Designing the Future Together


Under the banner "Designing The Future Together," Federal Minister of Labour Andrea Nahles and Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen launched the new 2014-2020 funding period of the European Social Fund. Both women praised the ESF as an important European instrument for the promotion of employment.

Federal Minister of Labour Andrea Nahles and Employment Commissioner Marianne Thyssen

Federal Minister of Labour, Andrea Nahles, and European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Marianne Thyssen, launched the new funding period of the European Social Fund (ESF) in Berlin today. Under the banner "Designing The Future Together", the new ESF funding period makes it clear that the ESF is investing in the future of the people in Europe.

Andrea Nahles, Federal Minister of Labour:

In Germany, we are primarily investing the ESF in getting disadvantaged persons into work and helping small and medium-sized enterprises to respond to demographic change and source skilled labour. The ESF offers skills development and promotes equal opportunities in the labour market. This is clearly reflected by the 26 programmes that will be funded between 2014 and 2020, which we hope will reach around 730,000 people.

The ESF strategy at federal level is aimed, in particular, at securing the skilled labour base, coping with demographic change in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and supporting certain individuals, such as disadvantaged young people, the long-term unemployed and people from a migrant background, in entering the labour market.

Marianne Thyssen, European Employment Commissioner:

The European Social Fund is an important European instrument for the promotion of employment and social policy in our member states. I am delighted that we will continue to work in partnership to create the best possible opportunities for education, professional qualifications and life-long learning, to help people in their search for good jobs and to promote social inclusion in Germany.

The European Commission has adopted the ESF Operational Programme for Germany (Federal ESF OP) with a financial volume of roughly €2.7 billion.

  • 38% of total funding will be dedicated to promoting social inclusion and combating poverty. Approximately 73,000 long-term unemployed, 150,000 migrants and 100,000 disadvantaged young people are due to be supported through these measures.
  • 33% of the funds will be invested in education, skills and life-long learning. Inter alia, this can support around 100,000 young people in entering employment.
  • One quarter of the available funds will promote sustainable and quality employment. These measures will support approximately 260,000 SMEs, 20,000 (inactive) women and 18,000 migrants.

The career start mentoring system for the transition to the labour market as defined in Section 49 of Book III of the Social Code is the most important programme for young people. Total funding of €1.05 billion (€530 million from the ESF) has been allocated for this programme for the period from March 2015 to 2022. The central goal is to integrate young people into in-company vocational training. Career start coaches working at the education providers tasked with implementing the measure by the Federal Employment Agency provide continuous and individual support to the young people during the transition from school through to the first six months of the in-company vocational training programme or, if the candidate is not successful in securing an in-company training position, the coaches provide support and mentoring in transition-related measures for up to two years after the individual has left school.

In the afternoon, Minister Nahles and EU Commissioner Thyssen visited the Siemens training centre in Berlin to see the results of the programme in practice.

Five federal ministries are involved in the German federal ESF OP with their own specific programmes:

  • Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs
  • Federal Ministry of Education and Research
  • Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy
  • Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth
  • Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety.

The ESF was created in 1957 and is part of European cohesion policy to support economic and social cohesion in Europe. The ESF promotes practice-oriented projects whose effects are felt directly in the local community. The topics and priorities of the ESF adapt to the current challenges in the labour market, but its core objective always remains the same: The ESF invests in the people of Europe.