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EASPD Policy seminar: "Unlocking job creation in the social services sector, the role of the EU?"

Tuesday, June 28, 2016 - 12:00 to 14:00

Date: 28 June 2016
Time: 12h – 14h
: European Parliament, Brussels. More information to come
Registration: See below

The health and social services sector is the biggest job creator in Europe today. Between 2008 and 2015, 2.6 million new jobs were created. This trend will continue as the demand for care & support services is also increasing given the ageing population, changing family patterns and growing inequalities. Despite this and the high levels of unemployment in Europe, there are significant staff shortages throughout Europe. This has numerous explanations: low wages, often poor working conditions, low recognition, lack of connection with the schools and universities, etc.


The seminar will first discuss what the underlying barriers to job creation in the sector are via two recent studies recently launched by the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD): (1) “In work poverty in the Social Services sector”; and (2) “How the position of young care workers highlights the underlying problems of the sector”. The seminar will also be the opportunity for participants to discuss what impact a staff shortages in this field can have on the quality of life of people in Europe.


The seminar –hosted by Heinz K. Becker MEP- will also be an opportunity to explore what the European institutions can do to unlock the job creation potential of the social services sector.



12h – 12h15         Welcoming Speech by Mr Heinz K. Becker, Member of the European Parliament (EPP, AU) and Mr Franz Wolfmayr, President EASPD


12h15 – 12h35      Presentation of Studies by Mr James Churchill and Ms Andreia Moraru, Chair and Vice-Chair of EASPD’s Interest Group on Human Resources


12h35 – 13h15     PANEL I    Job Creation Potential and Underlying Barriers”

Discussion led by Mr Thomas Bignal, EASPD, Policy Officer

  • Ms Penny Clarke, EPSU, Deputy Secretary General
  • Ms Heather Roy, President, Social Services Europe
  • Mr Nicholas Costello, Deputy Head of Unit Job Creation, DG EMPL
  • Mr Heinz K. Becker (EPP/AU)
  • Mr Georgi Pirinski (S&D/BU) (tbc)

Questions and Answers with participants

13h15 – 13h50      PANEL II: Impact of Staff Shortages on Quality of Care and Support”

Discussion led by Asel Kadyrbaeva, EASPD, Research Officer

  • Ms Ansofie Leenknecht, Human Rights Officer, European Disability Forum
  • Mr Stecy Yghemonos, Executive Director, Eurocarers
  • Ms Marian Harkin (ALDE/IE)
  • Mr Brando Benifei (S&D/IT) (tbc)

Questions and Answers with participants

13h50 – 14h00      PANEL III: Conclusions

  • Heinz K. Becker, Member of the European Parliament
  • Luk Zelderloo, EASPD Secretary General

To register, contact Mr Thomas Bignal, at by 21st June.
If you need accreditation to the European Parliament, please send the following information with your registration: full name, date of birth, ID/passport number and nationality. Deadline for registration


Who is EASPD?
The European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities is a non-profit European umbrella organization, established in 1996, and currently representing over 12.000 social and health services for persons with disabilities. EASPD advocates effective and high-quality disability-related services in the field of education, employment and individualised support, in line with the UN CRPD principles, which could bring benefits not only to persons with disabilities, but to society as a whole.