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ESFA Community Training Grants

ESFA Community Training Grants

The ESFA and ESF are co -financing Community Training Grants to offer skills, training and employment opportunities for individuals who are unemployed or out of education.

This grant is intended for projects which help to support individuals who are either unemployed, out of education, or economically inactive.

The aim is to benefit those who are furthest away from the labour market, and start participants’ progress back to employment. In addition to formal skills training this can also be activities which have softer benefits, such as work readiness, confidence or anger management.

The ESFA has highlighted four priority groups that it wishes to engage with*:

  • Participants over 50 years of age;

  • Participants with disabilities;

  • Participants from Ethnic Minorities; and

  • Participants who are women.

In addition to these programme wide priorities, the priorities for Thames Valley Berkshire LEP area have been recognised as follows*:

  • Residents in areas of multiple deprivation and people in particular communities of interest (rather than geographically focused), who share common barriers to economic and social inclusion.

* NB: this does not mean that projects which do not have those participants are ineligible.

Who can apply

Third Sector Organisations and small organisations (equal or less than 49 people, equal or less than 10 million Euro turnover) can apply for grants between £5,000 and £20,000, for projects taking place in the LEP area of Thames Valley Berkshire. Participants must be 16 or over, have the right to work in the UK and be economically inactive or unemployed.

Decision dates

This is a rolling programme, so you can apply at any time. The deadline for your application to be considered in our next round of decision meetings is 9am, Monday 22nd February 2021.

Please note we are expecting competition to increase as the programme continues, so we recommend applying as soon as possible.


Projects funded through the Community Training Grants programme are not expected to start at least 3 months after the application deadline. Applicants are required to provide information on how they plan to deliver, taking into account government guidelines and potential impact of COVID-19 on their project. Please note that requirements to collect supporting documents evidencing expenditure, enrolling participants and recording learning activity have been adapted to the current situation, allowing further flexibility. Examples of recently funded projects are available on our website.

Applicant workshops

We regularly hold applicant workshops, which are an opportunity to learn more about the programme, how to apply and ask questions to the Community Training Grants team. Registrations are open for the next sessions:

Further information

More information about the grant scheme can be found in the attached Prospectus, as well as the Groundwork website where you will also find case studies:

Please note that the funding is also available to organisations across the following LEP areas, information for which can be found on Groundwork’s website:

  • Dorset: Dorset, Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch

  • Swindon and Wiltshire: Swindon and Wiltshire

  • London North and East: Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Waltham Forest

If you have any questions about applying or about your project then please give Groundwork London a call on 020 7239 1390 or email the team at

“Groundwork London delivers this programme which is funded by the European Union Social Fund and the Education and Skills Funding Agency"

Elizabeth Mienert

Community Enabler

Groundwork South

Mobile: 07736132697

“working in partnership to support the community”

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