UK Shared Prosperity Fund to boost skills

We are announcing that we will deliver a new skills programme through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to replace the ineffective and bureaucratic European Social Fund.

We want to ensure that we are not just tackling inequality between communities through investments in infrastructure and business but that we are also empowering individuals to give them the skills they need to succeed.


That is why we will use the opportunity of Brexit to replace the ineffective and bureaucratic European Social Funds with a tailored, individual-centred skills programme through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund.


Only Boris Johnson and the Conservatives will get Brexit done, take back control of our money from the EU and invest it into helping disadvantaged people to turn their life around.


Several groups still face economic disadvantage in the United Kingdom.

There are still too many young people aged 16 to 24 in the UK who were not in education, employment or training (NEET). 40 per cent of all people of working age with a disability are also inactive. The unemployment rate for people from a BAME background is higher than from a white background.

After Brexit we will have the opportunity to replace the bureaucratic EU Structural Funds with an alternative that better suits the United Kingdom.

EU Structural Funds are not tailored to our economy, they follow a one-size-fits-all approach and are allocated on a regional rather than a local basis. The majority of the UK are net contributors to EU Structural Funds; after Brexit we want to ensure that more parts of our country benefit from transformative funding. Our new fund will be better able to address the individual barriers people face, regardless of where they live in the UK.

That is why we announced the UK Shared Prosperity Fund in the 2017 Conservative Manifesto.

‘As we leave the European Union, we must look at how we can better reduce and eliminate these inequalities. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be less bureaucratic and wasteful and targeted where it is needed most.’

Our solution

Introducing the UK Shared Prosperity Fund from April 2021.

We will introduce the UK Shared Prosperity Fund when EU Structural Funds start to taper off from 2020-21. This will be our replacement for the bureaucratic EU system – it will ensure this funding continues to be spent on skills, but will be simpler to access and targeted at those who need it most to ensure that it works for this country.

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund will be designed to make sure that it helps the most vulnerable.

Targeted support will mean that disadvantaged individuals, such as a young person struggling with their mental health or an ex-offender released into the community, can have access to services that fill gaps in normal statutory provision to help them into work. This funding will allow organisations such as charities and other third-party bodies to deliver a wide range of support for people across the UK. This will be delivered on in conjunction and on top of existing skills programmes.

Conservative record

Guaranteeing structural funding for current projects.

In July 2018, we guaranteed all funding through EU programmes into the 2020s, so that recipients have certainty as we leave the EU.

We have helped on average over 1,000 people into work every day since 2010 – meaning 3,700,000 more people have the security of a regular pay packet.

In the three months to April 2010, there were 29.05 million people in employment. In the three months to September 2019 there were 32.8 million people in work.

Investing £3.6 billion in 100 Town Deals to level up opportunity throughout England.

This will see communities, business and local partners draw up ambitious plans for their community to receive up to £25 million of government investment. This will focus on town renewal, transport, broadband and skills to increase economic opportunity and prosperity.

Delivering over 3.8 million apprenticeship starts since 2010, giving people the skills, they need for the workplace.

We created 2.4 million apprenticeships in the last Parliament – surpassing our target of 2 million apprenticeships by 2015. Since 2015 there have been almost 1.4 million apprenticeship starts.

Creating a £500 million Youth Investment Fund, to support young people across the whole of the UK.

This investment will help build 60 new youth centres across the country, refurbish around 360 existing youth facilities, and provide over 100 mobile facilities for harder to reach areas. It will also support investment in the youth workforce.

Investing £400 million in education for 16-19-year-olds to ensure they get the skills they need.

This is the single biggest annual increase for the sector since 2010, and will go towards improving access to courses, delivering expensive subjects such an engineering and recruiting and retaining the best staff for T Levels and FE.

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