Better education and training opportunities for young people, workers and job- seekers is the focus of ESF activities in Latvia. As the economy shifts to more hi-tech sectors, it is vital that people acquire the improved skills they need to benefit from growth. The ESF is also helping disadvantaged groups find jobs to avoid long-term unemployment and raise living standards.
The ESF is improving access to high-quality education and vocational training for all Latvians. New lifelong learning projects are attracting workers on to job-related courses to learn new skills, while the ESF is also upgrading graduate and postgraduate education – particularly in the sciences. These activities are modernising the education system and boosting its contribution to creating sustainable jobs and careers. As part of this, over 22 000 teachers have already trained to increase the quality of their teaching and the skills they can transfer to young people.
Companies are also using ESF funding, to provide apprenticeships and work placements for up to 14 000 young people. Young parents can take these opportunities, too, thanks to increased childcare provision. And the ESF is promoting entrepreneurship, self-employment and business start-ups with management training and access to small business loans for both city dwellers and those from rural communities.
ESF projects are helping more people join the workforce and find jobs that suit them. People with disabilities who need extra support at work, the long-term unemployed who need more encouragement, older workers who need new skills – these groups often face obstacles to getting a job, and the ESF is supporting them. Training and retraining, more flexible working practices, and personal guidance through the job application process – these are just some examples of the support available. So far, some 97 000 job-seekers and disadvantaged people have been helped to get the support and skills to improve their job prospects.
As part of this effort, the ESF is supporting the modernisation of public administration at national and regional levels to ensure those seeking work or training receive the highest quality of service possible.