The European Social Fund (ESF) was set up to improve employment opportunities in the EU, and it aims to help people fulfill their potential by giving them better skills and better jobs prospects.
London has been awarded an allocation of £410 million as part of the England and Gibraltar ESF 2007–2013 Programme. The ESF programme will contribute to sustainable economic growth and social inclusion by extending employment opportunities and by developing a skilled and adaptable workforce.
A Regional Framework has been produced for London which sets out how the region will address the national priorities and puts the London programme in its regional context.
London governance arrangements
Following the review of Greater London Authority (GLA) powers in July 2006, the management of European Structural Funds was transferred to the Mayor of London. The European Programmes Management Unit (EPMU) at the GLA is responsible for managing the London ESF Programme.
This role is distinct to the GLA Co-financing Organisation (CFO), which is responsible for the distribution of ESF funds at a regional level (co-financed with their own domestic funding).
EPMU works in partnership with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The DWP has overall responsibility for ensuring the Regional Frameworks meet the priorities and targets as set within the National Operational Programme (OP). The development and management of London's ESF Regional Framework is carried out by the GLA.
All Co-financing Organisations (CFOs) activity is monitored and approved regionally through the London ESF Committee, chaired by the Mayor, to ensure it meets the needs of the region as set out in the ESF Regional Framework. Committee meeting minutes can be downloaded at the end of this page.