One of the EU targets is to stimulate and improve employment in Europe. For this purpose the European Social Fund (ESF) was created. Via the ESF funds become available to help people improve their skills and with it their job opportunities. This can be done in a re-integration track focussing on education, training and coaching or by participating in projects stimulating entrepreneurial skills. Young people can also be helped by the transition from school to work by providing traineeships or individual career guidance.
In total 830 million euros was available in the Nederland for the period 2007–2013. The choice was made in the Netherlands not just to invest in people who have trouble finding a job on their own, such as older people, people with little education or people with disabilities. Since 2009 the ESF has also been used to fight youth unemployment.