South West Regional Skills Enterprise and Employment Analysis 2007/2008
2.3 European Social Fund
The UK National Strategic Reference Framework for the EU Structural Funds Programmes: 2007- 2013 (12) sets out the main priorities for spending the €9.4 billion in EU Structural Funds the UK will receive from 2007 to 2013. The National Framework is a requirement of the new Structural Funds Regulations for 2007 to 2013 and will establish the high-level strategy for future Structural Funds Operational Programmes.
The Structural Funds have a major role to play in developing a skilled workforce, in particular by raising levels of skills and qualifications, to increase productivity, enterprise and competitiveness. Programmes should contribute to creating a flexible, adaptable and inclusive work force, helping individuals to adapt to change, sustain employment and exploit innovation.
At the same time, the Funds should contribute to extending employment opportunities and maximising participation in the labour market. Programmes should help to overcome barriers to the labour market, in particular for disadvantaged groups.(13)
The national ESF programme will tackle the problems of worklessness and low skills that exist in all regions of England, while taking account of distinctive regional and local needs.
The delivery of the new ESF programme in the region will be shaped by the RES and RSP priorities. It is therefore important that this analysis contributes to the definition of the priorities for ESF delivery in the region. A section on Employment has therefore been developed to include more in-depth analysis of the critical employment issues for the region and which, combined with the wider skills analysis, should inform future ESF planning. At the same time, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will qualify for full Convergence funding.
(12) UK National Strategic Reference Framework for
the EU Structural Funds Programmes: 2007- 2013 , Dti, 2006
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