augments and complements their
previous labour market experiences and ongoing training and advice. It is
also worth highlighting that the case study sample will be stratified to include
both CFO and alternative bid projects. This will allow us to compare any key
differences in the approach used by projects funded under the two systems.

10.5Evaluation of global grants – a small-scale in-house evaluation study of
Global Grants was conducted to inform the mid-term evaluation. That study
outlined a range of problems in implementing Global Grants in the initiative‟s
early stages. A further project will consider whether or not implementation
issues have been resolved at this later stage, but will particularly look at the
impact of Global Grants on the recipients of funding.

10.6Accuracy and quality of monitoring data – the mid-term evaluation
indicated that the monitoring data received from projects may not be
completely accurate. These issues will be explored within in the context of the
case study project (10.4) where project providers will be asked to about the
systems they have in place to record MI.

11.Soft Outcomes

11.1Quantitative indicators of job outcomes or qualification rates are important
in assessing outcomes from the programme. However, such indicators do not
                                        137
fully take account the contribution which ESF funded activities provide in
helping to bring people closer to the labour market by helping them to gain
“soft outcomes”. These outcomes may be defined as observable changes in
client behaviour that represent intermediary stages to the labour market. For
example, this would include improved thinking, problem solving and personal
skills. This phase of the evaluation strategy will examine the effectiveness of
projects in achieving soft outcomes with ESF beneficiaries. This will be
looked at in the context of the above mentioned surveys and case study
projects. Each study will seek to ascertain the extent to which projects
provide support leading to soft outcomes, how far projects have devised ways
to measure/monitor these outcomes, and the benefits of these outcomes to
individuals and projects.

12.Evaluation of Equal Opportunities

12.1Equality of opportunity is a crucial principle running through all structural
funds. Equal opportunities runs across all Objective 3 policy fields and all ESF
supported actions must ensure equality of access. Any evaluation of equal
opportunities must take into account the evidence across all policy fields and
not just those specifically targeting equal opportunities issues. Based on
evidence from the evaluation of the previous Objective 3 programme, and
national practice, the England Objective 2 Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming
Strategy encompasses not only gender but also issues such as race and
disability. However, a key dimension to all the evaluation projects will be to
examine ESF support for women‟s access and participation in the labour
market. The evaluation will consider issues connected to the gender pay gap,
occupational segregation and barriers to obtaining paid employment such as
inadequate childcare. In particular, it will examine the reasons why Policy
Field 5 has been relatively unsuccessful in order to inform any future
programme.

12.2Generally, however, this phase of the evaluation strategy research will:

        Look at participation of different disadvantaged groups on the
         programme to understand the factors affecting participation.
        Look closely at the types of activity undertaken by different groups
         on ESF projects.
        Compare the outcomes from the projects obtained by different
         groups.
        Look at mainstreaming of equal opportunities.
        Look at the organisational policies of project promoters as they
         relate to equal opportunities.
        Make recommendations for good practice to encourage equal
         opportunities on ESF projects.

12.3The evaluation of equal opportunities will use the same type of research
tools as the main evaluation:

        Administrative monitoring data - can provide project level information
         on the proportions of beneficiaries from different target groups
         accessing various activities and the outcomes for these groups.
        Survey data - secondary analysis of the Beneficiaries Survey of
         individuals and the Longitudinal Study will provide individual level
                                      138
         data on the proportions of disadvantaged groups accessing support,
         their characteristics, types of training received and satisfaction.
         Logistic regression analysis will look at how the characteristics of
         individuals may affect their chances of a successful outcome from
         the project. This will look at what characteristics are important in
         determining job outcomes of the individual.
        Qualitative case studies - to look at the above issues in greater
         depth. There will not be a specific evaluation project looking at
         equal opportunities mainstreaming (as with the mid-term evaluation).
         Rather, evidence will be gathered from the above mentioned
         projects looking at the economically inactive and project activity.

12.4The ESF Evaluation Team will draw together the available information on
equal opportunities from the above tools in order to draft a section for
inclusion in the final evaluation report. In order to inform ongoing analysis of
equal opportunities issues, and provide examples of good practice to inform
project activity, the ESF Evaluation Team will examine data from other
programmes such as New Deal and EQUAL.


13.Evaluation of Local Development/Sustainable Development

13.1ESF policy actions should take account of local initiatives concerning
employment. There should be synergy between ESF and domestic
programmes which are targeted and delivered at the local level. In order to
inform the mid-term evaluation these issues were looked at by a discrete
evaluation project that examined the ways in which, and the extent to which,
the ESF Objective 3 programme met the needs of local areas. During this
phase of the evaluation strategy information on how ESF impacts on the local
level will be derived from the previously mentioned project looking at project
activity and from the evaluation of co-financing.

13.2Sustainable development deals with both environmental and
social/economic development and the interaction between them. During the
first half of the programme, for many ESF projects, the issue of sustainability
was a new one. Due to this the above evaluation project on local
development, also incorporated a sustainable development theme. The
evidence from this project indicated that there was limited common
understanding of “sustainable development”. The mid-term evaluation report
therefore recommended that further guidance on this issue was required. As
it will take time for the new guidance to be embedded in projects, this current
phase of the evaluation strategy will not contain a specific project to examine
sustainability issues. However, any issues on sustainable development that
are raised during the previously mentioned research projects will be reflected
in the evaluation report.

14.Evaluation of the Information Society

14.1It is intended that Objective 3 will help increase England‟s
competitiveness by increasing relevant skills at all levels in relation to the
Information Society. On a strategic level it is intended that ESF will have a role
to play in addressing the digital divide and ensuring that there is equal access
for all to the Information Society. On a more pragmatic level, ESF projects can
use ICT to help with job search activity or to promote learning opportunities. A
                                       139
specific evaluation project, looking at ICT issues, was commissioned to inform
the mid-term evaluation. For the update of the MTE, information on Objective
3 projects and ICT issues will be obtained from data collected as part of the
beneficiaries‟ surveys and the case study projects looking at the
economically/inactive and project activity.

15.Measuring the Impact of Objective 3

15.1It would be desirable for the evaluation of the Objective 3 programme to
include an assessment of the impact of the programme in the long-term effect
(as opposed to outcomes which are the short-term effects). It is
methodologically easy to focus solely on the gross impact of a programme,
that is how many participants are in work on leaving the programme or how
many participants gain qualifications as a result of the programme. However,
of more value would be an assessment of the net impact. Typically this would
involve making a judgement about whether those finding work would have
done so without the support of ESF (deadweight), whether those finding work
do so at the expense of others who did not benefit from the programme
(substitution) and whether ESF support to one group gives them competitive
advantage over others not getting support (displacement).

