Transnational mobility under the ESF in Germany

1. Brief description of programme

Against the backdrop of positive developments on the German labour market over the last few years, the prospect of finding work or an apprenticeship has also improved for people who have difficulties in accessing work or training for individual or structural reasons. However, at the moment this group benefits less from the positive developments on the labour market than the German average. Often there are multiple reasons for why members of this group fail to begin employment or an apprenticeship. These include long-term unemployment, a lack of or few skills learned at school or during training, poor language skills, health issues, a precarious financial situation or problematic living conditions. Often several of these difficulties coincide. Youth and young adults, in particular, if left to fend for themselves, often fail to enter the labour market or to start an apprenticeship. This is especially true of migrants.

As part of the "Federal ESF Integration Directive" programme of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the priority area "Integration through Exchange" promotes transnational measures aimed at reaching and activating the participants in an effort to gradually and sustainably integrating them into work or training. Measures aimed at helping people to (re)-enter school to acquire a school-leaving certificate are also eligible for receiving grants.

The key component of the transnational measures is a (two to six months) supervised stay abroad with in-company training (supervised practical activities combined with application-oriented classes in a work-related context). It is part of a pedagogical concept geared towards the labour market that includes intensive, individualised pre-departure preparations and follow-up activities in Germany.

By involving job centres or employment agencies in the projects, the transnational measures are designed to dovetail with the standard support schemes for integration (Social Code Books II and III), and they are designed to be used as a component of the participant's individual integration plans. Therefore, the follow-up period is of particular importance as well, as it is essential to respond to the insights and the personal development of the participants early on and to sustainably harness them for seamless integration into the labour market.

In the framework of the transnational measures, the following project components are eligible for receiving grants:

  • preparatory phase of the transnational partnership,
  • participant recruitment and participant preparation,
  • participant stay abroad,
  • follow-up phase

2. Target group

In the priority area "Integration through Exchange", transnational mobility measure should address the follow target group:

Youth and young adults aged 18 to 35,

  • who face difficulties in accessing work or training for several individual or structural reasons, such as long-term unemployment, low levels of school performance/vocational skills, or a migration background, and
  • who cannot or can no longer be successfully reached with the integration benefits provided by the job centres (Social Code Book II) or the employment agencies (Social Code Book III).

3. ESF Thematic Priority

The Operational Programme of the Federal Government for the European Social Fund (ESF) for the funding period 2014 - 2020 serves as a legal basis for the programme. Support under the Federal ESF Integration Directive (which includes the support for mobility measures within the priority area "Integration through Exchange") comes under the intervention category of Article 3 (1b) of regulation (EU) No 1304/2013 "promoting social inclusion, combating poverty and any discrimination" i) "Active inclusion, including with a view to promoting equal opportunities and active participation, and improving employability".

4. Intended timeline for call of proposals

Date of launch of regional call: October 2014 (call is closed)

Expected date for start of projects: June 2015