This thematic objective, Investing in education, skills and lifelong learning by developing education and training infrastructure, covers the following three investment priorities:

  • Reducing early school leaving
  • Improving tertiary education
  • Access to life-long learning

Key messagesEducational achievement can be linked to a range of positive outcomes, including good health.Education also has a critical role to play in addressing social inequalities experienced by low-income and socially excluded groups – and health inequalities are closely related.Educational achievement influences people’s access to employment, income, housing and other major social determinants of health. Lifelong learning can also contribute to the reduction of social, economic and health inequalities.Moreover, the relationship between education and health is two way – as child health status positively affects educational performance and attainment.Operational programmes in this area can help to implement European policies such as the Agenda for new skills and jobs, which supports the goal of increasing workforce participation and economic growth.  Programmes can also support the goals of social inclusion, for example by targeting low-income and socially-excluded groups. Through these actions, Structural Funds can have an indirect, positive impact on health, and at the same time reduce health inequalities.