Gender equalities and equal opportunities is a regulatory cross-cutting theme for all structural fund programmes in 2007-2013.
The new ESF programme in England has a dual approach to mainstreaming gender equality and equal opportunities. Firstly, it will ensure that equality of opportunity is taken into consideration and actively promoted by providers when they deliver their services. The procurement and contract management processes organised by Co-financing Organisations will play an important role in ensuring this integration takes place. Secondly, ESF will to be used to fund equality-specific providers or projects where this is appropriate to do so (including on a sub-contracting basis where a Co-financing Organisation is funding a prime-contractor).
At national level, gender equality and equal opportunities has been fully integrated across the planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation stages of the programme. A new equal opportunities sub-committee will be set up to advise the national ESF programme monitoring committee on equality issues.
The ESF Gender Equality and Equal Opportunities Sub Committee has now agreed an updated version of the national mainstreaming plan for the 2007-2013 programme.
Finally, the new programme will promote good practice through the introduction of a new national ESF award scheme for providers and partners who 'go the extra mile' in promoting gender equality and equal opportunities. More information about this will be available on this website in 2008.
This report aims to assist projects and organisations to understand and implement systems for recording soft outcomes and distance travelled. It offers a definition of these terms and presents different methods for recording and measuring them. Primarily its aim is to be a resource for ESF projects where the target groups are some distance from labour market participation.