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The ESF in Denmark

Across Europe and in Denmark 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.

The overall objective of ESF activities in Denmark is to contribute to economic growth, and encourage entrepreneurship and job creation.

With a strong regional approach, the aim is to maximise the particular growth potential of each region. Tailored to the specific needs of the five Danish regions, the principal focus of ESF efforts is to support entrepreneurial activities, including start-ups, and job creation.

Both unemployment and the relatively low growth rate are related to the lack of sufficient entrepreneurial activity. To improve the environment and conditions for both businesses and jobseekers, the ESF funds a number of projects. For example, Innovative Globalisation Agent is collaborating with local businesses to ensure access to a qualified workforce through tailored training programmes.

Ensuring a qualified workforce is another key priority in Denmark. Higher education and especially vocational training play a significant role in this. Since experience shows that people with a vocational education are much more likely to be in employment throughout their lives compared to those with low or no skills, a large share of the ESF investment is devoted to increasing the number of participants in vocational training. The ESF co-funded project NT at your service, helping jobseekers back into employment as bus drivers, is just one example.

Another focus is on projects helping to build the competences of younger people and reduce the number of early school-leavers; an example of this is the YouthTurn project.

Supporting social inclusion is an essential part of the ESF programme. Some 20% of the budget is earmarked for initiatives that help the most vulnerable who are living in low-income households to access the labour market.