The EU Structural Funds and the employment system
The EU Structural Funds is an investment tool for national business development. In Denmark, the employment sector is supported through funds distributed via six Regional Growth Fora.
In Denmark, The European Regional Development Fund and the European Social Fund are managed by the Danish Business Authority (Erhvervsstyrelsen).
The Regional and Social funds contribute DKK 440 million per year in the period 2014-2020. These funds are primarily distributed via six Regional Growth Fora, which are the focal point of business development in the regions. The Growth Fora are composed of regional politicians and representatives of the business community, knowledge and educational institutions and social partners in the labour market. A representative from each Growth Forum is an associated member in each of the eight Regional Labour Market Councils.
This funding is implemented in order to support growth and employment across Denmark, e.g. through innovation, entrepreneurship, green growth initiatives, education and job creation. The funding is not utilised within the employment sector; there is however a focus on employment in the projects that are supported through the funding.
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 Social Fund in 2013-2015 is ‘From unskilled to skilled – in no time’. The project is a major education initiative which aims to decrease unemployment among unskilled workers and to address a future shortage of skilled labour.
In the 2014-2020 programme the Social Fund supports EURES which works to increase mobility within the labour market.