Celebrating 60 years of the European Social Fund (ESF).

May 9th, 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the European Social Fund.  Within the EU, the ESF is the main tool for investing in people and strengthening social and economic cohesion by:

* Improving employment and job opportunities

* Investing in education and training

* Reinforcing the social inclusion of disadvantaged people in the EU.

* Enhancing efficient public administration.

Since 2014 across the EU, thanks to the ESF and the Youth Employment Initiative, 2.7 million young people including 1.6 million unemployed have found a pathway towards employment.  Amongst those participants:

* 235,000 were in employment following an ESF or YEI intervention.

* 181,000 gained a qualification because of an ESF or YEI support

*  275,000 people who experience social and economic disadvantage were supported to look for work, gain a qualification and progress to work or self -employment.

South Tipperary Development Company CLG acknowledges the contribution and positive impact of the ESF on individuals and communities of South Tipperary.

The Social Inclusion and Community Development Programme (SICAP) is delivered in South Tipperary by South Tipperary Development Company and is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government with co-funding from the ESF including a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI).

The ESF for Ireland contributes €19million to support individual SICAP participants aged 15-24 years under the Programme for Employability, Inclusion and Learning (PEIL) 2014-2020.  The ESF includes a special allocation under the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) which is dedicated to young people not in employment, education or training.

The YEI co-funding element of SICAP is based on the rate of youth unemployment (over 25%) in Ireland in 2012.

The following is a sample of the work of SICAP in South Tipperary under the ESF/YEI strand:

* One to one employment and education guidance service

* Pre-employment labour market programme (Jumpstart)

* Specific skills training

* Specific support for pre-start up enterprise.

* Collaborative/interagency work to ensure effective response to the needs of young people not in employment, education or training. For more detailed information on the ESF http://ec.europa.eu/esf/main.jsp?catId=62&langId=en;