The Equal Initiative uses ESF financing to test new ways of tackling discrimination and inequality experienced by those in work and those looking for a job. The key principals of EQUAL are : transnational co-operation, innovation, empowerment, thematic and partnership approach, dissemination and mainstreaming to ensure that EQUAL informs policies and practice.
The activities are structured on the four pillars of the European Employment Strategy: Employability, Entrepreneurship, Adaptability and Equal opportunities for women and men. In addition, EQUAL has a separate theme which addresses the needs of asylum seekers.
To see examples of projects related to guidance financed under EQUAL go to the Equal Common Database (ECDB) and do a search using the key words guidance / counselling.
The ESF also supports innovative actions to assist the development of future policy and programmes by exploring new approaches to the content and/or organisation of employment, including vocational training, and industrial adaptation. Known as "Article 6" measures, the types of projects supported under this allocation include pilot projects, studies, exchanges of experience and information activities. Recent themes have included: adaptation to the new economy within the framework of social dialogue and local employment strategies and innovation.
Examples of guidance related projects financed under Article 6 can be found here.