European Social Fund 2007 - 2013

The strategic aim of the European Social Fund (ESF) Programme 2007-2013 in Northern Ireland was to reduce economic inactivity and increase workforce skills.

2007-2013 ESF ex-post evaluation Consultation 

The EU Commission ran an Open Public Consultation as part of the 2007-2013 ESF ex-post evaluation. It closed on 27/04/2016.  

Programme priorities

The European Social Fund (ESF) programme 2007-2013 in Northern Ireland had two inter-related priorities.

Projects awarded funding

Two funding calls took place to invite applications to the 2007-2013 Northern Ireland European Social Fund programme.

76 projects were approved in the first funding call and 98 projects were approved in the second funding call.

Details of the successful projects can be viewed on the following links:

Details of successful Priority 1 Government Programme project

Ref No. Organisation Project Project Cost ESF  DEL
7873 Training for Success Programme Led Apprenticeships  £96,781,226 £38,712,490


Details of successful Priority 2 project

Ref No. Organisation Project Project cost ESF DEL
848 Training for Success ApprenticeshipsNI £160,157,962 £64,063,180 £96,094,782

Details of successful Priority 3 project

Ref No. Organisation Project Project cost ESF DEL
104765 Department for Employment & Learning Technical Assistance Salaries £3,500,000 £1,400,000 £2,100,000

Find out more about projects funded under the European Social Fund 2007-2013

The Making a Difference in Life publication which can be accessed at the link below features stories from individuals about their participation on the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2007-13 programme.

Management and implementation of the Northern Ireland European Social Fund 2007 - 2013

In Northern Ireland the Department of Finance had overall responsibility for fulfilling the role of member state and chairs the single monitoring committee established to ensure the quality of implementation of the ESF programme.

The Department for the Economy was the designated Managing and Certifying Authority for the programme.

The Monitoring Committee

The Monitoring Committee was chaired by the Department of Finance and included representatives from the Managing Authority, Certifying Authority, the Voluntary and Community sectors, employers organisations, trade unions, local government and a representative from the European Commission.

The key objective of the monitoring committee was to satisfy itself as to the effectiveness and quality of the implementation of the programme. A key element of their oversight of the programme was the approval of the Annual Implementation Report.

The most recent approved Implementation Report for the 2007-2013 programme can be accessed at the link below:  


The monitoring committee also devolved evaluation of the programme to the managing authority in the Department for the Economy. The focus of activity has been on assessing the effectiveness and consistency of the ESF assistance provided and the implementation of any recommendations.

Evaluation reports can be accessed via the following links:

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