What is the European Social Fund?
The European Social Fund (ESF) was created by the European Commission (EC) and is part of the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme for England. It aims to help people who are struggling to find work or who are at risk of poverty, to increase their employment and education opportunities.
Alongside this, it also aims to improve the skills of workforces, increasing sustainable economic and social inclusion within the European Union. In each country, the Managing Authority will deliver the programme’s priorities. In England, the Department for Work and Pensions prioritises the increase in labour market participation, promotion of social inclusion and the development of skills for the potential and existing workforces.
To take part in a European Social Fund project you must be any of the following:
- Currently out of work or unavailable for work (such as suffering from illness, working less than 16 hours per week, or have family / caring responsibilities)
- A young person aged 16 to 24 who is not in education, employment or training
- Family with anyone who is 16 or over and who is not in education, employment or training
- Out of work and have a disability
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