The Welsh flag merges into a fifty Euro note using puzzle pieces

An eye on Europe and Wales

Published: 01/06/21 | Categories: Author:

The 3-SET team let you know what’s going on in the world of European funding in Wales.

Looking at our new Senedd

There’s certainly been a lot going on over the last few weeks to keep us all busy. One of the most notable mentions is the recent Senedd election results. We now know that sector as a whole will fall under the portfolio of Jane Hutt MS who has been named Minister for Social Justice. Liaison around the replacement funding streams will now fall under the portfolio of Vaughan Gething MS as Economy Minister.

EU policy updates

The European Parliament have voted overwhelmingly to ratify the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement (TCA) and the Queen’s speech also outlined the legislative programme for the new parliamentary session including some post Brexit Bills which will replace previous EU regulations. Two of the most relevant to our work are the Subsidy Control Bill and the Procurement Bill, once we have further information on these we will share it with you.

The latest from UK Government

The UK Government Plan for Wales was released last week with information about how the UK funds which will replace the European Structural and Investment Funds will support their overall ambition to level up the UK as a whole. This followed the announcement that the expected policy document focusing on devolution and local recovery will now be replaced with a white paper on Levelling up, to be released later this year.

The House of Commons have also released a paper of interest, EU Structural Funding: Will the UK Community Renewal Fund bridge the gap?.

On Thursday 27 May the Welsh Affairs Committee took evidence on the Levelling up and Community Renewal Funds. The recording of the session is available here.

DWP have now announced that Serco have been awarded the contract to deliver the Restart Programme in Wales. Referrals to the programme will start in July of this year. It is expected that ESF provision will be able to work alongside this activity where there is clear added value, but we do expect there will be questions as the programme becomes live. We would encourage you to speak directly with your fund manager to clarify any issues and you are of course welcome to contact us with any questions.

Your help is needed!

We have seen local authorities across Wales launch their application process for the UK Community Renewal Fund, most of which have now closed. 3-SET is keen to hear feedback from organisations from across Wales that could help inform our future discussions with UK Government and Local Authorities. To help us gather this feedback, please complete this short survey or alternatively you can contact us directly at 3set@wcva.cymru for an informal chat.

In the coming weeks we will be sharing information of a working group to bring voices from across the sector to focus on the UK funds that will replace the current European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF). This group will be open to anyone with an interest in these programmes not limited to those currently working with ESIF, if you know anyone who may be interested in being part of this work please encourage them to get in touch with us, so we can make sure they receive relevant information.

ERSA

ERSA is the UK membership body campaigning for high quality services for the UK’s jobseekers and low earners. Their membership includes representation across charities, local authorities, social enterprises, funding bodies and private sector organisations. They have forums looking specifically at issues within each nation and in specific subject areas including kickstart, youth mobility, health and UK wide employment programmes. More information about the benefits of membership can be found on their website.

ERSA are now launching a platform, ASK SETH to bring together information for jobseekers from across the UK to help them understand what provision is available in their area. While there are several other platforms available in Wales including DEWIS and the Working Wales Support Finder, ASK SETH will provide another option for people to access information and resources to support them in their job search. Any organisation providing employability services can register their information for free on the platform by completing a simple template which can be found here.