15.2 The final evaluations of the 1994-99 Objectives 3 and 4 programmes
attempted to estimate the net impact using various sources of analysis, for
example, by comparing ESF monitoring data with information on
unemployment outflow rates (from JUVOS20) to assess the level of dead-
weight at the programme level. To inform the mid-term evaluation, further
methodological work was carried out to investigate alternative methods of
providing a robust method of measuring the net impact of ESF. This looked at
various approaches (see Chapter 6, 6.6, “Mid-Term Evaluation of the
Operational Programme for England & Gibraltar Objective 3 2000-2006) but
was not successful in identifying a convincing method for measuring the net
impact of Objective 3.

15.3During this phase of the evaluation strategy alternative approaches will
continue to be considered. This may, for example, involve more qualitative
assessments of net impact with data obtained from the case studies of ESF
projects or from the qualitative data obtained from beneficiaries in the
Longitudinal Study. Data will be comprised of the views of beneficiaries and
project providers. The former may be expected to provide information on
whether or not they consider ESF funding has helped them to obtain and
sustain a positive outcome. The latter would provide information on the
impact project providers feel their project has had on beneficiaries. As by
their very nature these views will be purely subjective, we will try to
corroborate them by triangulating the data.

16.Cost-benefit analysis of Objective 3

16.1In order to make judgements about the success of Objective 3, it is
essential to quantify and value the full costs and benefits arising from it.
Ideally these could then be combined into a single measure of the net present

20
   JUVOS stands for the Joint Unemployment and Vacancies Operating System. It is a 5% sample
of people on the unemployment register which tracks individual claims form signing on to signing
off the register.
                                              140
value of the programme. However, given the complexity of the Objective 3
programme this is not possible, although consideration of a wide range of
measures of effectiveness is. A "cost-benefit framework" type approach would
help capture both the resource costs of the programme and its short term and
long term benefits. The framework will include an assessment of the resource
costs and measures of success in meeting both the immediate objectives
outlined earlier and the longer term objectives of the programme. These could
be presented in a way which would allow an overall assessment of the cost
effectiveness of the programme.

17.Feeding evaluation findings into the UK National Action Plans

17.1It is important that evaluation findings are fed into the UK National Action
Plans for employment and for social inclusion. Results from the evaluation of
the English Objective 3 programme will be combined with those from the other
programmes to provide information on ESF in the UK to feed into the National
Action Plan. The ESG is the forum to ensure consistency in the approach to
evaluation across all ESF programmes. Agreement has already been reached
on common definitions of ESF indicators. Information from the NAP will also
feed into the Objective 3 evaluation.

18.Lessons Learnt from EQUAL

18.1The evaluation of the Objective 3 programme in England will take into
account initiatives mainstreamed from the EQUAL programme, particularly
areas of good practice that relate to beneficiaries who are economically
inactive/multiply disadvantaged. These will be highlighted and disseminated to
the members of the Monitoring Committee, ESG and other DWP officials, in
evaluation issue papers which will be produced throughout 2004/05.


19.Timing

19.1The update to the mi-term evaluation is due to be completed by the end
of 2005. However, the evaluation will be an on-going process carried out over
the next two years. Timings for some of the key evaluation results are given
below (where projects are marked with a star* funding has not yet been
agreed):

ESF Beneficiaries Survey of individuals (2004 survey results available end
2005)*

Beneficiaries‟ Survey of companies (2003 survey results available end 2004)
 (2004 survey results available end 2005)*

Longitudinal Study (report September 2004)

Analysis of monitoring data   (carried out annually)

Ad hoc research

Evaluation of economically inactive/disadvantaged (report December 2004)

Evaluation of project activity (report December 2004)
                                      141
Evaluation of co-financing (report December 2005)*



20.Dissemination

20.1 A key part of the evaluation strategy is to ensure that findings are
disseminated as widely as possible. One of the purposes of carrying out
research and evaluation is to improve performance. This can only happen if
colleagues in the ESF Division, in Government Offices and people working on
ESF-funded projects are aware of the ESF Evaluation Team‟s evaluation work
and make use of relevant findings. All research carried out as part of the
evaluation will be published through DWP. Where appropriate, evaluation
work will include production of good practice material which can be distributed
to projects. Findings will also be publicised via ESF News and by means of
dissemination seminars where relevant.

Yvonne Smith
ESF Evaluation Team
May 2004




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Annex 1 - Chapter 11 Conclusions and Recommendations - Mid-
Term Evaluation of the Objective 3 Programme for England and
Gibraltar 2000-2006


11.1Introduction

This section provides recommendations based on the evaluation
evidence presented in earlier sections of this report. Before considering
these, it is worth reiterating some of the key substantive messages made
in previous sections on the performance of the Programme to the mid-
term.

      There is clear evidence of strategic links between the EES
       Guidelines and between the programme at a high level, for
       example, between EES Guidelines and ESF achievements to date
       based on project closure data activities (March 2003).

      Analysis of both applications and project closure data indicates
       projects have taken on board a key lesson from the last
       programme and are providing beneficiaries with integrated
       packages of support tailored to individual need. Furthermore this
       appears to be targeted towards the unemployed and other
       disadvantaged groups.

      Although the level of actual project activity is generally less than
       that proposed at the applications stage – this is generally not by a
       particularly large amount, falling within the 15 percentage point
       tolerance limit set in the ”ESF Offer Letter”.

      Overall, as indicated by both the 2001 and 2002 Leavers Surveys,
       beneficiaries appear to be positive about the support they have
       received - for example 84% of respondents to the 2002 Survey
       said that they were satisfied with the course.

      Overall, the latest project closure data (March 2003) indicates that
       the vast majority of beneficiaries completed their projects (88%).

      Project closure data indicates that, of those who were
       unemployed/inactive when they started the project, the majority
       (63%) experienced a positive outcome – with quarter going into
       employment.

      When looking at the employment outcomes of beneficiaries both
       immediately on leaving the project and at the time of the survey,
       the 2002 Leavers‟ Survey indicates that there was a substantial
       and continuing shift towards paid employment - although projects
       were less effective with the inactive.


The above points indicate that, in general, the Programme is performing
well to the mid-term. Of course, there are areas where improvements
                                      143
are required or issues have arisen since the Operational Programme was
drafted which need consideration. These issues are explored below with
recommendations for further action.

11.2 Supporting the economically inactive: The report has highlighted
a number of issues connected with economic inactivity. In brief:

Since     the   Operational     Programme was    produced ILO
unemployment has reduced but economic inactivity remains at the
same level (21% of the working age population). Economic
inactivity therefore overshadows that of unemployment - in crude
statistical terms by a factor of four to one.

The economically inactive are a heterogeneous group who may be
comprised of individuals from various groups, for example, lone parents,
older workers and the disabled. Research indicates that many (possibly
as many as 2 million) of the economically inactive wish to work but are
classed as “economically inactive” because they are not actively seeking
work and/or not available to start work. Barriers such as lack of childcare
or other support may hinder them from actively seeking jobs.

