EASPD has recently published the first results of research mapping the training and educational requirements, the workforce situation and future job creation potential of the social care workforce for persons with disabilities and older people.
The research has found that 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. 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. Despite the existence of several barriers (language skills, transferability of qualifications), there is also an increasing trend for social care workers to cross borders to find work.
The research makes 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 full research paper can be found here: “Strengthening the workforce for people with disabilities: Initial mapping across Europe”