Employability Challenge Fund

Stirling Council as Lead Partner would like to invite applications for Third Party organisations to deliver activity in the Challenge Fund – Stirling Skills and Employability Pipeline (SSEP) to develop and deliver client-centred customised provision to address longer term unemployment, economic inactivity and under employment in Stirling.

SSEP is partially funded by the European Social Fund 2014-2020 programme and is intended to complement both the Stirling Skills and Employability Pipeline and Tackling Poverty & Social Exclusion in Stirling Strategic Interventions.  The Strategic Intervention fits with the European Commission’s Thematic Objective 08 – Promoting sustainable and quality employment and supporting labour mobility.

This Challenge Fund aims to help address longer term unemployment, economic inactivity and under employment in Stirling by investing in additional bespoke activities and support operations. It is intended that the operations will contribute to both increasing the employment rate in Stirling whilst also helping to address deep-rooted health inequalities.

Some specific points to consider with regards to ESF eligibility include;

  • Only participants resident within the Stirling Council boundary are eligible for inclusion.
  • Only participants with multiple barriers (two or more) are eligible for ESF support. A breakdown of these barrier criteria is attached below.
  • Detailed evidence requires to be kept to confirm eligibility of any participants supported.
  • ESF support must be acknowledged on all project related documentation. 

Only staff that work 100% on ESF project activity are considered eligible. Direct staff costs include salary and employers costs (NI and pension). A further 15% is applied to these costs in order to cover other costs incurred. Funding through ESF is restricted to 40% of eligible expenditure meaning that interested parties have to be able to provide match funding to meet the remaining 60% of eligible expenditure.

This part of the SSEP programme has a maximum of £440,000 of ESF funding available (anticipated total project costs of £1,100,000.

The Challenge Funds will provide funding opportunity with a flexible start date but a final end date not exceeding 31st December 2018.

Applications must be submitted to the locked post-box on the Public Contracts Scotland website as detailed in the Contract Notice published on Public Contracts Scotland website: (www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk)

Proposals must be submitted to Public Contracts Scotland by no later than 2pm - Tuesday 28th February 2017. Any proposal received after the time and date stipulated will not be accepted in the locked post-box and cannot therefore be considered.

A Question and Answer Day has been set for Monday 6th February where applicants can raise any technical queries relating to the application process.  Please note that we cannot provide any advice on the contents or validity of any proposals but only answer questions relating to the process.  To book an available slot please contact Steven Docherty, Funding & Compliance Programme Co-ordinator by email at dochertys@stirling.gov.uk