To an extent the economically inactive may be regarded as being well
catered for under Objective 3 - the 2002 Leavers‟ Survey indicates that
nearly 40% of beneficiaries are “economically inactive” on entry to
projects (compared with the 20% classed as unemployed). But the 2002
Leavers Survey (Chapter 6 - 6.2.4) has shown that beneficiaries who
were economically inactive on joining projects (excluding that in
education/training) were less likely to be in employment on leaving the
projects than those who were previously unemployed. In short, the
Programme is less effective with the inactive compared to the
unemployed.

Recommendation 1 - Projects should be encouraged to provide more
effective and focused support to help the economically inactive. Analysis
of labour market data and current research on activity should be used to
inform the targeting of this support and guidance to projects. This will
include consideration of appropriate indicators of outcomes.

Recommendation 2 – Objective 3 projects should be provided with
examples of good practice in relation to support/training to the
economically inactive that appears to be successful in helping these
beneficiaries obtain employment/positive outcomes. Examples may be
supplied through research that is due to start in early 2004 looking at
good practice in Objective 3 projects with “hard to reach groups”; and
also from domestic programmes, e.g. New Deal, adult and community
learning (ACL).


11.3 Support for the multiple disadvantaged – many of those who are
economically inactive - but also those who are unemployed - may
experience a combination of disadvantages that together limit labour
market potential. The report indicates (Chapter 5 – 5.2.4) that around
40% of beneficiaries supported by Objective 3 projects experience
multiple disadvantage.
                                      144
The employment outcomes for beneficiaries who experience more than
one disadvantage are good compared with their prior labour market
status in proportionate terms (Chapter 6 - 6.2.5). On the other hand, the
outcomes for the multiple disadvantaged still lag behind those of
individuals with no disadvantages by a large and significant extent.
Bearing this in mind the following recommendation is made:

Recommendation 3 – To conduct further analysis/research to examine
if specific combinations of disadvantage are associated with beneficiaries
being more/less likely to achieve positive outcomes. Evidence will
provide projects with examples of good practice and indicate where more
help is required.


11.4 Support for those with basic skills deficiencies: the labour
market analysis presented in Chapter 3 indicates that the Programme‟s
focus within some measures on basic skills remains appropriate. Around
a third of all Objective 3 beneficiaries have no qualifications, while 70%
who are unemployed/inactive on entry have qualifications below NVQ
level 2 or equivalent (Chapter 5.2.3). Furthermore, the 2002 Leavers‟
Survey reports (Chapter 5.2.4) that two thirds of beneficiaries have “low
human capital” i.e. they are deficient in basic or up-to-date skills,
qualifications or work experience.

Whilst clearly the Programme is reaching those with low basic skills, it
has also been shown that at mid-term take-up of Policy Field 2, measure
1 (widen access to basic skills provision) - the main measure to provide
basic skills to the most disadvantaged - is very low (Chapter 7.3). It is
not clear why this is the case. It may be, for example, that the growth in
domestic measures to tackle basic skills issues have taken precedence
over, or displaced ESF support or that this position may be rectified as
more projects start and complete. In view of this uncertainty it is
suggested that:

Recommendation 4 – Further research should be undertaken with
projects in Policy Field 2 measure 1 to examine the factors which have
caused take up to be low.


11.5 Equal opportunities: Equal opportunities mainstreaming in
Objective 3 is looked at in Chapter 8, where a number of specific
recommendations are made. The recommendations here include the
main points made in Chapter 8, but are augmented by relevant or
supporting evidence or recommendations from other chapters:

i) Care support: Chapter 8 indicated that the lower than anticipated
numbers of projects providing childcare/general care is a concern. This
issue is further emphasised by the finding that 36% of projects provided
childcare facilities compared to 62% saying they would provide such
facilities in their applications.

Recommendation 5 - There is therefore a need to ensure that projects
provide childcare/allowances where they have committed to doing this,
                                     145
and do not under-spend this budget area;

Recommendation 6 - Projects should take more pro-active steps to
increase the numbers of people with care responsibilities entering the
programme.

ii) Support for the disabled: relative to the current forecasts the
numbers of disabled people entering the programme and achieving work
immediately afterwards were much lower than expected, and were
significantly lower than those for other equal opportunities groups
(Chapter 7.5). In particular, fewer disabled men were represented in the
closure data than expected. The numbers of disabled people able to
sustain work six months later were also much lower than anticipated.

Recommendation 7 - Projects need to ensure that the support provided
to disabled people should be appropriate for the jobs that individuals can
sustain and that links with employers should be made to develop these
sustainable employment opportunities.

Recommendation 8 - Projects should ensure that active assessment, of
the support needs of disabled people, are carried out.

Recommendation 9 - Projects should ensure that support to
beneficiaries includes job search skills, developing skills to discuss their
needs with a new employer and mechanisms to enable disabled
beneficiaries to deal with discrimination in the workplace.

 iii) Support for ethnic minorities: ethnic minority groups are doing
significantly less well than expected in gaining work as a result of the
programme (Chapter 7.5). Bearing this in mind the following
recommendations are made:

Recommendation 10 - Projects should ensure that support to
beneficiaries includes job search skills, and mechanisms to enable ethnic
minority beneficiaries to deal with discrimination in the workplace.

Recommendation 11 - To increase the use of wage subsidies and
other ESF-eligible support measures such as training allowances and
meal and travel allowances for members of minority ethnic groups to
improve retention rates.

iv) Gender-related issues: Chapter 8 has raised an issue also
mentioned in the previous programme. Namely that the training and
employment outcomes provided by Objective 3 projects appears to
reflect gender stereotyping. Whilst it is accepted that the ability of
Objective 3 projects to challenge this is limited, the following
recommendation is made:

Recommendation 12 - Projects should take a much more pro-active line
in promoting labour-market change by providing opportunities for both
men and women to train and gain work experience and qualifications in
areas not traditional for their sex.

On the gender pay gap, this is an issue on which ESF can have only a
                                      146
marginal impact. However to assess impact and the following us
suggested:

Recommendation 13 - To monitor post-participation outcomes not just
in terms of numbers entering employment but also types of employment
(occupation, status etc.) and incomes. This would be through analysis of
the Leavers‟ Survey and the scheduled longitudinal survey.

v) Equal opportunities mainstreaming: the ongoing development and
diffusion of the mainstreaming plan has led to significant improvements
in understanding of equal opportunities issues and their mainstreaming.
Further support for equality mainstreaming in the regions may most
appropriately be provided through the following:

Recommendation 14 - There should be increased use of guidance and
training as a means to develop regional players and project staff in their
understanding and commitment to equality mainstreaming;

Recommendation 15 - That more extensive use of specialist contracts
or technical assistance (as is the case with the EQUAL programme) is
made.

vi) Equal opportunities forecasts: In many instances the overall
forecast, for example, for disabled people in work after leaving, seems
inappropriate as it gives undue weight to policy fields that are not the
main vehicle for these groups on Objective 3 (Chapter 7.6.4). A
preferable approach may be to establish and give more weight to
appropriate measure-level forecasts instead. It is also important to
attempt to disaggregate further the main equal opportunities groups e.g.
the severely disabled, ethnic minorities groups.

