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The ESF in Ireland

Ireland is using ESF funding to boost its economy by creating sustainable growth, and quality and lasting jobs.

Across Europe and in Ireland the ESF is supporting jobs, helping people get better jobs and ensuring fairer living standards and job 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 skills, to work, to qualifications and to a more inclusive society for all Europeans

On track for jobs

The country has adopted twin strategies to prioritise sustainable growth, quality jobs and labour mobility, and to tackle unemployment. The Action Plan for Jobs promotes job creation, while Pathways to Work includes measures to help the long-term and young unemployed into work. ESF projects are improving the skills of the unemployed, particularly those who have been without work or economically inactive for a long time. Priority is given to ensuring young people get the right skills to better integrate them into education, training or the workplace.

Equal opportunities

Ireland has allocated €194 million of ESF funding to reduce poverty, social exclusion and discrimination by improving employability and promoting equal opportunities. Young people at risk of social exclusion and those from marginalised communities are getting help to move into the job market, as part of the Youth Guarantee. Initiatives include the MADE – making a difference everywhere project in Wexford which is improving the literacy and life skills of homeless men, and Westmeath’s Personal Employment Pathway programme helping people with disabilities to prepare for and find work.

Education upgrade

Measures are continuing to reduce the number of early school-leavers and improve literacy and numeracy among pupils. Two new competitive funding streams in higher education aim to enhance the quality of, and access to tertiary education, while second-chance education and training opportunities are boosting the skills of both jobseekers and those in work to meet changing labour market demands. All age groups have greater access to lifelong learning – such as the ESF-supported Momentum training scheme which is creating education and training opportunities to help jobseekers upgrade their knowledge, skills and competences.