Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

Funding instruments are based on Commission proposals (subject to changes).

Accessible through financial intermediaries

European programme/fund

Application process

Scope regarding skills

Expected volume for 2021-2027 (total budget of programme/fund)



  • Through the European Investment Bank Group, implementing partners and financial institutions located in Member States
  • Repayable finance including debt and equity finance.
  • Starting in 2021

The Social investment and skills window (SISW) will cover both the demand and supply side of skills. Support will target students and learners, SMEs and mid-caps as well as providers of training.

InvestEU: €26.2 billion
SISW: €2.8 billion
(EU Budget Guarantee)
EFSI 2 Skills and Education Guarantee Pilot
  • Through the European Investment Fund and financial intermediaries located in Member States
  • Debt finance instruments
  • 2021
The Skills and Education Pilot is a new debt financing initiative dedicated to stimulating investments in education, training and skills. Final beneficiaries include students and learners, SMEs, mid-caps and training providers.

€50 billion
(EU Budget Guarantee)


Accessible through national authorities

European programme/fund

Application process

Scope regarding skills

Expected volume for 2021-2027 (total budget of programme/fund)

Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF)

  • Grants and loans

  • Process closely linked with European Semester and each country’s recovery and resilience plan, which will be assessed by the Commission

  • From mid-2021 until 2026

Development of skills to support green and digital transition and resilience

€672.5 billion

REACT-EU (Recovery Assistance for Cohesion and the Territories of Europe)

  • Additional resources for the ESF/ERDF 2014-2020
  • Programming period from 2021 to 2023

Skills development and relevant infrastructure and equipment linked to fostering crisis repair in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and preparing a green, digital and resilient recovery of the economy.

€47.5 billion

European Social Fund Plus (ESF+ under shared management)

  • Grants

  • Programming period from 2021 to 2027

  • Modernising education and training systems.

  • Promoting equal access to quality and inclusive education and training.

  • Providing flexible upskilling and reskilling opportunities for all.

  • Anticipating new skills requirements based on labour market needs.

€87.3 billion

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) 

  • Grants

  • Programming period from 2021 to 2027

  • Infrastructure and equipment for education and training.

  • Development of skills supporting industrial transformation and smart specialisations.

€200.4 billion

Just Transition Fund (JTF)

  • Grants

  • 2021-2027


Development of skills focused on reskilling of workers in regions affected by economic and environmental transition

€17.5 billion

Digital Europe Programme


High-level digital skills

€6.761 billion

Erasmus+ (new MFF)

  • Through national authorities (mobility and strategic partnerships)
  • Through EC (dedicated calls)
  • Grants
  • Learning mobility of learners and staff (trainers, people responsible for upskilling in reskilling)
  • Strategic partnerships working on new and better solutions supporting upskilling and reskilling
  • Projects defining cooperation models with SMEs to support upskilling and reskilling
  • Blueprints for Sectoral Cooperation
  • Centres of Vocational Excellence

European agricultural fund for rural development (EAFRD)

  • Grants
  • Programming period from 2021 to 2027
  • Knowledge exchange and information in rural areas

€95.5 billion

Accessible through the European Commission

European programme/fund

Application process

Scope regarding skills

Expected volume for 2021-2027 (total budget of programme/fund)

ESF+ EaSI Strand 

  • Grants

  • 2021-2027

Support for innovative approaches in the field of upskilling and reskilling

€676 million

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF)

  • Grants

  • Applications through national authorities

  • At the earliest from mid-2021

Upskilling and reskilling of workers at risk of losing their job due to globalisation, as a result of a restructuring event at local level

a maximum annual amount of €186 million

European instrument for temporary Support to mitigate Unemployment Risks in an Emergency (SURE)

  • Loans

  • Already available from 2020

SURE exclusively supports national short-term work schemes (i.e. salary compensation for reduced working time). Where envisaged under STWS, SURE can provide also support to upskilling and reskilling measures for workers benefitting under the schemes. 

up to €100 billion

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