The EU Structural Funds and the employment system
The EU Structural Funds is an investment tool for national business development. As of 2019, the Danish Executive Board for Business Development and Growth is responsible for the distribution of the funds.
The Danish Business Authority (Erhvervsstyrelsen) is the Managing Authority for both The European Regional Development Fund (ERD) and the European Social Fund (ESF).
The Regional and Social funds contribute DKK 440 million per year in the period 2014-2020. The Danish Executive Board for Business Development and Growth distribute these funds and ensures that that the decentralized business initiatives are coherent across different sectors - state and municipalities.
The Danish Executive Board for Business Development and Growth (Danmarks Erhvervsfremmebestyrelse) are composed of politicians from the municipal and regional level, representatives of the business community, knowledge and educational institutions and social partners in the labour market.
The funds are allocated in order to support growth and employment across Denmark, e.g. through innovation, entrepreneurship, green growth initiatives, education and job creation. The title of the Danish Programme for the European Social Fund in 2014–2020 is Growth via Education, Training and Entrepreneurship. The objectives of the programme are to:
- Increase the number of self-employed and their survival rate
- Increase employment in ESF-supported enterprises
- Increase transnational labour mobility
- Increase the employment rate of individuals on the margins of the labour market
- Increase the number of individuals with vocational training
- Increase the number of adults with vocational training or tertiary education.
One example of a project supported by the European Social Fund in 2019-2022 is ‘Skilled with Advantage’. The goal of the project is to increase the number of participants in the branches of vocational education (instruction designed to prepare people for skilled professions), that have good opportunities for apprenticeships, and where labour shortages are beginning to emerge.
In 2014-2020, the European Social Fund also supports EURES that works to increase mobility within the labour market - supporting a more efficient match between jobseekers and employers in Europe.