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To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, when he plans to announce that flexibility will be agreed to the European Structural Fund conditions for the unspent portion of Birmingham City Council's £42 million project Youth Promise Plus programme to allow (a) easement of targets to reflect levels of employment opportunities and training provision available, (b) the ability to expend funds on welfare and crisis response and (c) the potential to use existing projects to support young people at risk of being not in employment, education or training.
The European Social Fund (ESF) Managing Authority recognises the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and how this may significantly impact on an organisation’s ability to deliver against agreed targets. Officials are working with project leaders to understand this impact and will discuss this with them on a case by case basis.
The European Structural and Investment Funds Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response was announced via Action Note 047/20 on 26 March 2020, with a Question and Answer document published on gov.uk. The detail within these announcements highlights how the Managing Authority has the ability to consider requests from existing projects to refocus their funding provision to respond directly to local challenges caused by COVID-19.
The Government fully recognises the potential impact of the current situation on young people and is considering the gains which could be achieved from increasing the scope of existing projects aimed at supporting young people who may be at risk of becoming not in employment, education or training.