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Britain to receive £3 billion from ESF in 2000 – 2006


Employability throughout Britain will be boosted by help of
£3 billion from the European Social Fund in 2000 to 2006, Employment Minister Andrew Smith announced today.
Mr Smith said:
"Objective 3 will provide significant support for the Government’s employability agenda. It will help us to help people of all ages prepare for work, get back to work and keep in work. In addition to Objective 3, the European Social Fund will provide major help for employment in Britain in Objective 1 and 2 areas.

"Objective 3 will also focus on those who need extra support to get into the labour market, including long term unemployed people and those facing particular barriers because of their disability, racial origin, gender or other disadvantage. As part of the ESF, Objective 3 will help to increase employment levels by:

* developing policies to combat unemployment;
* promoting equal opportunities in the labour market, particularly those faced with social exclusion;
* developing lifelong learning policies;
* promoting a skilled and adaptable workforce; and
* improving women’s access to work.

"This funding will help firms and workers adapt to new working conditions and so help them to compete more effectively in global markets."

"Objective 3 will build on our current success with the European Social Fund in supporting people who need most help to become employable: it will support Britain’s drive towards an inclusive society.

"The Government welcomes this increased support for British people: it is completing a wide consultation with partners across Great Britain to ensure that the European Social Fund is targeted effectively in the next millennium. "
The European Social Fund already targets over a million people a year who are disadvantaged in the labour market. Nineteen per cent of leavers are from ethnic minority groups, 37% have never had a job, 14% are lone parents and 11% have English as a second language.

Projects part-funded by ESF have proved successful in getting those people who need help most into jobs: 42% of leavers go into work or self employment and a further 18% go on to further education or training. Most of those helped by ESF had no qualifications before they participated in an ESF project.


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