Title PROmoting Women’s Enterprising Competences in Europe: Towards the Development of Services to Dependant People.
Project Number 2009-1-ES1-LE005-10346
Project Type Transfer of Innovation
Marketing Text The care of dependant relatives, in more than 80% of the cases, is carried out by women due to the traditional role of women as assistants. The perception of all these facts led the partners to devise a work plan addressed to qualify women working in the Assistance Services to dependant people and valorise their role by promoting enterpreurship, specially among those women with special difficulties in accessing the labour market: immigrant women and women who were joining the labour market after several years devoted to the family and home care.
The proposal was based on the realization of various common realities at European level which would need a joint action:
• The need to foster entrepreneurship and business culture as a mean to provide dynamism to the European labour market.
• Remaining inequalities in the opportunities for men and women. Women are still a group at risk of exclusion from the labour market, especially when talking about self-employment and business creation
• The Aging of European population that means an increase of activity in the field of services of assistance to the elderly.
• Increasingly prominence of the issue of assistance services to dependant people (long term care) in the social and policy agenda due to the aging of European population and to the growing awareness on the need to provide quality of life to dependant people(elderly, disabled, children…) by offering them specialized and quality care services.
In more than 80% of the cases, the care of dependant relatives is carried out by women due to the traditional role of women as assistants
The perception of all these facts, led the partners of this proposal to devise a work plan addressed to qualify women working in the Assistance Services to dependant people and valorise their role by promoting entrepreneurship, specially among those women with special difficulties in accessing the labour market: immigrant women and women who were joining the labour market after several years devoted to the family and home care.
The innovative products developed in the framework of the Enterprising Competences-EU project, in which most of the partners in the proposal participated, were considered as the suitable tools to carry out this project so transferring these products to a specific sector with a high social interest like Services for assisting Dependant People, an expanding sector in which micro-SMEs, self-employed workers and social economy enterprises are called to play a key role.
The proposal was supported by 8 partners from Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria which involved during the project development different organisations at national level for the implementation of the European Model for Identification and Accreditation of Enterprising an Professional Competences in the field of Assistance Services to Dependant People. Such implementation involved about 100 women from the 4 countries who received advice and guidance service aimed to the detection of their enterprising competences and their professional skills in the field. The partners also developed a pilot accreditation process, signing a Memorandum of Understanding for the common recognition and accreditation by all the partners organisations of the competences hold by the participant women.
Apart from this European Model, the most relevant tangible results of the project were a Transnational report on the Training and Employment opportunities in the sector and a Map of occupations and competences in the sector.
The expected impact was an improvement in the qualification of women working in the sector as well as an increase in the ratio of female enterprising, number of self-employed and social economy business in the regions where the project activities were implemented.
The PROECEU Project started from the realization of multiple and diverse realities at European level, which were common to all countries and to which a joint solution could be given:
- The need to promote the enterprising competences and the business culture in order to dynamize the European Labour Market.
- The opportunities for women in the access to the labour market were still lower than the ones for men.
- Increasing prominence of the Long Term Care issue in the policy and social agenda in the EU aroused from the increasing aging of population and from the greater awareness on the need to provide quality of life to dependant people giving them specialised and quality services.
- The majority of people working in this sector were women, most of them working in black economy or in an informal way.
- In more than 80% of the cases, the assistance to dependant relatives falled on women due to traditional role of women as assistants.
- Immigrant women worked mainly taking care of dependant people and in domestic services that included the care of children, who are also considered as dependants.
Such realities were stated:
• In the study Europe’s demographic future: Facts and figures on challenges and opportunities elaborated by DG Employment and Social Affairs of the European Commission. This study recognises the increasing aging of population and the challenge that long term care means to the public system of social protection. Likewise, the study recognises that the assistance to those people is not covered in the same way in all the countries and, in most of them, it is their own families who are in charge of this care, specially women, and sets out the important matter of how to train the necessary human resources and provide them with quality employments in a sector which is characterised by low salaries and low qualifications.
• Although the figures of dependant people needing care services are varied, the great majority of dependant people are elderly. According to Eurostat data, the average of the Euro zone countries is about 18% of total population being older than 65 years. Germany and Italy are the countries with an oldest population, being both countries over 20%. Since life expectancy continues rising, the forecasts are that these percentages go on increasing.
• In the Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008 of the DG Employment, Social Affairs, Health and consumers of the UE, the recruiting, training and retraining of employees in charge of long term care are set out as a main challenge for the ESF. The solution should include the improvement of working conditions and the official recognition of people working in the
sector in an informal way, especially women.
Utilization and distribution of results
Recognition, transparency, certification
Human Health and Social Work Activities
Professional, Scientific and Technical Activities
Other Service Activities
description of new occupation profiles
material for open learning
procedure for the analysis and prognosis of the vocational training requirement
The verification of such realities led the partners to think about a work programme aimed to empower and professionalize the work of women in the long term care sector, by means of fostering the micro business creation in this sector.
The specific goals of this project were:
• To identify the structure of the long term care services to dependant people in representative countries of Europe and the possibilities for employment in this sector
• To define a Sectoral Competences Map that allowed a joint agreement at European level on the qualifications and competences present in this sector and so fostering transnational mobility.
• To update the tools already developed in the framework of the ECEU project, adapting them
to the special features of the long-term care sector.
• To define a European Model for Validation of Enterprising and Professional competences
in the Long-term care sector.
• To foster entrepreneurship of women in the sector, especially of immigrant and those women
who were joining the labour market by the first time or after years devoted to family care and housework.
• To overcome the traditional role of women as attendant by means of professionalization,
business creation and individual initiatives that would make emerge the black economy of the sector.
• To achieve that about 100 women in the 4 participating countries benefited in an
effective way of the developed Model so getting their professional competences identified, developed and validated their enterprising and professional competences related with long-term care. The results of the Model implementation was useful to contrast its validity in two clearly different social services organisational models: Germany and Austria vs. Spain and Italy.
• To accredit in a pilot way the competences of the participating women so that they could reinforce the confidence in their own possibilities and thus improve their professional situation in the sector.
• To develop a Working method that could be used in the future in other different sectors in order to foster business creation on a solid basis of qualification both by women and by any other target group.
The project aimed to achieve these goals by means of a work programme combining research, advice activities, accreditation of competences, social dialogue and exchange among key stakeholders at national level. By means of the professionalization of women working in the sector, providing them with transversal competences for the creation of their own businesses, the project contributed to a certain and concrete solution to the needs coming out of the realities already pointed out.