The Government’s Equalities Office (GEO) has announced a new £1.5 million fund to support people back into work after time out caring. The fund will offer grants of up to £300,000 to projects which help people to return to work in the private sector.
These projects could help returners update their skills, provide other training, or support businesses to increase employment opportunities for returners. The fund will prioritise projects that focus on small and medium enterprises, employers outside London, and projects that support returners at all skill levels.
The GEO is particularly interested to receive project applications that focus on at least one of the following:
- Returners to paid employment outside London (full or part-time);
- Non-graduate returners and/or those returning to non-professional employment;
- People with the following protected characteristics: BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic); Disabled; Older workers (aged 50+)
- Returners who have been out of paid employment for 10 years or more, and
- Creating employment opportunities for returners in SMEs.
This is part of the Government’s wider strategy to develop the evidence base on what may help to close the gender pay gap.
Expressions of interest for the first round of bidding must be submitted by 30th March 2018. Applicants successful at this stage will then have until the 18th May 2018 to submit a full application.