This brochure describes how the European Social Fund (ESF) supports people who may otherwise not get the opportunity to attend training, obtain qualifications and get good jobs. Due to its size and scope, the Fund has a big influence on the labour market and society at large. In some countries, around 90% of the actual expenditure for labour market measures comes from the ESF. The Fund is the EU’s main tool for meeting its targets for increasing employment, reducing poverty and improving educational achievement across the Union. The publication explains how the ESF works, and presents results obtained so far from the 2007-2013 funding period and some true-life examples of how it has helped some of the millions of people it supports every year.