Funding for the youth

Education, training, youth and sport

Erasmus+ is the EU programme that aims to improve the skills and employability of young people, promote their social inclusion and well-being, and foster improvements in youth work and youth policy at local, national and international level.

Funding activities are managed centrally by the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) or by national agencies in each country.

Fellowships for researchers

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions are open to researchers in all disciplines, from life-saving healthcare to ‘blue-sky’ science. The activities are implemented by the Research Executive Agency (REA).

Young entrepreneurs

Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs is an exchange programme for entrepreneurs offering the opportunity to work alongside an experienced entrepreneur in another participating country for a period between one and six months.

Young volunteers

The European Solidarity Corps aims to strengthen solidarity in European society, engaging young people in accessible and high-quality solidarity activities. It is an opportunity to learn and develop their potential as well as to bring fresh and inspiring ideas to the organisation they are engaging with. The programme supports activities in the fields of volunteering, jobs, traineeships and local Solidarity Projects.

Funding activities are managed centrally by the Education, Audio-visual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA), by national agencies in each country and by the SALTO-YOUTH network.

Young farmers

Young farmers may be eligible for a top-up payment worth 25% of the direct payment they receive. The top-up payment applies to farmers under the age of 40 and is provided by the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund.

Young people may also be eligible for funding under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development. Each rural development programme contains measures for which the fund can provide assistance to young people, depending on the priorities of each country or region.

Young unemployed

The Youth Employment Initiative supports unemployed young people who are currently not enrolled in education or training in regions with a youth unemployment rate above 25%. For the period 2021-2027, the Youth Employment Initiative was integrated into the European Social Fund Plus (ESF+), while preserving the focus on youth employment.

The reinforced Youth Guarantee is a commitment by all Member States to ensure that all young people under the age of 30 receive a good quality offer of

  • employment
  • continued education
  • apprenticeship
  • traineeship

within four months of leaving education or becoming unemployed. These schemes are set up by the managing authorities in EU countries and can provide more details on both the Youth Employment Initiative and the Youth Guarantee.

EU Youth Strategy

While respecting Member States’ overall responsibility for youth policy, the EU Youth Strategy, agreed by EU Ministers, sets out a framework for cooperation covering the years 2010-2018.  It has two main objectives:

  • To provide more and equal opportunities for young people in education and the job market
  • To encourage young people to actively participate in society.

The objectives are achieved through a dual approach which includes:

  • Specific youth initiatives, targeted at young people to encourage non-formal learning, participation, voluntary activities, youth work, mobility and information,
  • 'Mainstreaming' cross-sector initiatives that ensure youth issues are taken into account when formulating, implementing and evaluating policies and actions in other fields with a significant impact on young people, such as education, employment or health and well-being.

The EU Youth Strategy proposes initiatives in eight areas: