Netherlands - ESF

Programme description

The Dutch national Operational Programme for the implementation of the ESF in the period 2014-2020 outlines the priorities and objectives to spend over 1 billion euros (of which over 500 million from the EU budget) contributing to strengthening economic growth and jobs in all Dutch regions.

The total ESF allocation will be distributed among the following three priorities:

  • Inclusion through education and employment: over 70 % of the total budget (€720 million) will be invested to integrate excluded groups into the labour market. Labour integration pathways, (re)-training, and individual coaching will be the most prominent tools used by the Dutch municipalities, who are best placed to develop tailor-made solutions.
  • Sustainable and quality employment: €200 million will be invested to help counter an expected shortage of labour, supporting measures for active and healthy ageing of the workforce as well as the (re)organisation of work environments and working conditions in order to keep people longer in employment;
  • Special support for the four largest cities in the Netherlands: In Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague, €50 million will be available for creating local employment initiatives with the aim of bringing together labour demand and labour supply and thereby addressing the existing mismatch in these areas.

The character of the 2014 -2020 ESF Programme drastically changed in comparison to the 2007- 2013 period. While previously over 50% of the ESF allocation supported the training and qualification of workers already in employment, in 2014-2020 the ESF focuses on the lower end of the labour market, investing 71% of the allocation to social inclusion measures to help those at the margins of the labour market to find a job.

Another novelty is the integrated approach with the European Regional Development Fund in areas with special needs in the four largest cities in the Netherlands.

Programme text

Operationeel programma ESF 2014-2020




ESF: 510,282,703.00 €

Thematic priorities

TA - Technical Assistance

TO8 - Employment and labour market

TO9 - Social inclusion

Financial information

Total OP budget: 1,030,771,060.00 €

Total EU contribution: 510,282,703.00 €

Managing Authority

Agentschap SZW

Wilhelmina van Pruisenweg 52

NL-2595 AN Den Haag

(31-70) 315 20 00

Head of unit

CCI number: 2014NL05SFOP001