The ESF in Denmark is spreading the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation among all social groups. By investing in people and their education and skills, the ESF is helping sustain the success of Denmark’s open economy. And providing pathways to work for disadvantaged job-seekers is a key priority in the push to raise employment and boost social integration.
By offering opportunities for training and new skills, Denmark is developing the highly skilled workforce it needs for the future. ESF training projects are enhancing the abilities of SME managers to take their companies’ forward, and reinforcing the innovative capacity of researchers. And with ESF help, workers are getting the modern technical and creative skills to create new products and services. An example is a programme offering external technical expertise to SMEs to implement new, innovative business procedures or gain skills in IT-based production systems.
Education institutions are working with businesses to boost skills, including IT skills that can help companies increase productivity. Together, they are also fostering lifelong learning among workers – helping keep their skills up to date and improving their employability.
As Denmark’s population ages, the ESF is helping bring more job-seekers into the workforce by removing the obstacles that many face: such as older workers who need new skills, immigrants who need language skills, and parents who want help with childcare responsibilities so they can return to work. In the Hold Fast project, young people are helped to stay at school and get qualifications – encouraged by mentoring and summer schools. ESF projects are working with employers to encourage more flexible working practices for parents, while others are helping adapt workplaces for people with disabilities.
Entrepreneurship and innovative start-up companies are being supported in many ways: for example, through access to business consulting services and business networks. And the Entrepreneurship in Denmark initiative is using ESF funding to help immigrants set up their own businesses – with access to finance and training – and guides them through the first years.