Recommendation 16 - It is recommended that the forecasts be
reviewed and supplemented.

Recommendation 17 - To compare and contrast the forecasts
(operational as well as equal opportunities) with external benchmarks,
such as those within other government departments, for domestic
programmes etc. The current forecasts are essentially „self-referential‟,
being based on prior programme performance. The Equal Opportunities
Mainstreaming group should be encouraged to take a lead on these
issues.

11.6 Policy field and regional allocations: Bearing in mind
Recommendation 1 the following recommendation is made:

Recommendation 18 - If necessary because further analysis on defining
economic inactivity suggests that it is appropriate for projects to focus
further support on the inactive - there should be a review of both the
current policy field and regional allocations (Chapter 4.7). This may
include consideration of using any underspends that emerge during the
remainder of the Programme to provide additional resources to support
the economically inactive. If it emerges that there are fundamental
inconsistencies between the regions, based on the original formula,
change will be suggested.
                                     147
11.7 Identifying the added value and net impact of ESF support: the
report has identified links with domestic programmes (mainly New Deal)
which presents some evidence of added value in relation to Objective 3
support for New Deal provision. However, this is based on monitoring
data (Chapter 2.7.3) or from limited evaluation at a project level and is
therefore at a fairly superficial level. Linked to this it has also proved
difficult to provide a detailed disaggregation of the pattern of spend for
ESF, in relation to domestic programmes (Chapter 2.7.2). It is therefore
unclear just where ESF may be “concentrated unduly”.

Recommendation 19 – That further analysis/evaluation is undertaken to
obtain more robust information on the added value that Objective 3
projects can provide to domestic programmes. This would include
economic analysis of spend in relation to domestic programmes.

The main issue around assessing net impact revolves around the choice
of an appropriate indicator(s) of outcomes or “success”, especially with a
wide-ranging programme such as ESF Objective 3. Generally, identifying
outcomes and measuring these against those of a suitable comparison
group is key to identifying net impact. Despite extensive efforts, so far, to
evaluate net impact in the current programme it has not been possible to
identify a convincing external comparison group.

Recommendation 20 - To continue research to examine alternative
approaches to measuring the net impact of the Programme.


11.8 Co-financing: the second evaluation has raised a number of
positive issues. For example, processes such as bidding for CFO status
and preparing and negotiating co- financing plans have proceeded more
smoothly since the last evaluation (Chapter 4.6). There has been a
significant tightening of the procurement process since the last
evaluation and the evidence indicates that no group has been
systematically excluded from attracting ESF funding because of the co-
financing process. Even so, as may be expected with a relatively new
initiative, improvement is possible and further information is required to
answer various queries that have arisen from differing sectors.

Recommendation 21 - To continue to review RDPs to ensure they have
a clear focus and contain relevant and well-interpreted labour market
information – this will encourage stronger links to be made between the
RDPs and those co-financing plans where the evaluation identified weak
linkages.

Recommendation 22 - To ensure that the allocation process is seen to
be transparent CFOs should devote more resources to providing
feedback to provider applicants. This should be regarded by CFOs and
GOs as a sine qua non of the process.

Recommendations 23 – To conduct a third evaluation study of co-
financing during the second half of the programme to assess continued
progress with implementation. This would include examining how
effectively CFOs are pursuing the horizontal themes – such as equal
                                       148
opportunities mainstreaming and also issues such as added value.

Recommendation 24 – To conduct a separate, case study based
evaluation which will assess the relative costs and benefits of co-
financing on a mix of projects.


11.9 Operational forecasts: at mid-term there appears to be a conflict
between extrapolations of numbers of beneficiaries taking part in the
programme based on physical and financial monitoring data (Chapter
7.6.2). To date assessment has only been possible on a proportion of
projects that have closed (1,754) as there is a delay in receiving data on
all closed projects whilst this information is processed. Hence this issue
may resolve itself in time when the majority of projects have completed.
On the other hand, it is not clear from the data that this is the case. Given
this uncertainty, it is difficult to state whether or not the forecasts of
beneficiaries supported set out when the Operational Programme was
adopted remains valid or not.

Recommendation 25 – Further analysis is required to provide robust
information on the numbers of beneficiaries supported on the
Programme.

The forecasts are based mainly on previous administrative monitoring
and Leavers‟ Survey data and as they are themselves assessed against
such (updated) data, they are to a large extent somewhat „self-
referential‟. It may be appropriate to include external benchmarks against
which the performance of the programme can be assessed.

Recommendation 26 - That further work is undertaken to assess the
feasibility of providing comparison indicators from, for example, the New
Deal programme as well as against benchmarks across the working age
population more generally.

The current forecasts do not include information on the age distribution of
beneficiaries obtaining support, nor information on the numbers of those
receiving basic skills provision. In order to support the „active ageing‟
guideline, and to emphasise the importance of basic skills provision
(particularly as provision on Policy Field 2, measure 1 has been low) it is
suggested:

Recommendation 27 - That consideration is given to supplementing the
current forecasts with: a) information on the age distribution of
beneficiaries; and b) basic skills provision.

11.10 Accuracy and quality of monitoring data: the review of the
accuracy and quality of monitoring and Leavers‟ Survey data has raised
a number of concerns. These are principally around the reporting and
recording of qualifications data - this part of the monitoring data is
currently being reviewed - and the under-utilisation of much potentially
useful qualitative data on projects‟ activities.

Recommendation 28 - To design a monitoring form which more
effectively captures qualitative data.
                                       149
Although analysis of the project closure data indicates that it is internally
consistent and sufficiently robust to underpin the recommendations in
this report, findings from the Leavers Survey indicate that some projects
(Chapter 7.8.1) may not always accurately record/collect administrative
monitoring data. In turn this suggests that the project closure data is not
completely accurate. In this context the following recommendation is
made:

Recommendation 29 - That further evaluation should take place to
review the systems that projects have in place for collecting management
information. This may be linked to information derived from audit and
verification visits.

11.11 Support for companies: Chapter 6 has outlined positive findings
in relation to Objective 3 support for companies. However, there is also
room for improvement. For example, the evaluation of ESF-supported
companies revealed that there is perhaps too much training of those
employees that already tend to receive training, for example, managers
and professionals. In terms of the content of training, it is suggested that
ESF is supporting too much health and safety and induction training
which should be the sole responsibility of the companies. In relation to
additionality, larger firms were more likely to say that they would have
taken alternative measures if ESF support had not been available
compared to micro-firms - which suggests more support should be
focused to the latter. Bearing these issues in mind:

Recommendation 30 – To continue to evaluate Objective 3 support to
companies to further understand how it impacts upon companies and
their employees.

Recommendation 31 - In connection with the above point to produce
clear guidance to GOs, CFOs and projects on the type of companies,
employees and training that it is most appropriate for ESF funding to
support.

