European funding

A number of the projects described below are part funded by the European Structural & Investment Fund

Information about European funding, how is it awarded, what is it available for, what the European regional development fund is, what the Humber technical assistance partnership is and how to contact.

What is the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF)?

The European Structural and Investment Fund is the European Union's main funding programme for supporting growth and jobs across the EU. The funds support investment in innovation, businesses, skills and employment and job creation. There are three types of funds available:

  • European Social Fund (ESF) - focuses on improving the employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help to people to enable them to fulfil their potential
  • European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) - supports research and innovation, small to medium-sized enterprises and the creation of a low carbon economy
  • European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) - supports rural businesses to grow and expand, improve knowledge and skills and get started.

The current European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) Programme runs from 2014-2020. There are no further funds available under the ESIF Programme although projects with a Funding Agreement can still deliver up to December 2023.

How can the Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) help?

The Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) is a partnership that offers information and support to organisations that are applying for European Regional Development Funds (ERDF) and European Social Funds (ESF). The partnership originally consisted of the four local authorities in the Humber (with East Riding of Yorkshire Council as the lead partner) along with representatives from higher education institutions, further education institutions, companies limited by guarantee/charities, and the Humber and York, North Yorkshire and East Riding Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs).

TAP staff are still available to advise on compliance issues, claims, audit requirements etc so please get in touch if you require any advice and guidance whilst you are delivering your project.

How has TAP helped local projects?

Since 2015, TAP has supported over 100 projects to apply for ERDF and ESF funding. Of these, 75% were successful and were offered a contract.

In 2019, TAP held two Showcase events in Hessle and York, where projects had the opportunity to highlight their achievements to the local LEPs and funding bodies (Department for Work and Pensions for ESF and the Ministry for Housing, Communities, and Local Government – now Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities - for ERDF, also known as Managing Authorities).

In October 2021, a final, virtual Showcase was shown live online where we revisited some projects from the first Showcases, as well as introduce new projects and how projects had risen to the challenges brought about by Covid-19.

The videos from all the Showcases can be viewed on our YouTube channel:

The Apprenticeship Hub

The Apprenticeship Hub is part funded by the European Social Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, and is delivered in partnership with East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Calderdale College and North Yorkshire County Council. They offer free and impartial apprenticeship advice and support to businesses based in York, North Yorkshire and East Riding.

The Apprenticeship Hub has a team of friendly advisers that can provide a wide free and impartial guidance and support, such as how to recruit an apprentice, choosing the right apprenticeship standard, finding the right provider, accessing available levy funds and incentives, and setting up and using the apprenticeship digital account.

They also offer free support and training for leadership and management teams, and pre-apprenticeship and wraparound support for apprentices by offering a range of bespoke training courses and qualifications delivered by expert skills providers.

For more information visit the Apprenticeship Hub website:

Apprenticeship Hub (external website)

What is the European Social Fund (ESF) StepChange Programme?

StepChange is a £6 million programme comprised of four new European Social Fund projects operating in the East Riding of Yorkshire, Hull, North and North East Lincolnshire. Led by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, each of the projects aim to increase individual employability and progression in the workforce, as well as supporting the region’s micro and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) to upskill their staff and improve their policies and productivity. The projects are currently open to eligible participants and SMEs until 31 December 2023.

Visit the StepChange website to learn more about the programme, check eligibility criteria, read our case studies and register your interest.

Website: StepChange (external website)


Telephone: (01482) 391689

Find out more about the projects:

Find out more about the projects:

Lifelong Skills for Growth

The project works with people 50 or over who are considered to be more at risk of facing barriers to secure or retain employment and will:

  • Support skills development for those employed over 50, to up-skill, retrain and enable progression in work which will support workplace retention and ultimately improve business productivity
  • Support activities that will support SMEs to build their capacity to provide project/placement/internship opportunities for people 50+ and to recognise the value of keeping hold of talent or bringing experience into their workforce, as well as the barriers to employment that they face.

Humber Women in the Workforce

The project provides training and support to women by developing their skills and increasing opportunities for progression, better equipping them to retain employment and progress within the Humber labour market. The project will:

  • Deliver a range of support and training to tackle specific barriers to equality and enable them to progress in the workforce.
  • Engage with SME employers to help them to address inequality in their workplaces, providing support and training to promote positive culture change and introduce reviews of policies and procedures.
  • Create a network of influence and aspiration for young women in the Humber led by women.

Employability Wellbeing Service (A)

The project will provide support to individuals with mental health issues to support them to engage with or re-engage with the labour market, including those aged 16-25. The project’s primary objectives are to:

  • alleviate barriers to social inclusion and mobility caused by mental health impediments through engagement and managed interventions that offer better access to wraparound services and support
  • assess employability and work readiness and to improve access to employment for job seekers, inactive and young people at risk of social exclusion affected by mental health obstacles through supported initiatives such as work experience placements, skills development and vocational training.

Employability Wellbeing Service (B)

The project will provide training to employers and employees to assist them in managing people with mental health needs, offering support for businesses to engage in culture change around disclosure of mental health issues, supporting employees and managers to have an increased awareness of how they can support staff and build a culture where health, wellbeing and neurodiversity is valued. The project aims to:

  • audit mental health, wellbeing and skills provision within the workplace and achieve measurable enhancements in skills and competences
  • build SME mental health and wellbeing provision through training and development, promote positive culture change and introduce mechanisms to (re)assess policies and procedures.

What is the UK Shared Prosperity Fund?

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF) is a central pillar of the UK government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025. More information on our UK Shared Prosperity Fund page:

UK Shared Prosperity Fund page

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