EU provides €450 million to help job-seekers

Over the next seven years (2014-2020) the Netherlands will receive some €450 million from the European Social Fund (ESF) to help job-seekers develop the skills that are in demand on the labour market.

Most of this funding will be distributed among municipalities, which are divided into 35 regional labour markets. Another share will go to the private sector. The funds will primarily be used to supplement and support the implementation of the Participation Act, in accordance with a proposal put forward by the State Secretary for Social Affairs and Employment, Jetta Klijnsma, and approved by the cabinet.

'We're happy with the extra money, which comes on top of our re-integration budget for jobseekers,' Ms Klijnsma said. 'It is intended to help people who need it most - people at some distance from the job market. It is expressly to be used to help people find a job or change jobs. Because it's important that people remain employable now and in the future.'

The government will aim to reduce the administrative burden in the new ESF funding period. Close consultations with all the parties concerned should ensure that funding flows more easily to the people for which it is intended.