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The ESF in Estonia

Estonia is using ESF funding to reform its education system and improve study materials and career advice to cut the number of early school-leavers. It is also upgrading jobseekers’ skills through learning, retraining and rehabilitation opportunities, and creating better healthcare, childcare, welfare and social services.

Across Europe and in Estonia 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.

Getting people into jobs

ESF-funded initiatives address the challenges that come with a decline in the working-age population. Tapping into region-specific resources and know-how is helping to generate jobs, particularly in areas of low employment outside the main urban centres. New labour market measures are helping both young and old people and the long-term unemployed to find jobs. The ESF is also helping to improve professional skills among disadvantaged groups and the low-skilled, and responds to youth unemployment via the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).

An inclusive society

The ESF is working to improve the quality and availability of health, welfare and social services, such as affordable childcare and care services for the elderly and people with disabilities. The aim is to reduce the numbers claiming incapacity for work by helping them find suitable jobs through education, retraining or rehabilitation services. The overall goal is to make Estonia more socially inclusive, to encourage greater participation in the labour market, especially among disadvantaged groups and young people, and to tackle inequality and poverty.

Going for higher grades

ESF funding is helping Estonia to adapt its education system to better match changing social and labour market demands. There is greater emphasis on reducing the numbers of early school-leavers and developing better career and support services. Further investment in schools aims to improve the quality of education by raising the skills and competences of teachers, principals and youth workers, and upgrading study materials. Modernisation of teacher-training competence centres and better access to career services seek to raise education standards and increase the take-up of vocational training. For example, the Estonian Unemployment Insurance Fund is now offering free counselling to jobseekers of all ages.