What is the ESF?
The ESF is one of two Structural Funds used by the European Union (EU) as a means of reducing the differences in living standards between the people and regions of the EU. Established by the Treaty of Rome in 1956, it is the longest established Structural Fund. The other Structural Fund is the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) which concentrates on promoting economic and social cohesion within the European Union through the reduction of imbalances between regions or social groups through infrastructural investments. Investments under the ERDF in Ireland for the 2007-2013 period are being delivered through Operational Programmes managed by the Southern and Northern and Western Regional Assemblies.
The ESF is the primary financial instrument for improving employment opportunities for people throughout the Union. The ESF channels money into helping Member States meet the goals they have agreed for educating and training people throughout Europe through the Europe 2020 strategy. Its mission is to help prevent and fight unemployment, to make Europe's workforce and companies better equipped to face new challenges and to prevent people losing touch with the labour market.
How does it work?
ESF Operational Programmes are planned by Member States, together with the European Commission, and then implemented through a wide range of provider organisations both in the public and the private sectors. These include national, regional and local authorities, educational and training organisations, voluntary organisations and the Social Partners (i.e. trade unions and works councils, industry and professional organisations) and individual companies.
For the period 2014-2020, ESF investments within Ireland will be delivered through the PEIL. Within this programme, the ESF provides funding for certain Social Inclusion and Active Labour Market Measures which support its overall objectives.
To view the PEIL 2014-2020 click on the image below