Recommendation 32 – Consideration should be given to augmenting
the forecast on numbers of companies helped, under Policy Field 4, by
including information on company size and perhaps a forecast relating to
the sectors in which companies are supported.


11.12 Soft outcomes: evidence from monitoring data suggests that
many projects are having some success in improving the „soft‟ skills of
beneficiaries (Chapter 6.3). The recent guidance document on
measuring soft outcomes should enable projects to begin to put into
place systems for measuring soft outcomes and distance travelled. As
yet this is not measured at a Programme level and the effectiveness of
the Programme is, as a consequence, under represented.

Recommendation 33 - That the importance of measuring soft outcomes
continues to be emphasised from the centre and GOs and CFOs should
be trained to provide assistance to projects in this respect.

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Recommendation 34 - That further research is conducted on the
feasibility of measuring soft outcomes at a Programme level, which will
take into account administrative burdens on projects.

11.13 Role of the Monitoring Committee: The role of the England
Monitoring Committee is set out in its terms of reference and to an extent
will be constrained by this. However, a number of issues were raised by
members around the effectiveness of meetings and the roles of individual
members, mainly those external to the direct administration of the
programme (Chapter 4.3). In light of this some changes have already
been made, for example, presenting administrative/financial information
in a more user-friendly format. It is suggested:

Recommendation 35 - That further clarification, beyond the Terms of
Reference, should be provided on what is expected of members of the
Committee.

Recommendation 36 - To continue to ensure that information is
presented to members of the Committee in an accessible format,
particularly financial information which can appear complex, and to
review the balance of material presented. To this end it may also be
appropriate to encourage the participation of individuals from outside the
Programme‟s direct administration and to include more evaluation
evidence on topics of relevance.



11.14 Costs of ESF support: analysis of monitoring data shows the unit
costs per beneficiary are around £1075. This is less than under the
previous programme and probably reflects the lower „throughput‟ of
beneficiaries in the most expensive Policy Fields, 2 and 5. It may also be
a reflection of the short length of time that beneficiaries spent, on
average, on direct-bid projects and the incidence of advice and guidance
projects. Even so, the data is not clear on this issue. To maintain robust
information it is suggested that:

Recommendation 37 - An analysis of unit costs should be undertaken
during the second half of the programme once greater numbers of
beneficiaries have completed on Policy Fields 2 and 5. This may include
obtaining an indication of the dispersal of costs around the average,
particularly for the more expensive, integrated projects that support the
more disadvantaged beneficiaries.

11.15 Capacity building: information on the extent of capacity building
within Objective 3 Programme is limited. As the report illustrates it is
derived mostly from project closure data and from the evaluation of the
impact of Objective 3 at the local level. What this information suggests,
however, is that there is a lack of clarity over what is meant by „capacity
building‟. To an extent this may be because capacity building is, for the
most part, not a direct aim of most projects. It has also been suggested
that there is a danger of capacity building remaining with those already
au fait with ESF protocols and that those without this knowledge and
expertise miss out. It is therefore recommended that:

                                      151
Recommendation 38 - Further evaluation should be conducted to look
at capacity building activity with a view to developing a definition of
capacity building.


11.16 Global Grants: the evaluation of global grants gave several
detailed recommendations, but in the main:

Recommendation 39 – Updated guidance should be produced on the
types of projects eligible for Global Grant funding, how to obtain match
funding and the administrative arrangements that should be put in place
to process grants and regarding audit arrangements (Chapter 4.10.10).


11.16 The impact of ESF at the local level is looked at in Chapter 10,
where a number of specific recommendations are made.              The
recommendation included here on sustainable development reiterates
some of the main points in Chapter 10.

Recommendation 40 - There is a need for a national strategy for the
incorporation of sustainable development into ESF Objective 3. This
would provide the framework for guidance around the links between
Objective 3 and sustainable development. Along with this there should
be the development of a common understanding of sustainable
development and consistency in the application of key terms such as
sustainable development and environmental sustainability.




                                    152
Annex 2 Indicators for each Policy Field

OVERALL OP PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
Indicator                                                 NAP             Frequency
                                                          Guideline
% in work on leaving                                      Pillar I        mid-term
% gaining positive outcome on leaving                     Pillar I, III   mid-term
% young people unemployed less than 6 months              1               annual
% adults unemployed less than 12 months                   2               annual
% beneficiaries completing their courses                  -               annual
% gaining a qualification                                 6,11            annual


ACTIVE LABOUR MARKET POLICIES
Type    Indicator                                    NAP                  Frequency
                                                     Guideline
Resource Funding (£)                                 1,2,3                annual
Output   Number of beneficiaries                     3                    annual
         Number participating in ESF „training‟      3                    annual
         % of young people receiving help before 6 1                      annual
         months
         % of women receiving support                19                   annual
         % of beneficiaries completing their courses -                    annual
         % of adults receiving help before 12 months 2                    annual
         % working towards a qualification           Pillar I             annual
Results % positive outcomes on leaving (and at 6 1, 2                     mid-term
         months)
         % in work on leaving (and at 6 months)      1,2                  mid-term
         % moving into self-employment               1,2,11               mid-term
Impact   Number of unemployed in work after ESF Pillar I                  mid-term
         support (net of deadweight)

SOCIAL INCLUSION
Type    Indicator                                         NAP             Frequency
                                                          Guideline
Resourc Funding (£)                                       9               annual
e
Output Number of beneficiaries                           9                annual
        Number receiving ESF „training‟                  9                annual
        % of women receiving support                     19               annual
        Number of trainers trained                       5                annual
        % working towards a qualification                Pillar I         annual
        Number of capacity building projects             5,6              annual
        Number of research projects                      5,6              annual
Results % positive outcomes on leaving (and at 6 months) 9                mid-term
        % in work on leaving (and at 6 months)           9                mid-term
        % moving into self-employment                    9,11             mid-term
Impact Numbers in work 6 months after ESF support (net Pillar I           mid-term
        of deadweight)



                                    153
LIFELONG LEARNING
Type   Indicator                                           NAP               Frequency
                                                           Guideline
Resourc Funding (£)                                        5, 6              annual
e
Output Numbers participating in lifelong learning         5,6                annual
        % of women receiving support                      19                 annual
        % completing their courses                        -                  annual
        % working towards a qualification                 Pillar I           annual
        Number of research/labour market analysis 6                          annual
        projects
        Number of trainers trained                        6                  annual
        Number of capacity building projects              5,6                annual
Results % of leavers gaining a qualification              6                  annual
        % in work or further study on leaving (and at 6 6, Pillar III        mid-term
        months)
Impact Net increase in participation in lifelong learning 6                  mid-term
        from ESF support


