Call for projects – Labour Market Support Fund - March 2022

The number of job vacancies across Greater Lincolnshire are at an all-time high, across a whole range of different sectors, occupations, and salary levels.

Employers across all sectors are experiencing labour shortages with the greatest volume in caring roles, and driver occupations, in addition to significant demand for machine operatives and a range of occupations within the hospitality sector and the food manufacturing sector. Recruitment challenges are not new, but the combined impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, a reduction in migrant labour from EU, and in some cases the desire for a better work-life balance, has exacerbated the situation.

The Greater Lincolnshire LEP has re-evaluated its existing funding and through this call for projects seeks to address Greater Lincolnshire's immediate labour market challenges. The LEP is keen for the fund to demonstrate direct short-term impact where possible, understanding that the fund is limited in what it can cover.

This call asks for projects ideas that will address labour market issues and align to our Economic Plan for Growth 2021 and Local Skills Report contributing to economic revival.

Our principal objectives for this fund are as follows:

1. Help organisations/businesses to address labour market related issues innovatively and effectively.

2. Investing in cross sector ideas to support structural change and a move towards automation where appropriate.

The fund

Building on the recently released Levelling Up White Paper we are inviting organisations and businesses to submit projects that will address labour market challenges. Essential criteria for this Fund will be as follows:

  • There is a maximum of £1.7m available in this scheme
  • Scheme proposals can be capital or revenue or a combination of both
  • Funding requests should be in excess of £200,000 although consideration will be given to proposals that seek £100,000 if there is a very strong case
  • All funds must be spent by 31 December 2024, and outcomes delivered by 31 December 2025
  • Schemes must demonstrate immediate to short-term impacts and evidence clear outcomes

The LEP is seeking to consider a range of labour market driven projects through this fund. Known barriers to employment and categories that will be considered for funding include but are not limited to:

a) Training for specific occupations such as Large Goods Vehicle Training (LGV).

b) Training that is more flexible or more tailored than other funding allows e.g. technical ESOL (English for Speakers of other Languages) for working in particular industries.

c) Local Labour market attraction schemes: e.g. Innovative face-to-face job fairs, industry tasters, job related campaigns.

d) Other Innovative or collaborative schemes e.g. transport schemes, sustainable childcare schemes, known barriers to work.

e) Specialist support for people out of work (over and above what is already available through Government funding and European Social Fund schemes).

f) Innovative, impartial campaigns to raise awareness or increase take up of apprenticeship jobs.

g) Specialist recruitment and retention support, or support for employers to assist with development of new or innovative flexible working practices, encouraging more applicants.

h) Purchase of equipment/capital investment/new technologies e.g. to resolve requirement to fill labour intensive roles.

i) Consideration of the impact of Covid – how do we enable people to return to work ensuring that any mental health needs are addressed.

j) Technological interventions for example in social care & visitor economy.

k) Innovative schemes/structural approaches to help address vacancies in the interim given that automation and planning for the future take time.

l) Ideas that help address retention of skilled people.

m) Collaborative Transport Initiatives that provide solutions for people without access to transport to access employment, understanding the seclusion of many of our rural communities.

n) Innovative ideas that might help recently retired individuals use their knowledge and expertise back into the labour market.

Please note that:

  • Wage incentives will not be eligible.
  • Schemes must not duplicate something already funded or readily available and accessible.
  • We are seeking schemes that are innovative, and/or collaborative.
  • All projects must address labour shortages in the immediate or short term and focus on solutions that reduce the need for labour or fill job vacancies.
  • Schemes that will not result in addressing labour shortages by December 2025 will not be considered.
  • Where the proposal is for a capital asset, or for funds to train your own staff or recruit staff for your own business, match funding will be required (where the proposal is training related, we will honour the match funding requirements in a skills bootcamp).
  • Schemes that deliver training must result in people moving into job roles that would otherwise not have been filled within 90 days of the end of the intervention.
  • All project proposals must state clearly within the outline business case how outputs or outcomes will be measured and reported.

Click here to view the processes for submissions.