The European Social Fund (ESF) focuses on improving employment opportunities, promoting social inclusion and investing in skills by providing help people need to fulfil their potential. 

Our ESF allocation is €59.4 million and is split across the following priorities: 

young people at computer

Priority Axis 1: Inclusive Labour Markets

This priority axis aims to increase participation in the labour market and thereby improve social inclusion and mobility. It will support the following investment priorities:

  • Priority Investment 1.1: Access to employment for jobseekers and inactive people
  • Priority Investment 1.2: Sustainable integration of young people
  • Priority Investment 1.3: Youth employment initiative
  • Priority Investment 1.4: Active inclusion
  • Priority Investment 1.5: Community-led local development 

Please note that following consultation at the beginning of the Programme Leicester and Leicestershire opted out of Priority Investment 1.5

Women at jobs fair

Priority Axis 2: Skills for Growth

This priority axis aims to support skills for growth. It will support the following investment priorities:

  • Priority Investment 2.1 Enhancing equal access to lifelong learning
  • Priority Investment 2.2: Improving the labour market relevance of education and training systems

Within these Investment Priorities there are several different investment priorities. For further information go to ESF Operational Programme (2014-20) Guidance