ADAPTABILITY/ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Type  Indicator                                            NAP               Frequency
                                                           Guideline
Resourc Funding (£)                                        Pillar II & III   annual
e
Output Number of beneficiaries getting self-employment 11                    annual
        help
        Number of companies helped                     11                    annual
        Number of employees helped (given ESF 11                             annual
        „training‟)
        Number of trainers trained                     18                    annual
        % of women receiving support                   19                    annual
        % working towards a qualification              18                    annual
        Number of research/labour market analysis 18                         annual
        projects
Results Survival rate of self-employment at 18 months  11                    mid-term
        % of beneficiaries gaining a qualification     11                    annual
Impact Net number of new businesses running after 18 11                      mid-term
        months
        Net number of jobs safeguarded by ESF support Pillar III             mid-term
        Net number of jobs created through support for Pillar II             mid-term
        self-employment

GENDER EQUALITY
Type  Indicator                                            NAP               Frequency
                                                           Guideline
Resourc Funding (£)                                        Pillar IV         annual
e
Output Number of beneficiaries                             19                annual
        % women beneficiaries                              19                annual
        % of projects offering childcare facilities        21                annual
        Number of research projects                        19                annual
                                      154
Results % positive outcomes for women                     20       mid-term
        % of parents with children under 5 in work 6 20, 21        mid-term
        months after ESF
        % of women setting up in business                 11, 20   mid-term
        % of women trained in non-traditional occupations 20       mid-term
Impact Net % increase in female labour market 20                   mid-term
        participation of beneficiaries after ESF support




                                   155
                                                                  ANNEX E

TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE (TA) STRATEGY

1.INTRODUCTION

1.1This paper sets out a TA strategy for the England Objective 3 operational
programme for the period 2000-2006. The ESF Unit is responsible for the
overall co-ordination of the TA strategy for the programme. The strategy aims
to make the best use of TA provision for programme management and
promotion of ESF. It also takes into account experience from previous and
current programmes, and consultation with national partners and Government
Offices (GOs).

1.2During the period 2000-2006, Technical Assistance will be used to:

         publicise the Objective 3 programme;
         deliver Objective 3 effectively at national level and in the English
          regions;
         evaluate the results of Objective 3 investments; and
         disseminate best practice.

1.3       Key objectives are to:

         facilitate more efficient monitoring, management and administration of
          the Objective 3 programme;
         engender further integration, added value and value for money;
         avoid project duplication and maximise the use of available funds; and
         provide a framework for supporting EC and Government policies.

1.4The types of activity to be covered by Technical Assistance will include:

         promotion of a positive public image for Objective 3 in England and
          awareness raising through appropriate publicity measures;
         servicing committees;
         communicating decisions and policy to partners;
         support for the selection and appraisal process and provision of advice
          to applicants;
         implementation of a common monitoring and evaluation framework and
          provision of regular monitoring reports;
         production of the annual reports for the programme;
         research into future labour market trends to inform programme
          development and the commissioning of relevant studies, such as a
          study of the impact of the lifelong learning strategy; and
         development of IT.




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2.TA INDICATIVE BUDGET

2.1The indicative budget for the Technical Assistance programme is
82,231,852 euro for the period 2000-2006. This amounts to nearly £51m at
an exchange rate of £1 = 0.62 euro. Half of this budget, £25.5m, has been
distributed to the regions and £10.5m has been committed for national TA
projects. As the programme develops, other TA initiatives may evolve. We
have approximately £15m available for activities which should be taken
forward nationally or for re-distribution to the regions if appropriate. This £15m
will need to take account of any significant change to the implementation of
ESF, such as co-financing.

2.2The indicative spend for the total TA budget is shown in the table below.
The percentage breakdown between activities is within the limits set out in
Rule 11 in the annex to Regulation (EC) No 1685/2000 adopted on 28 July
2000.

Indicative Spend

Activity                 Regional    National    Uncommitted       Totals     Percentage
Publicity                £9.5m       £8.3m       £7m               £24.8m     48.6%
Effective delivery       £16m        £0.7m       £2m               £18.7m     36.7%
Evaluation                           £1.5m       £1m               £2.5m      4.9%
Good practice        &
dissemination            £5m                                       £5m        9.8%
Totals                   £25.5m      £15.5m      £10m              £51m       100%

Note 1:The figures for regional breakdown between activities are best
estimates as we are still awaiting information from some regions.

Note 2:£5m has been set aside for good practice and dissemination which
external organisations or regions will be invited to bid for.

2.3The major difficulty in identifying suitable TA projects both at national and
regional level is securing the appropriate match funding. Varying the
intervention rate and the use of volunteer time as in-kind match funding are
ways to overcome this problem. However, we need to ensure that the overall
programme intervention rate comes in at 45%. Options for the mechanism for
attracting TA could include:

             tendering for a project under DfES procurement procedures
              where DfEE would supply the match funding; or
             calling for ESF projects which would help to deliver the overall
              strategy and which would provide their own match funding.

The decision on which route to take will depend on the DfES funds which can
be used as match, the nature of the project and the level of DfES input
needed to deliver it.

2.4    We plan to use the TA budget to approve activities that fall within the
scope of the four activities identified in paragraph 1.2.

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3.CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1The ESF Unit is committed to delivering the measures identified in this TA
strategy for the Objective 3 operational programme 2000-2006. During this
period, communication will play a central role in helping to deliver an effective
Objective 3 programme. The regions will also play a vital role in this delivery.
All GOs are expected to produce a regional TA strategy to identify measures
to be taken in their regions which supports or complements national activity.

3.2Over the last few years there has been an increase in media coverage and
information provision about EU programmes. However, we are required to
ensure that the work of the European Social Fund is clearly understood and
that it achieves a high profile.

3.3The Government‟s intention to introduce a system of co-financing ESF may
impact on the TA strategy. Co-financing channels ESF money and the
required match funding to providers in a single funding stream. It would
influence the future shape of ESF and we will need to take into consideration
the results of the national consultation, which is currently taking place. A
DfEE Co-financing Implementation Team is expecting to complete its work in
2001 and will need to consider the implication for TA.

3.4As there is no GB TA budget, the England Objective 3 TA budget will also
need to provide the appropriate proportion of any GB wide activity. This could
for example include publicity material or evaluation studies. Any agreed
activity will be in line with the scope set out in this paper.

3.5The Monitoring Committee is asked to agree:

      the indicative allocation for each funding block, and to review this each
       year along with the annual programme review or more frequently in
       response to any significant change which relates to programme
       implementation; and
      the content of the annexed strategy papers, and that each element
       should be managed as follows:

       o the ESF Unit should be given the necessary delegated authority to
         approve projects under publicity and effective delivery;
       o the DfES Analytical Services Division (having agreed the overall
         strategy with the MC) should take decisions on evaluation projects
         in consultation with the Evaluation Standing Group;
       o activities under best practice and dissemination should be funded
         from a central pot with the range of activity agreed in advance with
         the MC, and then managed by the ESF Unit; and
       o the regions to take decisions on regional TA activities within a
         similar framework.

ESF Division 6 December 2000




                                      158
                                                                     ANNEX F


PUBLICITY AND COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY


1.Background

1.1The information and publicity strategy for the England Objective 3
programme reflects the requirements of Regulation (EC) No 1159/2000
adopted on 30 May 2000 on publicity measures to be taken by the Member
States over the period 2000-2006.

