Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

European Social Fund Plus (ESF+)

European Social Fund Plus (ESF+)

Why is it relevant to tourism?

The ESF+ is a key financial instrument in implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights, supporting jobs and skills, and creating a fair and socially inclusive society. It provides much-needed resources to EU countries for the recovery of our societies and economies after the coronavirus crisis. The ESF+ is relevant in the following 2 ways.

Furthering support youth employment
The tourism ecosystem is characterised by a higher share of young people employed compared to the overall economy. Young people on or entering the labour market have been disproportionately hit by the crisis. EU countries with high numbers of people aged 15-29 not in employment, education or training should invest at least 12.5% of their ESF+ resources in this key area. All other EU countries must allocate an appropriate amount of their ESF+ resources to targeted actions to support youth employment measures.

Accompanying the green and digital transitions 
The ESF+ makes a strong contribution to the green and digital transitions by driving investment in jobs and skilling opportunities so that workers can thrive in a climate-neutral, more digital and inclusive society.

Details of the programme

The ESF Plus has a total budget of €88 billion. It invests in people, creating and protecting job opportunities, promoting social inclusion, fighting poverty and developing the skills needed for the digital and green transition. It also includes a more ambitious requirement for investing in young people and addressing child poverty, as proposed by the Commission.

Additional information and how to apply

Example(s) of supported projects

Project Title: Duaal Traject Grootkeuken & Catering / Dual learning industrial kitchen and catering

Description: The project fits into a larger framework of an experiment in dual learning development and could be implemented in various sectors. The main goal is to professionalise the hotel, restaurant and catering sector and to strengthen cooperation between education and the hospitality sector

EU contribution: €60,000

Level of EU funding: 38%

Link to project: Duaal leren | Hotelschool Hasselt (NL)

Project Title: Hospitality Table Cornwall

Description: The project helps the beneficiary – Truro and Penwith College – collaborate with local employers to develop and deliver learning and career opportunities; tailored courses, apprenticeships and work placements. Many of the clients for these courses are local businesses operating in the tourism sector who wish to upskill their staff.

EU contribution: €582,172

Level of EU funding: 83%

Link to project: Hospitality Table Cornwall

Both examples are from the Study on the contribution of tourism to local and regional development - Publications Office of the EU (

Database of examples

ESF Projects