Today, Eurodiaconia organised an online event where we launched our new policy paper “Access to quality employment for people in vulnerable situations: Overcoming barriers and discrimination through a rights-based and person-centred approach”. The panel discussion provided an overview of recent European initiatives on how to develop skills and addressed some of the remaining key challenges and gaps in legislation that make it difficult for people in precarious situations to access quality employment, which is also covered in the policy paper.

The new policy paper presents key recommendations to promote access to employment for all people as a pathway to social inclusion and full participation in society. It reiterates how quality social services is the key between quality jobs and social inclusion efforts. Based on our members input, we emphasise the importance of active outreach; inclusive & flexible skilling; publicly funded employment & social labour markets; strong anti-discrimination measures; as well as the importance of a holistic, rights-based, person-centred approach.

For instance, EU and Member States must ensure to reach the quantitative headline targets 1 and 2 in the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan in a way that creates and fosters quality employment. This means adopting bold strategies and measures as part of a just green transition and recovery, including adequate wages, job security, health and safety, life-long learning, collective bargaining, and work-life balance for all. A holistic interpretation of just transition is necessary to ensure social and labour market inclusion for those who are traditionally “left behind” and most negatively affected by the green and digital transition.

A change of perspective is needed in the EU policies; people and their well-being need to be at the centre of all policymaking, in line with the fundamental values of the European Union.

In 2019, we released our policy paper on ‘Strategies to promote access to employment for all people’, which you can find here.

Please check out our new policy paper on “Access to quality employment for people in vulnerable situations” here and access the executive summary here.