City Hall

ESOL Plus – Employer Partnership

The Mayor’s ESOL Plus – Employer Partnership will work with partners to meet gaps in ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) provision for workers.

We are inviting employers, membership bodies or sectors skills institutions to bid for up to £20,000 match-funding to improve the provision of ESOL to employees and evaluate this work to make the case for employer investment in ESOL.

Organisations who partner with us will:

  • be investing in a strategic skills initiative for their sector
  • have the credibility of partnering with the Mayor
  • be involved in an evaluation of the project that will provide a valuable case study to inform future work

How to apply

To apply for this grant-funding, complete the form below and return it by email to [email protected] by 4pm on Monday 23 April 2018.

Download the application form (RTF).

ESOL Plus - Employer Partnership Information Pack

Who can apply

Applications are open to employers, membership bodies, or sector skills institutions. Partnership bids between organisations are also welcome.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate:

  • senior commitment and support of the pilot
  • a strong project delivery plan with evidence of early engagement with potential ESOL providers
  • recognition of barriers workers face in accessing ESOL, and how they will be overcome
  • willingness to fully evaluate the pilot and work with partners to disseminate findings

Priority will be given to organisations:

  • working within or representing sectors that have a high proportion of migrant workers, especially those than can identify a specific need amongst their workforce
  • that can provide evidence to show existing good employment practices and are willing to work creatively to overcome barriers for employees to access ESOL

Why are we doing this

One in three Londoners were born outside the UK, and more than 300 languages are currently spoken on our streets.

The Mayor has described the importance of English and the need for government and cities to improve the support we provide to learners, because a common language is necessary for a common life and enables social integration.

Being able to speak English is crucial for accessing employment in London. It is also associated with several other benefits including independence, confidence and self-determination. It leads to tangible benefits such as better access to healthcare and education and unlocks migrants’ capabilities.

The wider social benefits of ESOL in the long term include reduced health and welfare costs, and harnessing migrants’ potential employment skills to strengthen the economy.

Most migrants who do not speak English when they arrive in the UK want to improve their English language skills, but often face barriers in terms of the availability, sufficiency and flexibility of the ESOL provision in London. ESOL Plus will fund innovative pilots to provide ESOL to learners whose needs are not currently being met through mainstream provision. There is a clear role for employers in this context that we would like to explore.

Objectives and expected outcomes

City Hall will enter into a strategic partnership with an employer, membership body or sector skills institution, with match-funding provided by the employer, to deliver a project that will:

  • run an ESOL pilot class for a cohort of employees, that meets the needs of learners – including providing a space for learning and ensuring employees have the time to attend
  • fully evaluate pilot classes to support the development an ESOL strategy for their organisation or sector that is ambitious in meeting the needs of employees and achieves positive outcomes for the employer

The joint funding (up to £20,000 grant from the GLA, plus match-funding from the strategic partner) will provide for a bespoke ESOL course and qualified ESOL teachers for an agreed number of employees to access on a regular basis for the duration of the project. The joint funding will also be expected to cover the cost of an appropriate learning space, compensation for learner time (where appropriate), and a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot.

Key dates

  • Thursday 8 March – applications open
  • Monday 23 April, 4pm – applications close
  • Thursday 26 April – interviews
  • Monday 30 April – notification of outcome