For the period 2014 – 2020, ESF (European Social Fund) subsidies are possible for education and training. At the end of August 2014, the Dutch Partner Agreement was approved by the European Commission and 507 million euros are available for the Dutch programme in 2014 – 2020.

On the website of Partnership European Funds ( (in Dutch) you will find more information and the agreement. The Netherlands has chosen to use ESF funds until 2020 to increase labour participation and thereby strengthen the economy and combat poverty.

 The main target groups are:

With the ESF budget, the Netherlands opts for a broad target group: all people with a distance to the labour market. The composition of this group can differ per labour market region and per period.

The following types of costs are eligible:

  • Direct personnel costs, plus a 40% surcharge to cover remaining costs of the project. In addition, a standard premium is applied to the gross salary and the number of workable hours is set at 1,720 for full-time employment.
  • Procurement of services.
  • Placement subsidies.

More information

Only projects with project activities that are easy to account for and control will be subsidised. These projects will be reviewed and authorised by the Agency SZW on lawful implementation, information provision and support.

You can find more information in the ESF Operational Programme 2014 – 2020 fact sheet.