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European Social Fund (ESF)

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This page provides a brief overview of the EU Lifelong Learning Programme.
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The European Social Fund in Wales is used to support a number of projects aimed at raising skills and job prospects.

What is the European Social Fund (ESF)?

ESF aims to help people fulfil their potential by giving them better skills and better job prospects.

The ESF is a key part of the EU's strategy for Growth and jobs. It supports the EU's goal of increasing employment by giving unemployed and disadvantaged people the training and support they need to enter jobs. ESF also equips the workforce with the skills needed by business in a competitive global economy.

What do we want to achieve in Wales?

The overall aim of the ESF programmes in Wales is to create a high skill, knowledge driven economy, with full employment, a skilled, adaptable workforce and responsive businesses, at the cutting edge of sustainable development.

How is DfES involved?

DfES is the lead Welsh Government policy department for 6 of the 7 ESF Strategic Frameworks. It is also the lead sponsor for a number of strategic ESF projects representing a significant proportion of the ESF funding available across the Programmes.  

What are Strategic Frameworks?

Strategic Frameworks set out the types of strategically linked interventions that will best deliver on the priorities and themes of the Operational Programme, the Programme document for 2007 – 2013.

What types of projects do DfES lead on?

Projects range between Apprenticeships schemes which enable young people to access high quality skills training to develop valuable employment related skills, right through to schemes for people who have been made redundant or are under notice of redundancy.

Want to know more?

Details of the Strategic Frameworks and these projects can be accessed by clicking on the on the left hand side of this page.

If you would like to know more about ESF and other Structural Funds in Wales, visit the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) website. The Welsh European Funding Office is part of the Welsh Government and manages the delivery of the EU Structural Funds programmes in Wales.