The ESF Operational Programme for England was adopted by the European Commission in autumn 2015. The Government says this was a key milestone for the programme and means that all three of the funds which form the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) growth programme in England are officially approved.
Across England, approximately £2.53bn is being made available through ESF to support projects in Local Enterprise Partnership areas throughout the 2014 to 2020 programme period.
HMP Styal is receiving ESF funding to help female prisoners get ready for the world of work. Under the programme trained work mentors will go into the prison to help inmates get support and address difficulties that might stop them entering employment when they leave prison, such as addiction, mental health issues or a lack of literacy. The project is part of an £18m ESF investment in the north-west by the National Offender Management Service.
Minister for Employment Priti Patel said:
“There is no better place to launch this funding than HMP Styal, where the money is already having such a positive effect. The funding announced today will support countless projects which are reaching out to people just like this one. It is an inspirational example of how the funding can change lives and move people closer to employment.
“The positive impact of the ESF programme will be felt across the entire country and is good news for communities, helping to maximise support for jobs and growth.”