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UEmploy: Consultancy for Employment Inclusion

(LEONARDO DA VINCI, Multilateral projects for Development of innovation -

Although in Europe employment inclusion is an important objective there is no common standardised scheme. The two-year project UEmploy (7 partners from BG, HU, FI, IE and RO) addresses the gap.

The focus is modern rehabilitation, a range of services and processes designed to enable all disabled people to live their lives as fully as possible. For organizations, SMEs and professionals the project provides an opportunity to introduce/train innovative employment inclusion and rehabilitation approaches for people with disabilities.

Despite the progress made by the EU over the past decade towards inclusive employment, the employment rate among the disabled in many European countries remains very low. Very often people with disabilities still find themselves excluded from work which can support their independent living and enable them to contribute to the community.

Many companies realise that inclusive employment is an effective strategy to meet their social responsibility but the majority of employers have no real experience of employing a disabled person. Proactive cooperation with employers is needed to counteract stereotypes and encourage them to understand skills and capacities of people with disabilities.

The UEmploy project addresses this need and brings together expertise of 7 organisations from Romania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Finland and Ireland to create a model for consultancy services promoting inclusive employment. An important aspect the consultancy process is a strong emphasis on support provided both to employers and people with disabilities.

Inclusive employment means

• reconciliation of the different perspectives and interests of employers and employees
• finding a variety of job opportunities for people with disabilities focusing on abilities and capacities rather than the disabilities and difficulties
• matching individual skills and preferences to job requirements
• consultancy services for employers and practical guidance on improving the working environment

To achieve the UEmploy objective the partners

•  carry out a state of the practice research to identify the legal provisions, services offered, experiences and best inclusive practices with regard to employment of people with disabilities
• develop consultancy instruments (checklists and tools to describe job-specific competencies, support job matching process, identify potential problems, analyse environmental obstacles and provide recommendations for employers)
• train consultants
• pilot consultancy process
• develop a consultancy network and make arrangements for continuous training of consultants
• launch an awareness campaign to promote the importance of inclusive employment and the valuable contribution people with disabilities can make
• forge links with business and social agencies to ensure sustainability of the consultancy services.

Project Partnership:

- Context Learning, Finland
- Enable Ireland Disability Services, Ireland
- Euroinform Ltd., Bulgaria
- Tudásklaszter Társadalom- és Vidékfejlesztési Nonprofit Kft, Hungary
- Universal Learning Systems, Ireland
- EuroEd Foundation, Romania

The UEmploy project has been carried out with the support of the European Community. The content of this material does not necessarily reflect the position of the European Community, nor does it involve any responsibility on its part.