The Skills Funding Agency has awarded £10.6m to organisations in the West of England to help young people, the long term unemployed and those facing barriers to work develop new skills and find local, sustainable employment. The funding was secured through European Social Fund (ESF) – EU funding designed to help people into better jobs and ensure fairer opportunities – and Big Lottery Fund (BLF) programmes which aim to tackle poverty and promote social inclusion.

Local programmes running over the next 18 months, will support over 5000 local people and reach over 6000 local small businesses through a range of activities delivered by a number of local service providers:

Learndirect will deliver a programme supporting those aged 25 and over into sustainable employment, education and apprenticeships, as well as the Your Time initiative supporting 15-24 year old who are not in education, employment or training (NEET) ) into work or back into learning;

-         A programme of skills support, advice & guidance for the people in and out of work will be delivered by N-Gaged Training

-         West of England Works programme will support NEET young people and adults is being delivered by Weston College and a range of partners from the education, training and voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.

-         Skills West is a programme being delivered by Business West and Western Training Provider Network (WTPN) which will help align training and employment opportunities to for our economy to thrive, with employers, education and training providers working together to equip local people with the right skills at all levels.

Local people are set to benefit from this programme through a range of new opportunities from greater availability of face to face careers advice to advice on CV writing and interview techniques. By sharing insights in to the nature and location of future jobs across the region, residents will he helped to make better informed choices relating to potential learning, training and employment opportunities. In particular, activities are seeking to support disadvantaged individuals and communities, underrepresented groups and those facing complex multiple barriers by supporting them to re-engage with education, training, or gaining employment.

Stephen Robertson, Chair of West of England Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “This funding is really good news for the West of England as a condition of the award is that it directly reflects the approach of the West of England towards the development of skills. Whilst unemployment is relatively low in our region compared to other parts of the country – with 9,355 claiming either JSA or Universal Credit, this new pot of money will enable a clear line of sight to employment.”

“Using our local knowledge, networks and partners, this money will be used to create an all-inclusive, overarching approach that tackles the barriers to work locally, bringing education and business closer together and addressing social inclusion and diversity.”

The West of England LEP is committed to developing a well-motivated workforce with the skills that business need as a crucial element of its strategy for local inclusive growth. Shortages of skills are one of the most frequently reported barriers to business growth in the West of England. Through local co-ordination from the LEP, local authorities and other partners, activities have been designed to complement existing programmes and avoid duplication of high quality provision already provided by local authorities, JobcentrePlus National Careers Service and the Careers and Enterprise Company.

About European Social Fund

The ESF Operational Programme for England was adopted by the European Commission in autumn 2015. This was a key milestone for the programme and means that all 3 of the funds which form the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) growth programme in England are officially approved. Each of the full and final Operational Programme documents can be found on GOV.UK.

Across England, €3.5 billion (approximately £2.53 billion) is being made available through ESF to support projects in Local Enterprise Partnership areas throughout the 2014 to 2020 programme period.


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The FE News Channel gives you the latest education news and updates on emerging education strategies and the #FutureofEducation and the #FutureofWork.

Providing trustworthy and positive Further Education news and views since 2003, we are a digital news channel with a mixture of written word articles, podcasts and videos. Our specialisation is providing you with a mixture of the latest education news, our stance is always positive, sector building and sharing different perspectives and views from thought leaders, to provide you with a think tank of new ideas and solutions to bring the education sector together and come up with new innovative solutions and ideas.

FE News publish exclusive peer to peer thought leadership articles from our feature writers, as well as user generated content across our network of over 3000 Newsrooms, offering multiple sources of the latest education news across the Education and Employability sectors.

FE News also broadcast live events, podcasts with leading experts and thought leaders, webinars, video interviews and Further Education news bulletins so you receive the latest developments in Skills News and across the Apprenticeship, Further Education and Employability sectors.

