This page is here for archive purposes, to showcase CFO and European Social Fund (ESF) achievements between 2009 - 2015. For information on the latest ESF funded National Offender Management Service (NOMS) programme, please click here

About the NOMS Co-financing Organisation

Projects aimed at improving employability are seen as key to changing offender's lives and reducing reoffending. Since January 2010, the NOMS European Social Fund (ESF) Co-financing programme has been working with participants who would benefit from additional employment and skills provision.

The NOMS ESF Programme aims to complement existing provision, particulary the Offender Learning and Skills Service (OLASS) in prisons as well as other existing employment and skills services.

Social Enterprise

NOMS first began developing engagement with the social enterprise (SE) sector in 2008 and in April 2009 appointed its first Social Enterprise 'Champion' funded through ESF Technical Assistance. The current programme is valued at around £4m and runs untill the end of 2014.


Activity is in three broad strands:

  • Action Research - an extensive programme of pilots exploring new delivery methodologies and sustainable funding models.
  • Infrastructure Development - work with sector bodies and others to create and promote a vibrant and diverse market place.
  • Regional and Pathway Investment - specific budget for a SE Investment Zone in the south West and other activity focused on housing, diversity and other resettlement pathways.

For Social Enterprise enquires please email: [email protected]


Key Elements

Key elements of the programme have included:

  • Commission of a research and mapping report from Concillium (a SE) in conjunction with the SE Coalition.
  • 7 Phase 1 pilots.
  • 9 Seeing is believing events.
  • £600k committed so far in phase 2 to fund 22 pilots and SE business development models.
  • Regional engagement events programme in conjunction with SE Networks.
  • Prime Provider SE sub group established.
  • Cross Government Policy group established.
  • NOMS group membership of Social Firms UK.
  • Exchange scheme established allowing senior civil servants, CFO staff and prime provider staff opportunity to spend time within an SE.
  • £1.5m procurement exercise resulting in 15 emerging consortia being funded to increase diversity in the market place
  • Alignment with public service reform agenda and asset transfer programme.

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