Policy Fields and Measures
The Objective 3i Regional Development Plan (RDPi) details the Priorities and Measures under which funding can be applied for. There are 5 complimentary priorities, each has a set of measures that detail the type of action that can be supported. The Co-financingi Organisations (CFOs) also use the categorisation as outlined below.
Policy Field 1: Development of Active Labour Market Policies
- Measure 1 - To provide advice, guidance, and support to enable people to develop active and continuous job search strategies and prevent them from moving into long-term unemployment or economic activity
- Measure 2 - To improve the employability of the unemployed, returners and young people of working age through targeted intervention to enhance vocational and other key skills and remove external barriers to labour market entry
Policy Field 2: Promotion of Equal Opportunities and Social Inclusion
- Measure 1 - To widen access to basic skills provision through the development of innovative and effective ways of promoting and providing basic skills, directed at those groups disadvantaged, excluded or under-represented in the work place
- Measure 2 - To provide help to improve the employability and remove barriers to labour market entry for those groups disadvantaged in the labour market, including economically inactive people of working age, with particular emphasis on combating race, disability and age discrimination, and to develop local responses to assist individuals with multiple disadvantage, especially economically inactive people of working age, in the labour market who face the risk of social exclusion
Policy Field 3: Promotion of Lifelong Learning Activity
- Measure 1 - Promoting wider access and participation in LLL especially those groups least likely to take part in LLL activities and lacking basic and key skills, including economically inactive people of working age
- Measure 2 - Improving employability through directing and supporting LLL provisions so that it is responsive to the changing needs of employers, such as in the fields of IT, management and the environment
Policy Field 4: Promotion of Adaptability and Entrepreneurship Activity
- Measure 1 - To update and upgrade employee’s vocational skills including basic and key skills
- Measure 2 - To identify and meet emerging skill shortages, including higher level
- Measure 3 - Encouraging entrepreneurship of individuals and competitiveness of business, particularly SMEs
Policy Field 5: Promotion of Participation of Women in the Labour Market
- Measure 1 - To improve access to learning and remove barriers to employment, and to research issues related to gender discrimination in employment such as recruitment, pay, segregation and progression, and to support follow up activities arising from the research
A full description of each Priorityi, related Measure, and a list of supported activities and potential priority groups and occupation sectors can be found within the North West Regional Development Plan.
Cross Cutting Themes
There are three cross cutting priorities for the North West Objective 3 Programme. They are Equal Opportunities, support for the development of the Information Society and Sustainable Developmenti.
The European definition of Equal Opportunities is focused on gender. The rationale behind it is to ensure that men and women can participate on an equal footing, with the benefits of progress being evenly distributed between them. Particular inequalities still exist between men and women in employment, education, training, entrepreneurship and work/life balance. These inequalities have a negative effect on growth, competitiveness, regional and national, social and economic objectives, along with individual personal aspirations.
The focus on gender is intended to promote the gender balance by maximising opportunities for women leading ultimately to improved access and participation in all levels of the labour market. The Regional Development Plan refers to this as Gender Mainstreaming. By this it is meant the active and visible integration of gender perspectives in all policy areas, programme content, development, planning and decision making processes, along with programme management.
Equal Opportunities Mainstreaming Plan for the North West
In the North West there are different levels of growth of Internet Industries and e-commerce. This is due to market failure (lack of private initiatives and investment) and lack of progress in connecting opportunities and needs – especially among disadvantaged communities. This leads to a growing disparity between the information rich and the information poor. The inclusion of the Information Society as a cross cutting theme will go some way to redress this. The rationale behind this priority is to bring areas with limited or no growth of new information and communication technologies in line with UK and EU trends, consequently supporting both regional competitiveness and promoting social inclusion. In particular this priority aims to support the implementation of the e-Europe initiative and the application of the following issues at regional level,
- Bringing all citizens, households, businesses, schools and administrations into the digital era and give them on-line access
- Introducing into Europe a digital culture underpinned by a spirit of enterprise that encourages the funding and development of new ideas
- Ensuring that the entire process is geared towards social integration, wins consumer confidence and reinforces social cohesion
The prioritisation of sustainable development through the Objective 3 Programme involves the simultaneous integration of social, economic and environmental objectives, ensuring that one is not achieved at the expense of another. Competitiveness and quality of life are determined by a combination of social, economic and environmental factors. Economic growth needs to facilitate greater social inclusion and progress and result in improvement of the environment.
For further information on sustainable development please visit the Action for Sustainability website.