Every week FE News has over 200 articles and new pieces of content per week. We are a news channel providing the latest Further Education News, giving insight from multiple sources on the latest education policy developments, latest strategies, through to our thought leaders who provide blue sky thinking strategy, best practice and innovation to help look into the future developments for education and the future of work.

In May 2020, FE News had over 120,000 unique visitors according to Google Analytics and over 200 new pieces of news content every week, from thought leadership articles, to the latest education news via written word, podcasts, video to press releases from across the sector.

We thought it would be helpful to explain how we tier our latest education news content and how you can get involved and understand how you can read the latest daily Further Education news and how we structure our FE Week of content:

Main Features

Our main features are exclusive and are thought leadership articles and blue sky thinking with experts writing peer to peer news articles about the future of education and the future of work. The focus is solution led thought leadership, sharing best practice, innovation and emerging strategy. These are often articles about the future of education and the future of work, they often then create future education news articles. We limit our main features to a maximum of 20 per week, as they are often about new concepts and new thought processes. Our main features are also exclusive articles responding to the latest education news, maybe an insight from an expert into a policy announcement or response to an education think tank report or a white paper.

FE Voices

FE Voices was originally set up as a section on FE News to give a voice back to the sector. As we now have over 3,000 newsrooms and contributors, FE Voices are usually thought leadership articles, they don’t necessarily have to be exclusive, but usually are, they are slightly shorter than Main Features. FE Voices can include more mixed media with the Further Education News articles, such as embedded podcasts and videos. Our sector response articles asking for different comments and opinions to education policy announcements or responding to a report of white paper are usually held in the FE Voices section. If we have a live podcast in an evening or a radio show such as SkillsWorldLive radio show, the next morning we place the FE podcast recording in the FE Voices section.

Sector News

In sector news we have a blend of content from Press Releases, education resources, reports, education research, white papers from a range of contributors. We have a lot of positive education news articles from colleges, awarding organisations and Apprenticeship Training Providers, press releases from DfE to Think Tanks giving the overview of a report, through to helpful resources to help you with delivering education strategies to your learners and students.


We have a range of education podcasts on FE News, from hour long full production FE podcasts such as SkillsWorldLive in conjunction with the Federation of Awarding Bodies, to weekly podcasts from experts and thought leaders, providing advice and guidance to leaders. FE News also record podcasts at conferences and events, giving you one on one podcasts with education and skills experts on the latest strategies and developments.

We have over 150 education podcasts on FE News, ranging from EdTech podcasts with experts discussing Education 4.0 and how technology is complimenting and transforming education, to podcasts with experts discussing education research, the future of work, how to develop skills systems for jobs of the future to interviews with the Apprenticeship and Skills Minister.

We record our own exclusive FE News podcasts, work in conjunction with sector partners such as FAB to create weekly podcasts and daily education podcasts, through to working with sector leaders creating exclusive education news podcasts.

Education Video Interviews

FE News have over 700 FE Video interviews and have been recording education video interviews with experts for over 12 years. These are usually vox pop video interviews with experts across education and work, discussing blue sky thinking ideas and views about the future of education and work.


FE News has a free events calendar to check out the latest conferences, webinars and events to keep up to date with the latest education news and strategies.

FE Newsrooms

The FE Newsroom is home to your content if you are a FE News contributor. It also help the audience develop relationship with either you as an individual or your organisation as they can click through and ‘box set’ consume all of your previous thought leadership articles, latest education news press releases, videos and education podcasts.

Do you want to contribute, share your ideas or vision or share a press release?

If you want to write a thought leadership article, share your ideas and vision for the future of education or the future of work, write a press release sharing the latest education news or contribute to a podcast, first of all you need to set up a FE Newsroom login (which is free): once the team have approved your newsroom (all content, newsrooms are all approved by a member of the FE News team- no robots are used in this process!), you can then start adding content (again all articles, videos and podcasts are all approved by the FE News editorial team before they go live on FE News). As all newsrooms and content are approved by the FE News team, there will be a slight delay on the team being able to review and approve content.

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