The ESF is offering Lithuanians the possibility to take an active part in economic growth and have equal opportunities to do so. There are training opportunities for the more vulnerable groups of job-seekers to help improve their job prospects. At the same time, workers and young people are upgrading their skills so they can benefit from a more hi-tech and outward-looking economy.
Young people are being helped with work placements to help them build valuable work experience – in one successful project with 6 000 participants over 80% were still employed after six months. The ESF is also encouraging entrepreneurship with over EUR 14 million of funding for training and loans to help both young and older job-seekers to take up self-employment or start their own companies – over 3 000 prospective entrepreneurs have benefited so far. Lithuania is also investing more in R&D and is training more science and technology professionals – thus opening up new opportunities for young graduates and encouraging them to stay in the country and take up highly skilled jobs and careers.
Across Lithuania, ESF projects are helping people from vulnerable groups to get the skills that give them better chances to find a job and avoid the trap of long-term unemployment. So far, over 200 000 people have taken part in these training initiatives, including the unemployed, women, young people and older workers. An example is the e-Citizen project which helped 50 000 people, including from the older generation and those living in rural areas, to get the basic computer skills they need to take advantage of e-government services, to interact with the online community, and to improve their chances of finding a job. And with ESF support, a training voucher scheme is on offer which enables job-seekers to pick the type of vocational training that gives them the skills and job opportunities to suit their own career aspirations.