For the 2021-2027 period, the ESF will be merged with the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), the Fund for European Aid to the most Deprived (FEAD) and the directly managed Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) Programme, to become the ESF+. The aim of the ESF+ is to achieve high employment levels, fair social protection and a skilled and resilient workforce for the future world of work, in line with the principles set out in the European Pillar of Social Rights.

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Ireland’s ESF+ allocation for 2021-27 is €508m in current prices. ESF+ is a co-financed programme, meaning that the EU allocation must be matched by national funding. This co-financing rate varies by region. Ireland will have three NUTS 2 regions in the 2021-2027 round, with two different rates of co-financing. As ‘more developed’ regions, the Southern and the Eastern & Midlands regions will receive 40% in EU co-financing, while as a ‘transition’ region the North-Western region will receive 60% in EU co-financing.

Administered by

  • Supports courses, schemes, and projects through a range of Government Departments and agencies, including:
    Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
  • Department of Defence.
  • Department of Justice
  • Department of Rural and Community Development
  • Department of Social Protection
  • Higher Education Authority