Coventry & Warwickshire ESF Newsletter – Winter 2019

Monday 16th of December 2019 11:39 AM

Welcome to the Winter 2019 European Social Fund (ESF) Newsletter that has been produced by Coventry & Warwickshire’s ESF Technical Assistance Team. 

In this edition, we bring you up-to-date on projects launched through the 2014-2020 ESF Programme in Coventry & Warwickshire to raise skills levels within our workforce and support local residents to access employment.

We’ll also give you some interesting examples of what this funding is achieving for our local residents and businesses.

New provision for Coventry & Warwickshire

Skills Support for the Workforce (SSW) is a programme developed to upskill employees within small and medium-sized businesses in Coventry and Warwickshire.
SSW is co-financed by the Education and Skills Funding Agency and the European Social Fund. This means you can access a wide range of training at no cost* to your business.  *subject to eligibility.

Businesses can benefit from:

  • A training needs analysis for your business, identifying the skills you need to support your business ambitions.
  • Flexible training – pick full qualifications or mix and match individual units to suit your business.
  • On-the-job vocational training to meet individual and business needs including taught learning, workplace assessment, distance learning and online learning.
  • Learning pathways for your employees enabling them to progress within your organisation onto higher level qualifications or apprenticeships.
  • Recognised accredited qualifications and training courses to enhance your employees’ skills.

More information can be found at:

Community Grants – Latest Grant Awards!

Fifteen voluntary and small organisations across Coventry and Warwickshire are currently benefiting from £267,000 of ESF Community Grants funding.  These awards - made since May 2019 - are supporting 240 unemployed people across the region to build confidence and new skills through a variety of different activities, from theatre and art, to entrepreneurship and English language skills.

Most recently, £83,500 has been awarded (subject to due diligence) to the following 5 projects in October:


China Plate Theatre - Young Producers
St. Francis Employability - Arabian Bites Employability Skills
The Highlife Centre - Inspire to Achieve Project

Nuneaton & Bedworth

Aspire in Arts - Creative Arts Project
AVision for Empowerment CIC - Realise your Vision
Support is available for organisations interested in applying but unsure if the fund is right for them.  Please contact Groundwork UK at or on 0121 236 8565 to arrange a time with a local Enabler.

The deadline for applications to be considered at the next panel is 23rd December 2019. The next Panel will take place during January 2020, meaning funding could be awarded by early February to successful projects.

More information is available here:

Community Grants recipients spotlight - Arty Folks

Arty-Folks have been awarded £20,000 of ESF Community Grants funding to support people in Coventry into employment.

The ‘New Perspectives’ team are working with individuals who are in need of a helping hand by offering engaging, employment focused programmes such as art therapy, practical job search and CV writing skills, and support to get people back into education.

Many of the members who are enrolled with Arty-Folks have significant health needs that mean they are often socially excluded and have trouble securing employment. The New Perspectives team are trained to help people to overcome complex barriers and work with people to both help them with employment, but also help to improve people’s health and wellbeing.

Lorella Medici, Arty-Folks mentor, said: “Sometimes we need a bit of help to break down what seems an insurmountable barrier into manageable and removable chunks. There is always a way forward but sometimes we get so frustrated we can’t see the wood for the trees. We are exciting that this funding will enable us to help more people across the region who need our support.”

Ambition Coventry – Employment Support for Young People​

Ambition works with anyone aged between 16 and 29 who lives in Coventry and is not in any form of employment, education or training (NEET).
Ambition can support you in a range of ways, including:

  • Self-development and confidence building
  • Careers advice
  • 1-2-1 support
  • Training and qualifications
  • Work experience and paid placements
  • Traineeships and apprenticeships
  • Business start-up support

Contact the Ambition team to get involved:
Further information about this ESF funded project can be found here:

Case Study – Coventry & Warwickshire Skills4Growth

Coventry &Warwickshire Skills 4 Growth (CWS4G) is a unique project which is part funded by the European Social Fund and receives further funding support from Coventry City Council and Warwickshire County Council and delivers skills support to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) located in the Coventry and Warwickshire area. The range of training available is extensive and supports individuals to gain accredited qualifications at level 2 and below and level 3 and above.

Burbidge & Son Limited: Henry Burbidge established his woodworking company in 1867. Evolving over the decades, and drawing on a rich woodworking heritage, the company offers an extensive collection of premium quality kitchens that boast the latest contemporary designs and finishes.
Operating from its manufacturing site based in Coventry, Burbidge & Son Limited has a talented team of designers who work alongside long-serving, highly skilled craftsmen to produce high quality timber doors and cleverly-engineered laminate finishes.

The company has been awarded the Manufacturing Guild Mark by the Worshipful Company of Furniture Makers and is also proud of its commitment to the environment. Timbers and timber-products used in its manufacturing processes are sourced from well managed forestry and paints that guarantee colour-fastness have a low environmental impact. Coventry Adult Education Service undertook a Training Needs Analysis with the organisation and discovered an ongoing commitment to ensure the skills of all new and existing staff are continually developed.
To support the continuing growth of the business and ensure efficient use of IT systems across the company, one member of staff has already completed Excel training and started Computerised Accounting for Business. Louisa James, Credit Controller within the accounts team commented on her training: “The intermediate Excel Training course I attended in September took place in a classroom environment where everyone was very friendly. We took part in joint and individual tasks and the tutor was always there to assist with any help required. I would recommend this course and the Adult Education Service as a whole, I was nervous prior to attending but, I can now say there is no need, as I really enjoyed the course.  I now have an accredited qualification and skills I can use in my job."

Marion Ryan, HR Manager, commented that: "The whole process of organising the training required along with the funding was made very easy with the help of Betty Bullock, Business Development Officer. We will definitely be investing in further training through Coventry & Warwickshire Skills 4 Growth."

For more information about the European Social Fund and the Operational Programme for England please visit: