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Category: access to work

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The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict), in collaboration with AT&T, has published Internet of Things: New Promises for Persons with Disabilities. The white paper explores the impact of smart connected objects and devices on people with disabilities, and the potential of connected technology to improve independence and quality of life from home automation to applications in health care, transportation, education, and employment.

Link to white paper: http://g3ict.org/resource_center/publications_and_reports/p/productCategory_books/subCat_2/id_335

WSIS Knowledge Community
Building Inclusive Societies for Persons with Disabilities
INCLUSIVE TECHNICAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING (TVET) IN THE CONTEXT OF
LIFELONG LEARNING
SKILLS FOR WORK AND LIFE: EMPOWERING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
(29 October – 18 November 2015)

 

Organized by:                                                                                             Co-funded by:

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Overall aim of this discussion

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, recently adopted by the United Nations General Assembly, provides an integrated and universal vision of the future, “based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable”.

Ambitions are high, including for education, which is integral to the 2030 Agenda, as Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4), ‘Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. Within SDG 4 there are specific targets on technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Education and training are also essential for the achievement of the other Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 8 ‘Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all’. Under SDG 8, one target is ‘by 2030 to achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value’.

Internationally, TVET is increasingly seen as part of a lifelong learning approach to the development of education and training systems. TVET promotes knowledge, skills and attitudes for work and life.

The overall aim of this discussion is to analyze TVET policies, systems, programmes and practices from the perspective of inclusive education and social equity, with a central focus on people with disabilities, and to consider what can be done to ensure that TVET fulfils its potential contribution to Agenda 2030, including SDG 4 and SDG 8.

The discussion will also be inspired on the principles of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, particularly its article 24 on Education and article 27 on Work and Employment.

Three interconnected topics are in focus, taking place in consecutive weeks and starting with a background document that will be available.

(1) Advancing inclusive and equitable access to TVET
(Week 29/10 – 4/11/2015)

(2) Improving quality and relevance in TVET to support and transitions
(Week 5/11 – 11/11/2015)

(3) Transforming TVET for inclusive and sustainable societies
(Week 12/11 – 18/11/2015).

Participants are asked to identify success factors for policies, programmes and practices, to explore new trends, and to provide insights on how to collect relevant data that can be used by policy makers and practitioners. Contributions are encouraged from all regions of the world so that evidence and experience can inform recommendations for the future.

The discussion is aimed at the wide variety of stakeholders involved in this field, going from policy makers, to experts, professionals and organizations working in the field from Europe and worldwide.
The result of the discussion, after its three week duration will be a document containing recommendations for different stakeholders groups based on the contributions to the three key questions. The document will be available in December 2015 on the websites of WSIS and the incluD-ed network (English, Spanish).

How to participate:

To participate in the discussion, please register on the WSIS Knowledge Community website creating a profile for you and/or your organization and joining the community “Building inclusive societies for persons with disabilities”. To do so please click on the following link: http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/groups/584509/building-inclusivesocieties-for-persons-with-disabilities/

To help you in the registration process, please find a video that explains the different steps (in English): http://www.wsis-community.org/pg/videos/play/group:4/507104/how-to-joinwsis-kc-platform

The deadline is 28 October, however, you will be able to register during the course of the discussion once it has started.

If you need any further help in the registration process, please contact the incluD-ed Network Secretariat by mail includ-ed.secretariat@paueducation.com or telephone +34.933670434.

For more information you may contact:

incluD-ed Network Secretariat
annett.rabel@paueducation.com; includ-ed.secretariat@paueducation.com
Tel.: 34 933 670 400
Tel. dir.: 34.933670434

http://www.includ-ed.eu

Thank you in advance for your contributions!

What is the situation for the workforce in the health and care sectors? Are there common trends in Europe when it comes to wages, working conditions and staff training requirements? How have budgetary cuts impacted the sector? Following the establishment of the European Observatory of Human Resources in 2014, EASPD now presents the first results of the research conducted by Prof. Dr. Jane Lethbridge. It maps the training and educational requirements in the disability sector, the workforce situation and future job creation potential of the social service provision.

The social care workforce for persons with disabilities and senior citizens is one of the fastest growing sectors in terms of employment expansion in Europe. However, there are unmistakable signs that austerity measures are hindering this expansion, even though demand for social services will remain high, in light of Europe’s ageing population. Budget reductions are affecting not only the availability and affordability of the services, but also the working conditions and overall quality of services. Whilst results minutely varied from one European country to another, this research shows that altogether, the sector is characterised by high training needs, low pay jobs, low status and part-time hour contracts.

Similar trends in Europe

This research has identified similar trends across Europe that must be addressed to secure a high quality, motivated and trained workforce in order to deliver first-rate services, fully adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities.

Recruitment procedures, staff shortages and lack of training standards:

36% of the study’s respondents reported that no qualifications were necessary to start working in social care at entry-level, as opposed to the 44% that reported a vocational qualification was compulsory. Nevertheless in almost all countries basic care workers must have acquired secondary-level education in order to receive employment. In many European countries, the shortage of social care workers and/or the low standards of recruitment, result in the employment of unqualified staff. The lack of social workers is particularly affecting rural areas.

Whilst in Western European countries, new systems of training are being introduced (Germany, the Netherlands), in Central and Eastern Europe attempts have been made to improve the level of credentials needed to qualify for employment in the sector (Hungary). There is not the same trend towards improved levels of training though. In England there was an attempt to introduce a national vocational qualification for all care workers, but it was abandoned because of the difficulties in recruiting staff, due to budgetary cuts. In some countries such as Austria, contracts between service providers and regional authorities define the level of qualifications, with this ratio increasingly being determined by the level of funding. The research concludes that there are some measures in place to improve the level of qualifications, but low wages in the sector makes it difficult to recruit in many countries. In Bulgaria for example, social workers can be paid less than 1 € per hour. Moreover, the impact of austerity policies on budgets for social care is resulting in pressure to reduce staff costs, either through reducing the level of qualifications required or through lower wages. Consequently applicants can enter care work without any relevant qualifications or experience, and in some cases organisations are required to train them.

The disability sector is undergoing extensive changes such as the move from a medical model to a social model, more in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Therefore, there is an ever-important need for training in all categories of the social sector’s workforce, as reported by the majority of the study’s respondents (61% of the services providers and 78% of the umbrella organisations).

Workforce mobility:

Despite the existence of several barriers (language skills, transferability of qualifications), there is a gradually increasing trend for social care workers to cross borders to find work. When analysing mobility, it is also important to take into account the economic situation of the sector in each country. The research shows two main trends: Firstly, European countries experiencing “care drain”, where qualified care workers are moving to other countries to find better paid work. This situation damages organisations in the country of origin, as they used their resources to train future migrant workers. Secondly, European countries in need of social care workers where public allowances for care are sometimes used to informally employ a migrant worker without training or employment security.

7 Recommendations for the Sector:

- Training at EU level: minimum skills for working with people with disabilities should be validated across Europe, including involving users in training.
- Quality control and clear measures to define quality in services: development of a general funding standard and quality framework for services at European level.
- Share experiences and innovative practices on recruitment and induction across Europe to improve standards of care services.
- Reinforce the consultation process between national governments and service providers to show to decision makers the importance of pay and working conditions in the social care sector.
- Identify the successful and unsuccessful policies at the national level.
- Establish a “culture of learning” to have a trans-national consensus on the skills needed to work with people with disabilities.
- Development of the European Care Certificate and supporting e-learning initiatives.

The disability sector faces several challenges to the future of service provision. The supply of a well-trained, experienced workforce will be essential, and will depend upon two essential aspects: funding opportunities and political will. There is a job creation potential to be explored in the sector.

DISCIT

DISCIT has published a new working paper on Diversity and Change of the Employment Prospects of Persons with Disabilities. The paper is the first output of Work Package 5 of the DISCIT study which focuses on the employment prospects of disabled persons in nine European countries. Taking article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) as its focus, WP5 asks whether “the right of persons with disabilities to work, on an equal basis with others” is being made a reality. Whilst the main data, derived from interviews with disabled persons and other stakeholders in nine European countries, will form the basis of later papers, the present paper provides crucial context by bringing together currently available figures on labour market participation with data on the regulatory and redistributive measures that have so far structured that participation. It thus represents the initial phase in an effort to study how the employment prospects of disabled persons have been influenced by policy contexts which the Convention now informs. The countries selected represent different European welfare and policy traditions, allowing for key differences and similarities in provision and outcome to be explored. They include: Ireland, the UK, and Switzerland (Liberal); Norway and Sweden (Nordic); Germany and Italy (Conservative); and the Czech Republic and Serbia (Post-communist). By gathering data on the employment rates of persons with disabilities in each country, alongside information on the provisions available to help persons with disabilities into or to maintain them in work, the paper raises questions about the diverse contexts in which access to work for persons with disabilities has, to date, been sought. The purpose then is to think of the extent to which “equal” participation in the labour market may be achieved in policy contexts which are already well established.