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European Social Fund (ESF)

ESF logoScottish colleges receive funding through our work with the European Social Fund (ESF), which supports employability initiatives like vocational training places for young people.


The Scottish Government’s ESF Operational Programme can be found on the Scottish Government’s website, along with National Rules for the programme.

We secured funding to draw on support from the ESF, the resources of the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) and Developing Scotland’s Workforce (DSW) during the European Programming Period 2014 - 2020.

We have submitted a further application for future years funding and are working with the Scottish Government to secure approval.

More detailed information on the Youth Employment Initiative can be found in the Guidance on implementing the Youth Employment Initiative - ESF thematic paper on the European Commission website.

Programme guidance

SFC / European Social Fund (ESF) Youth Employment Initiative

SFC / European Social Fund (ESF) Developing Scotland’s Workforce

EU referendum / Brexit

SFC is working with the Scottish Government, colleges, and universities to assess and manage any impact of the referendum result. SFC statement on the EU referendum.