United Kingdom

Northern Ireland - ESF

Programme description

More and better skills is the main objective of Northern Ireland’s ESF programme which targets young people and the disadvantaged in particular.

The aim of the ESF operational programme in Northern Ireland is to combat poverty and enhance social inclusion by reducing economic inactivity. It will also increase the skills of those currently in work and future workers. Specific priorities with the programme include:

  • Enhancing job opportunities overall and in particular for disadvantaged groups such the long-term unemployed and the inactive. Some 40 000 people will receive support.
  • Young people who are currently not employed or in some form of education or training (NEETs) and those with disabilities will be a focus for counselling, training and career guidance initiatives. Around 25 000 NEETs will benefit.
  • Apprentice schemes will be boosted to raise skills levels. They will also be aligned with industry needs.

The outcome of the programme will be fewer young people with poor basic skills and reduced skills mismatch overall. In addition, around 42 000 people in work will be helped to acquire more skills but also more ‘relevant’ skills.

Programme text

Northern Ireland European Social Fund Programme 2014 – 2020




ESF: 210,578,341.00 €

Thematic priorities

TA - Technical Assistance

TO10 - Education and training

TO8 - Employment and labour market

TO9 - Social inclusion

Financial information

Total OP budget: 451,019,789.00 €

Total EU contribution: 210,578,341.00 €

Managing Authority

Department for Employment and Learning

1st Floor, Waterfront Plaza, 8 Laganbank Road

Belfast BT1 3LR

028 9025 7777


Head of unit

CCI number: 2014UK05SFOP004