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The ESF in Portugal

Portugal is deploying ESF funding to improve the skills of its workforce and create more job opportunities for all citizens. Social inclusion measures are helping boost employment and equality in Portugal’s regions including the Azores and Madeira.

Across Europe and in Portugal 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.

Boosting skills and jobs

Portugal is deploying ESF funding to tackle unemployment, and in particular joblessness among young people through the Youth Employment Initiative. Training for skills and qualifications is a main priority, as shown for example in the Reactivate project, and the overall aim is to raise the employment level to 75% of the working population by 2020. Projects are developing the entrepreneurial skills of managers and workers in some 22 000 SMEs, boosting their qualifications and competences. In Madeira and the Azores, training on how to run a business is underway to encourage much –needed entrepreneurship and micro-businesses on the islands.

Promoting inclusion

The ESF is investing in social inclusion measures across Portugal and its remote regions. Activities are aimed at building better access to social and health services in rural and island regions and for disadvantaged groups. Appropriate skills training is available to help the low-qualified and those at risk of social exclusion secure a job and enjoy better work opportunities. The ESF is supporting local development strategies and social enterprises as tools for employment and social cohesion, as shown in the Criactividade project in Vila Real. 

ESF investments are also supporting better education in Portugal, to ensure that skills and qualifications are aligned to the needs of the jobs market. In addition, measures are being taken to reduce the number of early school-leavers and ensure more children  obtain valuable qualifications at school. The ESF is also supporting projects that contribute to Portugal’s objective of 40% of its young people completing tertiary education.