ERSA Launches Report into the Future of Employment Support Post-Brexit

published on 27 Nov 2019

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ERSA Launches Report into the Future of Employment Support Post-Brexit

With the general election in full swing and parties laying out their views for the future of the UK, the Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) will today launch a report into the future of the Employment and Skills sector.

The report entitled Sharing Prosperity: Building Better Employment Support for the UK is sponsored by The Salvation Army and Shaw Trust and details how the UK has benefited from European Social Fund (ESF) support.

Over 1.1 million people have gone into work after leaving a programme supported by ESF during the last round of funding (2014-2019) making a big dent in the UK unemployment figures.

The pre-election government led by Prime Minister Johnson committed to a UK Shared Prosperity Fund to be the replacement for ESF.

ERSA, Shaw Trust and The Salvation Army are now asking that all parties make clear what their plans are to replace the money provided by the ESF once the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

The report looks at the specific impact on areas such as young people, skills, health, crime and the disparity between areas of the UK which desperately need funding provided by the ESF.

Commenting on the launch of the report Elizabeth Taylor, CEO of ERSA said, “the next Government must make sure that the employment and skills sector is at the heart of their post-Brexit plan.”

“The UK has benefited from the European Social Fund since it joined the EU over 40 years ago. Organisations supporting people into work across the UK need assurances from all parties that they will not lose any funding in the long, or the short term.”

Rebecca Keating, Employment Plus Director at The Salvation Army said: "This money helps people who desperately want to work but face numerous challenges from poor mental health or lacking up to date job skills. "We have seen thousands of people in places across the UK turn their employment prospects around thanks to our Employment Plus scheme which is funded by ESF. To cut this funding would be to abandon these people and their families."  

The report also focuses on more than ten case studies from providers who currently receive ESF funding, written by a range of employment support providers.

Chris Luck CB MBE, Chief Executive Officer at Shaw Trust has said: “I welcome this timely report which shows the vital contributions ESF funding makes to people’s lives across the UK. This report offers a clear template for how we can build on the success of the ESF but also how we can, and must, go further in supporting disadvantaged groups that often fall through the gaps of existing state provision.”