1.2The aims are to:

          raise awareness of ESF at national, regional and local levels;
          make the general public aware of the role played by the European
           Union;
          maximise visibility of the fund by creating a more visible unity
           through consistency of branding;
          make potential beneficiaries and trade organisations aware of the
           opportunities afforded by ESF; and
          make sure providers are aware of their obligations to publicise ESF.

1.3The objectives of the strategy are to:

          make sure that key guidance obtains the Crystal Mark of the Plain
           English Campaign;
          make available application and publicity material on the internet;
          provide core ESF messages for those involved in the delivery of
           ESF;
          provide the means to co-ordinate website information;
          continue to improve the applications and approval cycle;
          get the ESF message across to more organisations to improve the
           standard of applications;
          present a positive image which illustrates the success of ESF;
          make applicants aware of other ESF funded projects in their area to
           facilitate better local targeting;
          develop an effective dissemination strategy to take forward good
           practice and results of ESF evaluation activity; and
          clarify and reinforce the relationship between Objective 3 and
           EQUAL.

2.Target Groups

2.1The strategy‟s objectives will be achieved by targeting specific audiences
with a variety of different measures. The following list represents the key
groups to be targeted:

      National media – regional and local media will be targeted through the
       regions;


                                      159
      Private Sector – mainly SMEs but also general promotion of ESF and
       its benefits for businesses;

      Education Sector – Further Education, Higher Education and (through
       the regions) sub-groups of students, teachers and those connected in
       the wider sense with educational establishments;

      Voluntary and Community Sector – a priority will be organisations
       working towards equal opportunities;

      Partners/Providers – the people and organisations who are formally
       involved in the monitoring and running of the programme;

      General public – targeted by general publicity material which raises
       awareness of ESF;

      Government Departments – to ensure they are aware of potential
       links with ESF.

2.2 These target groups have been selected to reflect the aims of the
programme and also to reach beyond those immediately affected by ESF to
raise awareness amongst a wider audience.

3.Delivery

3.1 In delivering the publicity strategy, ESF Division intends to work closely
and in consultation with the European Commission, regional Government
Offices, Co-financing Organisations, national (and to a certain extent regional)
partners, sector representatives and project operators.

3.2 The Division‟s Policy Team will have responsibility for the monitoring and
co-ordination of publicity measures at a national level. They will also advise
the managing authorities in the regions on the implementation of all
information and publicity measures.

3.3 All providers will be issued with comprehensive and clear guidance so that
they can fulfil their own publicity requirements relating to individual projects.
This will continue to be stipulated in the annexes of contracts issued by GOs.

4. Activities

4.1 The table on the next two pages details the main plan of activities for the
publicity strategy. Many other activities and opportunities will arise as the
work of the ESF Division develops from year to year. Flexibility and
adaptability will be important and change may evolve naturally through a
learning process.




                                      160
5.Monitoring and Evaluation

5.1Monitoring of the implementation of the Communication Action Plan will
take place through:

         an ongoing interaction with, and consideration of, public views
          through the feedback facility on the website;
         regular discussions with interested parties, in particular beneficiary
          organisations;
         the monitoring of press and media coverage; and
         the presentation of an annual report on publicity and information
          activity to the England Monitoring Committee alongside the
          programme annual report.




                                      161
                                                                                                                        ANNEX F
                                                     COMMUNICATIONS ACTION PLAN


ACTION/ACTIVITY                      OBJECTIVES                     TARGET            RESPONSIBILITY TIMETABLE FOR EVALUATION
                                                                    GROUP             FOR            IMPLEMENTATION CRITERIA
                                                                                      IMPLEMENTATION
                                                                                      AND FUNDING
1. The ESF website – to maintain     To provide a common            Applicants,       ESF Policy Team. Ongoing     Monitor
an umbrella website for ESF in       resource database of           general public,   Technical                    website „hits‟,
the UK, which co-ordinates the       information and news; to       all   European    management    by             enquiries      to
current plethora of information      provide an easy access         contacts, GOs,    DWP (Comms).                 ESF         Unit
available through other websites     help and information point     CFOs,       all                                following „hits‟.
linked to ESF. This ensures that     for all; and to co-ordinate    partners.
there is a consistent approach,      and      simplify   internal
interpretation   and    level   of   communication
understanding across all parts of    processes.
the UK regardless of location and
sector. The site meets the needs
of a wide audience, from fund
administrators       such       as
Government Offices, to CFOs,
those delivering projects, and the
general public.
2. ESF Newsletter – to produce a     To offer an effective,         All national and ESFD Policy Team. Ongoing     Feedback on
quarterly 16 page newsletter to      practical means of giving      regional         Editorial       and           website,
enable     the    Division    to     an overview of activity and    partners,        production by CDS.            partner
communicate     directly    with     circulating developments;      CFOs, project                                  comments.




                                                                        162
ACTION/ACTIVITY                   OBJECTIVES                   TARGET         RESPONSIBILITY TIMETABLE FOR EVALUATION
                                                               GROUP          FOR            IMPLEMENTATION CRITERIA
                                                                              IMPLEMENTATION
                                                                              AND FUNDING
applicants on a variety of ESF to highlight „best practice‟. providers,
issues      including     policy                             members of the
developments and operational                                 public.
matters.
3.   Objective 3 programme – To share good practice GOs, partners, ESFD Policy Team            Dec 2003    Feedback
national seminar.            amongst partners.      CFOs,                                                  sheets   from
                                                    evaluators.                                            event.
4.    ESFD Corporate Identity To develop the Division‟s ESFD                  ESFD Policy Team, Ongoing    Feedback
project.                      corporate    image   and                        with        technical        from the field
                              establish a “house style”                       support from CDS.            on products.
                              for all the Division‟s
                              communications.       To
                              develop a new ESF logo
                              for new programme.
5. Media liaison – press releases To ensure sufficient media   Media, general ESFD, GOs and Ongoing        Number        of
to be issued as appropriate.      coverage of key events; to   public, private DWP Press Office.           articles in the
                                  ensure the media are         sector                                      media.
                                  employed to good effect in   (businesses).
                                  awareness raising for the
                                  programme.
6. ESF promotional video.         To produce a 15 minute Attendees  at ESFD and DWP.           Dec 2003    Comments
                                  video covering all ESF seminar     in                                    from
                                  priorities and UK wide. December and                                     delegates.




