Salvation Army calls for clarity about EU funding after Brexit

About 60 per cent of the funding it receives for its specialist employment programmes comes from the European Social Fund

The Salvation Army has called on the government to provide clarity about European Union funds amid fears of a potential "funding black hole" after the UK leaves the European Union.

The charity receives £1.7m in funding from the European Social Fund for its specialist employment programmes, which funds 60 per cent of those services.

The charity runs 121 Employment Plus programmes in the UK to help people, including disabled people or prison leavers, move into sustainable employment.

It employs 67 people on these programmes, 32 of which are at least partly funded by the ESF.

"While current programmes funded under ESF will continue initially, with the reality of Brexit looming there is still little information from government on what these crucial programmes will look like after 2020," the charity said in a statement.

"It means there is no stability and organisations like the Salvation Army are unable to plan ahead.

The charity has made the call before Employability Day on Friday, which celebrates work being carried out to help people find employment.

"The Salvation Army is calling on the government to provide clarity for organisations that help people who are unemployed find work, as fears mount over a potential funding black hole post-Brexit," the charity said.

It said it had supported more than 10,000 people through its employment programmes since 2011, including more than 2,700 in the past year alone.

Rebecca Keating, director of the Salvation Army’s Employment Plus services, said: "It is not clear if the funds that the UK government is proposing to replace ESF money will be ring-fenced to protect employment and training.

"While the government has announced its plans to create a UK Shared Prosperity fund post-Brexit, we have precious few details on what this will entail.

"Without clarity on what ESF programmes will look like after the funding ends in 2020, we are concerned for the future of these specialist programmes that so many have benefited from."

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