Archive of European Projects

Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

People with disabilities (PwD) are the most disadvantaged group with regards to employment. Currently in the Bulgaria their number (age 18-29) is about 227 000 (National Statistical Institute and more than 60% of them are unemployed. In Turkey they are about 8 500 000 and only 15% are in employment compared with the national average of over 80%. In Austria they are around 850,000 and only 19% are employed and in Spain they are 3,847,900 and only 11% of them have permanent job. It is one of the key areas of both European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 and Europe 2020 to allow full accessibility to education as well as to the labour market for people with disabilities. In many European countries and beyond accessibility to the labour market is still not given because of the lack of suitable and powerful implemented support concepts. The impact of the Supported employment (SE) approach (a method of working with disabled people and other disadvantaged groups to access and maintain paid employment in the open labour market) have been identified in previous T-EST project (LLP-LDV-TOI-12-AT-0011) as very beneficial to the PwD and during its implementation phase it gives clear quality improvement of the accessibility to the labour market for those targets. However during this process the partners discovered the need for development of dedicated VET programme for training of Job coachers of people with disabilities which does not exist so far in Europe as officially accredited job profile. The COACH@WORK project will continue supporting the inclusion of the Supported employment approach in Austria and Spain, but also in new countries such as Bulgaria and Turkey where this will be done for the first time by developing EQAVET system for recognition, validation and accreditation of their knowledge, skills and competencies. Those learning outcomes will be in connection with the dedicated unique ECVET training programme for SE providers which will cover: disability awareness; acquisition of key & transversal competencies; application of interactive technologies and methods in coaching process; mainstreaming and digital technologies usage by PwD; Supported employment basis; Pre-employment support agenda as well as dedicated training materials (for PwD jobseekers) related to all aspects of seeking employment: preparing for interview; completion of job applications; disclosure of disability; presenting a professional appearance; analysing strengths and weaknesses; accessing further help and resources etc.; Career guidance and labour market methods. This COACH@WORK VET programme will be accredited by the national body (NAVET) which will happened for the first time in Europe in that field. This training programme will be followed by piloting implementation phase as well as will establish a network between 54 employers of PwD that will complete a memorandum of understanding for the further exploitation of the project outputs. The project partnership is comprised by key players as part of the training development, validation and accreditation processes for such initiative namely: National Agency for VET; National Confederation of employers of disabled people; Formal partners of previous T-EST project – ZGURA-M (dedicated service provider to PwD in Bulgaria) and Jugend am Werk (a pioneer in the delivery of SE in Austria) as well as newcomers to the EU fundings as Spanish non-profit training provider - Fundación Pascual Tomás and local NGO for PwD – UBITED in Turkey which will obtain the know-how from the rest more experienced partners. The impact of the project reflects to the labour market engagement and work towards removing unemployed people from incapacity benefits, state or charitable support, enabling full workplace inclusion and career enhancement. The long term impact of the project will increase the employment rates of PwD who are currently inactive in the labour market and have low or no work experience or vocational training. This will lead to greater independence and financial security, allowing them to become fully active members of society in general and ultimately to an improved economy. From other hand the SE providers will have the ability after official accreditation to increase the opportunities for their sustainable employment by providing this very innovative expertise which does not exist both on National and EU levels. By its nature the project will foster capacity-building for people's organisations and structures in order to contribute to civil society development while promoting the cooperation and the exchange of experience and good practice in the field of VET education as well as will support the annual priority related to the increase employability of the EU Commission (listed in ET2020 & Official Journal of the European Union, C 72/5 from 12/03/2013).
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