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    The London ESF programme

    During 2014 and 2015, LEAP’s predecessor, the London Enterprise Panel (the LEP), through the GLA, London Councils and other local partners, developed a range of ESF provision to meet local needs. In developing these programmes, the LEP looked to learn lessons from the 2007-2013 London ESF programme and applied these lessons to programme design. This included examining unit costs for delivering support to a range of groups to ensure the right amount of money is invested in supporting particular groups of customers. The evaluation of the 2007-2013 programme can be found here.

    As part of the development process for each programme, the LEP brought together a range of stakeholders, including Co-Financing Organisations (CFOs), boroughs, VCS organisations, providers, researchers and others to discuss how best to support each target group. Thereafter Programme Commissioning Templates were developed, outlining all elements of each programme. These documents formed the basis of the project specifications thatCo-Financing Organisations published to procure project activity.

    The London ESF CFO Programme

    The London ESF CFO programme has a range of characteristics: 

    1. Programmes are often targeted at specific customer groups, rather than combining support for different groups into one broad programme. We have taken this approach as evidence suggests that broader programmes do not always provide the tailored support that particular customer groups need. Providing smaller, targeted programmes will create opportunities for specialist providers to deliver services and encourage delivery models which are tailored to the needs of individuals.

    2. Support will often be delivered through sub-regional contracts based on existing borough sub-regional partnerships. This allows better coordination of activities and integration with local borough services, and contracts of this scale also appear to be good value for money (based on the evaluation of the 2007-2013 London ESF Programme).

    Map of ESF sub-regions


    Central: Camden, City of London, Islington, Kensington and Chelsea, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark, Wandsworth, Westminster

    North and East: Barking and Dagenham, Enfield, Greenwich, Hackney, Haringey, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest

    South: Bexley, Bromley, Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton

    West: Barnet, Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow


    3. A focus on in-work progression and poverty. The LEAP has consistently championed the London Living Wage and will continue to do so with a range of ESF programmes looking to lift people out of poverty. These include support for low paid workers, particularly parents, as well as incentivising providers to support people into well paid, sustainable work where possible.

    4. The LEAP has looked to pilot new approaches to supporting people into work and out of poverty. This included an innovative programme working with gang members which was commissioned by the ESFA. The LEAP has also designed an integrated back to work and in-work wage progression programme which aims to tackle poverty rather than just worklessness.


    Other ESF provision in London

    HMPPS receives a national allocation of ESF from the Managing Authority. The national programme has London specific activity  but  their provision has been designed at a national level to ensure consistency of provision across England.