Belgium is using ESF funding to improve skills and social cohesion. The regions are cooperating to boost skills and job opportunities while social inclusion measures are under way at both cross-regional and local level as needed.
Across Europe and in Belgium the ESF is supporting the labour market, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer living standards and more employment opportunities for all EU citizens. It is doing this by investing in Europe’s human capital – its workers, its young people, disadvantaged groups and all those seeking a job. Tens of thousands of ESF projects are active in Europe’s cities, towns, rural communities and neighbourhoods. They are opening doors to better skills, work, qualifications and a more inclusive society for all Europeans.
The Belgian regions are investing ESF funding to develop workforce skills and bring more people into the labour market. To do this, they are investing in all levels of education and training and improving access to jobs for the more vulnerable social groups, such as the long-term unemployed and young jobseekers.
Initiatives are giving more personal guidance to younger and older workers and jobseekers – helping them build up the skills and qualifications needed to get a first job or upgrade their current skills. An initiative is also underway for young jobseekers and those with an immigrant background to join the workforce, for example through the training projects running in the Brussels region. These efforts are receiving support from the Youth Employment Initiative.
Belgium is investing in reinforcing social inclusion and reducing the number of children at risk of poverty. ESF funding is supporting these efforts, for example through projects to help parents find work and stimulate the social economy, such as La Ferme which boosts social reintegration among disadvantaged people. The Flanders region is also implementing specific measures for Roma that offer pathways towards work and better social integration. The Walloon and Brussels region are focusing on the fight against discrimination in access to jobs and the workplace.
In the field of education, Belgium’s regions are investing ESF funds in reducing the number of early school-leavers and instilling a culture of lifelong learning. These efforts are focused on the locations and target groups where the problem is greatest. The ESF is also helping to make the skills and qualifications attained through education and training more relevant to work settings, thus helping young people make the transition into a job more easily.