MicroBank (CaixaBank’s social bank) and the European Investment Fund (EIF) have signed a guarantee agreement aiming to facilitate access to finance for individuals wishing to improve their skills, abilities and/or training, and organisations active in the education sector. Under this agreement, the EIF will guarantee a portfolio of up to €65 million for job training and skills building with the goal of improving employability. The EIF is providing this support under the EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot (S&E Pilot).
This commitment reinforces MicroBank and CaixaBank Group’s focus on equal opportunities, employability and progress for all, in an environment where lifelong learning will be key to improving employment prospects.
The programme will be open to:
- People wishing to study and improve their skills through academic training, professional training, lifelong learning and other forms of education, including via digital means.
- Companies and organisations working in the domains of skills development, training and education or developing education projects, with the aim of significantly improving the ecosystem for provision of education, training and skills-related services, including through digital means.
These operations can be contracted in CaixaBank offices and via Imagin, the digital services and lifestyle platform promoted by CaixaBank that has a community of 3.7 million users.
The EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot (S&E Pilot) aims to promote investment in education and training to help people reach their learning and upskilling goals and unlock access to finance to bridge the educational and skills gap in Europe due to the transformation of the economy.
The EIF implements the S&E Pilot on behalf of the European Commission and thus, the initiative benefits from the EU’s budget support under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe The purpose of EFSI is to help support financing and implementing productive investments in the EU and to ensure increased access to financing.
“This new agreement with MicroBank reaffirms the EIF’s commitment to equal opportunities and employability for all via support for investment in education and training, which are increasingly vital in the new digital era,” said EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard.
MicroBank General Manager Cristina González added: “We want to help people to improve their employment prospects with this agreement. In an increasingly digitalised and globalised world, the development of individuals and their skills will be key to opening up new opportunities in the labour market.”
Commissioner for Economy Paolo Gentiloni said: “Today’s €65 million guarantee, backed by the EFSI Skills and Education pilot, will help us to further invest in education and skills in the European Union. The financing will reach both individuals and companies in Spain to upgrade their skills, and provide education and professional training to ensure equal opportunities and access to the job market.”
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantee and microfinance instruments that specifically target this market segment. Through its activities, the EIF promotes EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.
MicroBank is CaixaBank’s social bank, delivering on the company’s commitment to making banking socially responsible and having a positive impact on society. MicroBank aims to contribute to the progress and well-being of society by offering financing to groups and projects with social impact.
Source: MicroBank and the EIF promote employability in Spain (europa.eu)
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