£1.5m European funding available for Access to Higher Skills

Call title – Access to Higher Skills (Ref: OC05S19P1336)

Call closes – 3rd June 2019

Download the call specification Read more

Up to £1.5 million is now available through the European Social Fund (ESF) for a project aiming to upskill the workforce in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

The funding is part of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Growth Programme, the economic regeneration programme running from 2014-2020.

This call invites outline applications which support the delivery of Priority Axis 2.1 of the ESF Operational Programme (Skills for Growth – Enhancing equal access to life long learning) through a new project that will develop and deliver a range of activities to support those least likely to enter higher education.

The focus of this activity will be to provide tailored support to participants that both raise their aspirations and awareness of opportunities whilst delivering activities that will prepare learners in order to enhance progression and achievement rates. This call seeks to address a range of issues concerning upskilling the workforce and developing strong capabilities which will enable individuals to progress their careers and in turn, support business and economic growth.

The successful applicant must demonstrate how they will add value to mainstream widening participation and engagement activities ensuring an inclusive
and sustainable growth model whilst building on existing best practice.

There is an expectation that at the end of the funding period the activities can be mainstreamed or funded from alternative sources. Therefore this call aims to address these shortfalls and is seeking applications which will support activities including:

  • Activities to specifically target disadvantaged groups and neighbourhoods
  • Pathways from level 2 or 3 vocational programmes or other emerging qualifications to foundation degree (and above). This should be linked to
    vocational studies that meet current and emergent business needs
  • Increase access to all higher education provision, particularly for disadvantaged individuals in under-represented groups (including part-time workers, over 50’s and ‘first in family’ individuals)
  • Development of innovative access routes including modular and bespoke courses, e-learning, flexible, blended delivery etc.
  • Funding outreach activity, including taster courses, for disadvantaged individuals in under- represented groups
  • Funding development costs of vocational short courses designed to help participants progress into higher value employment

Applicant Support

The Access to the Programme Team, funded by technical assistance, offer free specialist support for applicants and can be contacted on accesstotheprogramme@cornwalldevelopmentcompany.co.uk or 01872 323248.

More about how this team can help: www.cornwallislesofscillygrowthprogramme.org.uk/accessing-the-programme/.