ESF - A Funding Instrument to Support People in Europe
The European Social Fund was created in 1957 with the establishment of the European Economic Community. Since then, it has been creating jobs, supporting people by providing training and qualification, and contributing to reducing discrimination in the labour market. The European Union wants all people to have career prospects. Each Member State and each region is developing its own strategy for this in the form of an operational programme. This is the best way to take local requirements into account.
The European Social Fund is the European Union's central funding instrument in the area of labour market policy. It contributes to the development of employment by promoting employability, entrepreneurship, adaptability, and equal opportunities, as well as by investing in human resources.
The Federal Government's Operational Programme (OP-Bund
) pools the BMBF's funding activities in priority B, which focuses on improving human capital, and priority C, which focuses on employment and social integration. The BMBF's activities in this area tie in with national policies.
The BMBF has about 380 million euros from the ESF at its disposal for the 2007-2013 funding period. Together with national funds (co-financing) the total budget is approximately 700 million euros.
The newest ESF Film "Arrived" tells the story of Besa, Toussaint and Abu. These three young immigrants still had to fight for recognition many years after first arriving in Germany. It was only with the help of the ESF-funded project management organization "Door to Door" in Augsburg that they finally truly "Arrived." The project "Augsburger Netzwerk für Beratung und Arbeitsmarktvermittlung für Flüchtlinge" (BAFV) helped them find their place in the German working world. You can find the film (in German only) on the ESF "Meine Geschichte" website
The following BMBF funding programmes are financed in part through the ESF:
The all-day school programme is one of the largest federal and state initiatives in the area of education. The Federal Government supports the sustainable structuring of all-day schools through the programme "More ideas! All-day learning," the regional service agencies "All-Day Learning" in the individual Länder, and the concurrent research project "Study on the Development of All-Day Schools" (StEG), in which all 16 Länder participate. The Federal Government has supported the Länder in their development and expansion of over 8,200 all-day schooling through the investment programme "The Future of Education and Care" (IZBB) from 2003 to 2009. In the meantime, 51.1 per cent of the country's general schools at the primary and lower secondary levels offer all-day school programmes.
The Federal Ministry of Education and Research has been supporting the development of Germany's training structure through its JOBSTARTER programme since 2006. Over 280 innovative projects are being funded. All these projects are helping to create additional traineeships and are offering various measures to support companies which either have no previous experience with training or which have grown weary of providing training. The JOBSTARTER projects have secured around 62,600 training positions to date, 43,400 of which have already been suitably filled (January 2013).