June 2008 - May 2011

No longer operational

The instrument was linked to the ESF 2007-2013 period.


Policy area

The project offered guidance and training to job seekers.

Policy goal

The instrument’s goal is to offer an upgrade of skills to the more disadvantaged groups of job-seekers in Barcelona, so that they can improve their employability. What is more important, in terms of the attention on skill mismatch, is that the attention of the policy is particularly focused on those skills that are important for the socio-economic development of Barcelona, such as new technologies and environmental skills. The rationale of the intervention is to improve the employability of vulnerable unemployed through guidance and training in strategic sectors.

Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

The action was part of a broad strategy of Barcelona Activa for the improvement of local workers’ skills, in order to increase their employability levels through responding to labour market demands. The strategy also aims to raise the potential for socio-economic development of Barcelona. Within this broad context, the initiative explicitly focused on concrete skills to be covered through specific training.

Administrative level
Main responsible body

Local council of Barcelona, through "Barcelona Activa", a local development agency.


ESF 2007-2014: Funding of the project.
UAFSE (Ministry of Employment and Social Security): Management Authority for the ESF 2007-2014 period in Spain.


Total funds: €2,310,000. ESF allocation: €1,155,000

Intended beneficiaries

Beneficiaries are the disadvantaged groups of job-seekers. They benefit through an improvement of their employability through acquiring new skills, which are relevant for the labour market demands. Thus, they increase their probabilities to participate in the labour market.
On a broader sense, the whole society of Barcelona benefits as well, as the skills that training was provided for were also chosen for being important for the socio-economic development of Barcelona, such as new technologies, environmental skills.


Use of labour market intelligence

The local council has identified strategic sectors of employment through their knowledge of the local situations. These sectors have been the care sector and the care for people with special needs, as well as retail and hospitality sector.

Financial schemes

The initiative is co-funded through ESF. Co-funding provided by ESF reached 50% of total budget.
Participants did not pay for the courses and enjoyed the incentive to participate in a course for free.

Frequency of updates

The project was completed and not updated.


No information regarding adjustments of the policy instrument during its implementation have been found out.


The difficult economic situation was one important barrier for the labour market insertion of participants. In spite of this barrier, 70% of participants found a job after their participation in the programme.

Success factors

The project included training in skills that are relevant for the socio-economic development of the city, such as new technologies, environmental education and education for diversity.


Participants; contracts; employed participants.

Slightly innovative

The project includes training in skills that are important for the socio-economic development and are beneficial to develop a more innovative society, such as new technologies or environmental skills.


Evidence of effectiveness

900 people participated and 800 labour contracts were signed (several participants probably signed more than one labour contract, although it is not specified). The benefits have been very positive, as 70% of participants have found a job.

Engagement of stakeholders

The local employment agency Barcelona Activa has been carrying out similar projects to promote employability and socio economic development at the local level. Materials, methodologies and lessons learnt from this project have been useful to facilitate the design and the implementation of similar projects by Barcelona Activa afterwards.

Easily transferable

This project could be transferred to cities with a similar situation to Barcelona in the 2008-2011 period: ageing population, high demand in the tourism and retail sector and high unemployment. The whole project design could be transferred: the identification of strategic sectors by local authorities, the organization of training courses for vulnerable unemployed on these sectors and the provision of guidance. Similarly, the attention of other projects can also be focused on those skills that are important for the socio-economic development of Barcelona, such as new technologies or environmental skills.


The project did not continue after 2011. However similar projects have been carried out by local employment agency Barcelona Activa.