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The ESF in Sweden

Sweden is deploying ESF funding to get more of its people into the workforce by helping them acquire new skills and better access to training and job opportunities. These efforts include initiatives to ensure local problems are matched by local solutions.

Across Europe and in Sweden 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.

More skills for more workers

Sweden is dedicating a major part of ESF funding to boosting the labour force, in particular helping young people and those with a migrant background, especially women. Projects across the country are providing tailored pathways into working life for people who face particular obstacles, such as low qualifications or disabilities. These pathways involve a range of measures, such as individual coaching and training in new skills – an example is the Northern Lights project for disadvantaged jobseekers. For young people, there is additional support from the Youth Employment Initiative in certain regions. In addition, the ESF is supporting employers and older workers, enabling the latter to stay in work for longer – for example by adapting working practices or updating skills.

Sweden’s ESF programme also has regional action plans to ensure that solutions correspond to local and regional needs, for example with local projects for the long-term unemployed or responses to changes in local industries. Furthermore, for better results these regional activities take place in concert with European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) measures. A particular focus is to bring young Swedes with a migrant background into the workforce and to avoid marginalisation through activities like the Young Future project.

Updating education and training

In the field of education, ESF investments are improving the relevance of training systems, ensuring that people have the right skills to guide them into working life. There is also support for combining work and training, and for apprenticeships. All workers and jobseekers are being encouraged to take up lifelong learning opportunities to make sure their skills and competences are up to date.