European Social Fund Plus (ESF+)

The European Social Fund Plus (ESF+) integrates the former European Social Fund (ESF), the Youth Em-ployment Initiative (YEI), the Fund for European Aid to the Most Deprived (FEAD) and the EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI).

Finland’s objectives

​​​​ESF+ funding is allocated to development projects in support of employment, competence and inclusion. There are a total of five specific objectives:

Pathways to employment: The objective is to support employment in the open labour market and to utilise various forms of employment in cooperation with companies and other employers. The aim is to improve employment by promoting the diversity of work communities and occupational and regional mobility, and by alleviating occupational segregation. The development of multidisciplinary and multi-professional service models will ensure, among other things, uninterrupted service paths and comprehensive consideration of the customers’ service needs.

New competence to working life: Supporting continuous learning will enable flexible educational paths for everyone, with special consideration given to underrepresented groups in education, by, among other things, making use of new operating practices and digitalisation. The development of multidisciplinary and multi-professional services will improve reconciliation and access to training and strengthen the capabilities of experts to meet the needs of a diversifying clientele. Improving competence related to the development of working life will promote productivity and wellbeing at work.

Equitable inclusion: The integration of those in the weakest position in the labour market into society, education and the labour market will also improve their inclusion and prevent exclusion. Operations centred around civil society actors and communal services will improve wellbeing and reduce loneliness. In order to develop the service provision, wide-ranging and timely forms of networking will be established, and partnerships will be developed. Competence in gender equality and non-discrimination in various services will be developed.

Safety nets for the future of young people: The timeliness and effectiveness of the services offered to young people will be promoted through the development of the content of child welfare open care, fos-ter care and aftercare services. The measures will support the life situation and coping of the children and young people who are clients of child welfare services, especially those who are placed outside their home. Cooperation between different actors and the development of structures seek to bring about social innovations for disseminating and establishing the approaches developed.

Resources for life: Those in the most vulnerable position will be supported by means of food and basic commodities. At the same time, the guidance, counselling and support services provided to them will facilitate their access to other services and the employment path. By taking individual needs into account, the aim is to help the beneficiaries in a holistic way.

The EU funding received by Finland from the ESF+ fund is approximately EUR 602 million. When national public funding also is included, a total of about EUR 1 billion will be available for projects.  
The ESF+ Regulation (EU) 2021/1057