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From Raising Awareness to Open Labour Market Opportunities for People with Disabilities through Vocational Training and Lifelong Strategies

At European and national level, both authorities and other stakeholders acknowledgethat the access to inclusive employment for people with disabilities is still limited.Moreover, scientific research points out that there is less or the same jobs available nowon the market for people with disabilities compared to years ago. A recent researchdone by OECD emphasises that although “unemployment has fallen in recent years tovery low levels in the OECD area, yet nowhere has this drop translated into more jobsfor people with disabilities (…)” on the open labour market.The project will produce a summary of 4 projects selected by experts working in the fieldof service provision (meeting held in Bruxelles on the 1st of February 2008), and willprovide translation of this in 5 languages (EN, RO, BG, HU, CZ). The 4 projects havebeen chosen as they cover all aspects of employment of people with disabilities. Bydeveloping a training material which will comprehend the more relevant parts from eachselected project, disability stakeholders (professionals, employers and local authorities)will have a real instrument which will allow them to act according to a more holistic andsynergic approach.The produced summary will be disseminated through seminars (which will providetraining of professionals, employers and representatives of local authorities) andnational networks in five European countries (MT, RO, BG, HU, and CZ). A helpdesk willbe set up in each country as liaison and expertise body for the exploitation of thematerials at national and European level. A project website managed by EASPD andportals in each partner country will be put in place to disseminate the existing projectmaterials.The training materials provided and broadly disseminated will contribute to thedevelopment of the skills needed by PWD to enter the open labour market. Morespecifically, the summary of the training materials produced, will help differentstakeholders (professionals working with/for PWD, employers and local authorities intheir role of employers) to support PWD’s in the development of labour related skills andfinally to integrate them in the open labour market in the following countries (MT, HU,CZ, BU, RO). Through the establishment of a Learning Community which will last alsobeyond the project’ lifetime (and whose functioning and composition will be describedafterwards), it will be ensured that training materials, best practices and expertise onemployment related issues, will be transferred and adapted according to the challengesfaced in the new Member States. Finally, Pass it on will guarantee accessibility andvisibility to the different projects materials that will be made available to a broad public atEuropean and national level through the national networks and the EASPD one.
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