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 and more than 60% of them are unemployed. In Turkey they are 273,915 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
- Dedicated training materials (for PwD job seekers) related to all aspects of seeking employment: preparing for interview; completion 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 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.
Supported employment – a method of working with disabled people and other disadvantaged groups to access and maintain paid employment in the open labour market.
Job coacher – a professional who is specially trained to support people with disabilities in the process of seeking and retaining suitable paid job.
EQAVET – European quality assurance in vocational education and training is a community of practice bringing together Member States, Social Partners and the European Commission to promote European collaboration in developing and improving quality assurance in VET.
ECVET – European credit system for vocational education and training is intended to facilitate the recognition of learning outcomes in accordance with national legislation, in the framework of mobility, for the purpose of achieving a qualification.
Learning outcomes – Statements of what a learner knows, understands and is able to do on completion of a learning process defined in terms of knowledge, skills and competence
Recognition of learning outcomes – The process of attesting officially achieved learning outcomes through the awarding of units or qualifications.
Validation of learning outcomes – The process of confirming that certain assessed learning outcomes achieved by a learner correspond to specific outcomes which may be required for a unit or a qualification.
Start date: 01 September 2014
End date: 30 August 2017
Duration: 36 months