£1.84 billion investment in jobs and skills

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England is to receive £1.84 billion of European Social Fund (ESF) money to invest in jobs and skills over the next seven years.

The new ESF programme is designed to support employment and training projects to help extend employment opportunities and develop skills.

Making the announcement, work and pensions minister James Plaskitt said there would be a national programme to ensure the money was targeted effectively and links with the Regional Skills Partnerships to address distinctive regional and local needs.

Plaskitt said: “This money is a welcome investment in our employment and skills over the next seven years.

“The European Social Fund will enable us to provide additional support to people who remain unemployed or inactive in the labour market. In particular, we want to focus the new programme on disadvantaged people who face barriers to work, and people who lack basic skills and qualifications.”

How the money will be spent has been opened to consultation, which will close on 22 January.

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