Entrepreneurship and skills, Åland Structural Fund Programme 2014-2020


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Programme description

Finland’s autonomous region of Åland is investing ESF funds in education, job skills and social inclusion to boost youth employment, equality and economic diversity.

The autonomous region of Åland in Finland will use its multi-fund operational programme (OP) for 2014-2020 to help workers learn new skills and competencies for a more diverse, modern economy, and to increase employment, productivity and innovation. Efforts will focus on young people, in line with Europe 2020 recommendations for Finland. Building on the themes of its previous OP, the region will develop education and social integration measures that complement its employment goals.

Funded by the ESF and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the OP is worth EUR 10 million.

Regarding the ESF, its priorities are as follows:

  • Over half of the available funds will be used to boost education, vocational training and job-related skills. Young people are a key target for this investment, although measures will also promote lifelong learning. Education and training will be geared to equipping young people and other jobseekers for the needs of the labour market.
  • Unemployment will be reduced by helping jobseekers to find sustainable, good-quality employment and by improving labour mobility. Using 30% of available funds, this priority will include specific measures to help inactive people, including migrants, overcome barriers to work.
  • The remaining one-fifth of the budget will be invested in promoting social inclusion, reducing poverty and combating unfair discrimination. People with disabilities or who can only work part-time will receive support to find work that allows them to participate in the labour market.

ERDF priorities:

  • Priority axis one will concentrate on improving the research and innovation activities and competitiveness of SMEs. The aim is to diversify business structure and increase the number of innovative companies. Åland will invest in research and innovation via a new financial instrument that receives about 65% of the ERDF allocation. With the investments Åland will basically lay foundations and create new opportunities for the research and innovation activities in enterprises. 
  • The programme will help cooperation between research institutions and SMEs. Some 70 enterprises will be supported to enhance their competitiveness and to diversify the economic structure of Åland. These investments provide a unique opportunity in Åland to start to create and improve the research and innovation competencies of enterprises which at the moment are in very early phases of development.
Expected impact

The programme is expected to help more people find sustainable work in the region, in particular young people and jobseekers. People at risk of exclusion, such as migrants or the disabled, will also be able to participate more actively in the labour market, improving social equality.

Programme text

Ålands strukturfondsprogram, Entreprenörskap och kompetens 2014-2020


  • Finland
    • ÅLAND (NUTS 1)
    • ÅLAND


  • Regional Development Fund (ERDF): 2,685,719.00 €
  • European Social Fund (ESF): 3,065,144.00 €

Thematic priorities

Financial information

Total OP budget: 10,775,363.00 €

Total EU contribution: 5,750,863.00 €

View the data

CCI number: 2014FI05M2OP001