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A “British Social Fund”?

27 February 2018

The Work and Pensions Committee hears about options for replacing the European Social Fund, which funds employment support programmes, after Brexit.

The European Social Fund (ESF) is one of the EU's European Structural and Investment Funds, which aim to promote economic prosperity and social cohesion throughout EU states. 

Between 2007-2013 the UK received €4.47bn in ESF funding. A further €3.5bn was allocated to the UK for the period 2014 to 2020—approximately €500m per year, until Britain leaves the EU. However, after Brexit, these funds from the EU will no longer be available. 

The ESF  exists to fund employment support programmes, specifically those that support disadvantaged groups, such as young people (and especially those who are in education, employment or training),  disabled people, prisoners, ex-offenders and prison leavers, and people with more than one of these barriers to employment.

Members will hear from providers of current ESF-funded programmes and trade bodies and policy experts on:

  • Arguments for and against retaining a UK-funded  ESF-type fund after  Brexit
  • What works and does not work well about the current ESF, and what changes might be made to any successor
  • General principals that should underpin a future "BSF"


Wednesday 28 February 2018  in the Wilson Room, Portcullis House.

At 9.30am

  • Steve Hawkins, Chief Executive Officer, Pluss
  • Richard Clifton, Integrated Services Director, Shaw Trust
  • Graham Parry, Director of Youth, Employment and Skills, Groundwork London
  • Brian Bell, Managing Director, Working Links
  • Sandra Rothwell, Chief Executive, Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Stella Manzie CBE, Chief Executive, Birmingham City Council
  • Lloyd Broad, Head of European Affairs, Birmingham City Council
  • Sam Windett, Head of Policy, Employment Related Services Association
  • Elizabeth Chamberlain, Head of Policy, National Council for Voluntary Organisations
  • Kayleigh Wainwright, Head of Membership and Policy, UK Youth

Further information

Image: CC0