                                                                  163
ACTION/ACTIVITY                     OBJECTIVES                     TARGET           RESPONSIBILITY TIMETABLE FOR EVALUATION
                                                                   GROUP            FOR            IMPLEMENTATION CRITERIA
                                                                                    IMPLEMENTATION
                                                                                    AND FUNDING
                                                                   wider audience
                                                                   later.
7. Publications – production of To provide a succinct              Partners,       ESF Policy Team, Ongoing           Feedback
leaflets, booklets, best practice overview on ESF; to              CFOs,           with CDS.                          from the field.
guides.                           highlight best practice          applicants,
                                  projects; to promote best        general public.
                                  practice.
8. Display materials and posters    To enable a strong ESF         Partners,       ESF Policy Team, Ongoing           Feedback
– development of new display        presence      at    national   CFOs,           with CDS.                          from events.
stands for use at conference        events;       to      assist   applicants,
events; production of new posters   applicants in effectively      general public.
for use by applicants.              publicising the funds.
9. Web on-line documentation        To make the application CFOs,                   ESF      Business October 2000.   Feedback
and application forms – Crystal     form more accessible; to applicants.            Development Team                  from the field
marking   (by    Plain  English     make             guidance                                                         and via the
Campaign) of key documents.         documentation        more                                                         website.
                                    easily understood.
10. National TA Publicity project To        publicise     ESF General public, ESF Policy Team Ongoing each year       Evaluation
– Adult Learners‟ Week.           alongside national      ALW potential       and NIACE                               built into the
                                  initiative; promote     ESF applicants.                                             scope of the
                                  award winners for       adult                                                       project.
                                  learning.




                                                                       164
ACTION/ACTIVITY              OBJECTIVES             TARGET        RESPONSIBILITY TIMETABLE FOR EVALUATION
                                                    GROUP         FOR            IMPLEMENTATION CRITERIA
                                                                  IMPLEMENTATION
                                                                  AND FUNDING
11.  Production and issue of To ensure placement at General public. ESF Policy Team, Ongoing   Feedback
commemorative plaques.       sites accessible to the                with CDS                   from the field.
                             public.




                                                        165
                                                                         ANNEX G



     EXAMPLES OF NATIONAL AND REGIONAL ESF PUBLICITY IN 2005

1.      ESF News magazines (February 2005, June 2005, September 2005,
        December 2005).

2.      a sample of 20 national booklets produced initially for the UK
        Presidency of the European Union (EU).

3.      the „ESF At Work‟ DVD (and supporting booklet) first shown at the UK
        Presidency ESF conference

4.      Learning and Skills Council booklets produced for the UK Presidency of
        the EU.

5.      a number of Jobcentre Plus magazines and booklets.

6.      a Regional ESF newsletter and good practice booklets examples.

7.      a sample of National and local Press Articles over a 90 day period.

8.      three national ESF press releases.

9.      a NIACE Adult Learners‟ Week booklet (containing many ESF
        references).




                                       166
                                                                    ANNEX H

      ENGLAND OBJECTIVE 3 MONITORING COMMITTEE PAPERS IN 2005


   PAPER NO                                          SUBJECT              AUTHOR


                                                        March 9 meeting in Sheffield
 03/ENG/01-05                      Programme Progress Report           Ian Chapman
 03/ENG/02-05Mainstreaming Outcomes from the Equal Community            Ken Lambert
                                 Initiative
 03/ENG/03-05                                Equal Opportunities     Duncan Carnie
 03/ENG/04-05                                   Central Projects      James Ritchie
03/ENG/05a-05                              AIR Written Procedure     Tony McMahon
 03/ENG/05-05                       Minutes of March 9 meeting        Martin Fearns

                                                      July 6 meeting in Birmingham
 03/ENG/06-05                          Programme Performance           Ian Chapman
 03/ENG/07-05                               Technical Assistance        Steve Briggs
 03/ENG/08-05                                         State Aids        Steve Briggs
 03/ENG/09-05                      Annual Implementation Report         David Oatley
 03/ENG/10-05                          Minutes of July 6 meeting       Robin Brooks

                                                    November 16 meeting in London
 03/ENG/11-05                           Programme Performance         Ian Chapman
 03/ENG/12-05                                     Publicity Report   James Ritchie
 03/ENG/13-05                                 Equal Opportunities   Duncan Carnie
 03/ENG/14-05            National Strategic Reference Framework        David Oatley
 03/ENG/15-05                          Report on Trainers Trained  Shay O‟Rourke
 03/ENG/16-05                   Minutes of 16 November meeting       Nigel Tubman




                                       167
                                                              ANNEX I

APPROVED ESF CO-FINANCING ORGANISATIONS IN ENGLAND


Region           Organisation
North East      Northumberland Learning and Skills Council
                Tyne and Wear Learning and Skills Council
                Durham Learning and Skills Council
                Tees Valley Learning and Skills Council
                Jobcentre Plus
North West      Cumbria Learning and Skills Council
                Lancashire Learning and Skills Council
                Greater Merseyside Learning and Skills Council
                Greater Manchester Learning and Skills Council
                Cheshire and Warrington Learning and Skills Council
                Jobcentre Plus
Yorkshire   and North Yorkshire Learning and Skills Council
the Humber      West Yorkshire Learning and Skills Council
                Humberside Learning and Skills Council
                Jobcentre Plus
East Midlands   Derbyshire Learning and Skills Council
                Nottinghamshire Learning and Skills Council
                Lincolnshire and Rutland Learning and Skill Council
                Leicester Learning and Skills Council
                Northamptonshire Learning and Skills Council
                Lincolnshire County Council
                Jobcentre Plus
West Midlands   Birmingham and Solihull Learning and Skills Council
                The Black Country Learning and Skills Council
                Coventry and Warwickshire Learning and Skills Council
                Hereford and Worcestershire Learning and Skills Council
                Shropshire Learning and Skills Council
                Staffordshire Learning and Skills Council
                Birmingham City Council
                Walsall Metropolitan Borough Council
                Jobcentre Plus
East of England Bedfordshire and Luton Learning and Skills Council
Region          Cambridgeshire Learning and Skills Council
                Essex Learning and Skills Council
                Hertfordshire Learning and Skills Council
                Norfolk Learning and Skills Council
                Suffolk Learning and Skills Council
                East of England Development Agency
                Bedfordshire County Council
                Essex County Council
                Jobcentre Plus




                                 168
London       London North Learning and Skills Council
             London West Learning and Skills Council
             London Central Learning and Skills Council
             London East Learning and Skills Council
             London South Learning and Skills Council
             Business Link for London
             Association of London Government
             Jobcentre Plus
             South London Connexions Ltd
             London Development Agency
             Royal Borough of Kingston
             Greater London Enterprise
South West   Bournemouth, Dorset and Poole Learning and Skills
             Council
             Devon and Cornwall Learning and Skills Council
             Gloucestershire Learning and Skills Council
             Somerset Learning and Skills Council
             Wiltshire and Swindon Learning and Skills Council
             West of England Learning and skills Council
             Swindon Borough Council
             Wiltshire County Council
             Jobcentre plus
South East   Berkshire Learning and Skills Council
             Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Learning and Skills
             Council
             Milton Keynes, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire
             Learning and Skills Council
             Surrey Learning and Skills Council
             Sussex Learning and Skills Council
             Kent and Medway Learning and Skills Council
             Jobcentre Plus
             South East of England Development Agency




                            169

				
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