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European Social Fund Programme

European Social Fund Programme


Background to the ESF Priority 5 Strategic Skills Pipeline - 04 August 2010

The Programme Monitoring Committee for the Lowlands and Uplands Scotland Programmes discussed options for changes to the Operational Programme at the March 2010 meeting. A more detailed options paper was then discussed with the European Commission on 22 April, and presented to the PMC on 27 May 2010 at an additional meeting. At this meeting, the PMC recommended to Scottish Ministers that an amendment should be made to the LUPS Operational Programme to prepare a new Priority 5 Strategic Skills Pipeline. They also agreed there would be no further challenge round for Priority 1, 2 or 3 and that all unallocated funding should be moved into the new Priority 5 (approximately €62 Million).

Ministers considered this and asked for a steering group of partners to look further at the detail of implementation and the new indicators and targets for such a Priority. This Group met first on 5 June and again to agree a final position on 29 June. The Head of the LUPS ESF Managing Authority and the Head of the European Structural Funds Division met Mr Jim Mather, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism later that day. He agreed that a submission should go to the Commission seeking the change to the Operational Programme to vire the remaining un-allocated funds into a new Priority 5 Strategic Skills Pipeline. This request was sent to the Commission on 14 July 2010.

A new Priority 5 has been agreed in principle will be the linking of needs and opportunities at local level and this will be done largely, but not exclusively, through CPP bids to fund local strategic skills pipelines. Complementary (not competing) national bids would be accepted from SFC, STUC, SDS, and a consortium of national Third Sector organisations where a local approach to address certain groups' needs (such as ex-offenders) would be too complex and where best value could be demonstrated by a national approach complementing the local plans.