Invitations to tender for the European Social Fund (ESF) Youth Programme in London have been launched by the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).
The new contracts for 2014-20 cover the youth talent and careers clusters strands of the ESF programme for young people in London.
Applications for the tendering process that launched yesterday (March 7) must be made via the SFA’s e-tendering portal, and the deadline is April 8.
The ESF Youth Programme is a “comprehensive package” designed by the London Enterprise Panel (LEP), according to a statement on the LEP website.
The programme’s key objective is to support young people who are not in education, employment or training (NEET), or at risk of being NEET, to find employment, education or training.
The youth talent strand of the programme “aims to promote a ‘gateway’ for businesses to work with a range of providers and offer traineeships, work placements, internships, employment and apprenticeship opportunities for young people”, according to a document outlining the different strands of the programme, published by the LEP.
The careers cluster strand is designed to “improve the labour market relevance of education”, the LEP document says.
Each cluster will be made up of around six schools and FE colleges, who will support young people into work placements created through the youth talent strand.
The latest invitation to tender comes after three rounds of ESF contracts for NEETs, across 15 LEP areas, were published by the SFA between December and January.
FE Week exclusively reported on November 10 that the SFA was planning to run a “sequence of procurement” for handing out £650m of delayed ESF cash, which must be finished by the end of September next year at the very latest to allow a minimum delivery period of 18 months.
It is still unclear what the impact on ESF cash would be if the UK voted to leave the European Union.