Early Market Engagement - European Social Fund
The Skills Funding Agency is one of the main Co-Financing Organisations managing European Social Funds (ESF) in England. We have funding available for ESF Priority 2 (which focuses on developing a skilled and adaptable workforce) for the remainder of the 2007-2013 ESF Operational Programme. This provision can deliver until July 2015, and we are planning to issue invitations to tender in November 2012 for the delivery of ESF funded provision to provide skills support for the workplace through Apprenticeships and related work place learning from April 2013.
The Agency and the National Apprenticeship Service are developing an enhanced approach to the procurement of this provision to ensure that successful providers are best placed to address local skills needs. That will include a broader specification and closer working arrangements with Local Enterprise Partnerships and Core Cities, and an expectation that providers may want to develop collaborative or other networks to ensure successful delivery.
The Agency will only issue invitations to those organisations which are on the Register of Training Organisations (the Register) at the time the invitation is issued.
In order to be on the Register, organisations must be a legal entity and pass the Agency’s Due Diligence Assurance Gateway (the Questionnaire), which is an online questionnaire located on the Agency’s e-Tendering portal, as well as supplying Financial Statements to allow the Agency to assess their financial health.
The Skills Funding Agency plans to re-open the Register of Training Organisations Assurance Gateway application process on 31 August 2012. We cannot stress enough that this will be the final opportunity for organisations seeking inclusion in the forthcoming ESF tendering round to submit a response for the Agency to evaluate and assess their suitability.
Organisations which are not already on the Register that would want to be included in the ESF funded Invitation(s) to Tender must submit a response to the Register on or before the closing date, which will be clearly communicated on our website and on any associated documentation.
Further information on the Register can be found here.
Any questions regarding the above should in the first instance be directed to the Procurement Help mailbox.