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Social Service Europe Release Report on unlocking the potential of third-country social and care service professionals

Social services are one of the biggest job creators in Europe today. They also play a key role in empowering all people to play an active role in society. Over recent years, there has been a growing interest in the role of migrants in the social care sector, making up a growing proportion of the social care workforce.

To better understand how support services and authorities can best unlock the potential of third-country social and care service professionals to address staff shortages and meet the increasing demand of such services in Europe EASPD and its partners in Social Services Europe (SSE) have released their European study ‘Third-country Social and care service professionals.’

Produced by the Istituto per la Ricerca Sociale, the study analyses existing and effective interventions made at national and local levels on ways to unlock the potential of third-country social and care service professionals to address staff shortages and meet the increasing demand of such services in Europe. Based on an in-depth literature review at EU and national levels (for five selected countries: France, Germany, Ireland, Italy and Sweden), the study has also collected the experiences of a number of stakeholders in the five countries under review.

In particular, the study focuses on the following issues:

  • Demographic changes and their impact on care needs;
  • The role played by social services as a job creator in Europe;
  • The role played by migrants in the care sector in Europe;
  • Policy and good practices to support and enhance the job creation potential for migrants.
  • The main socio-demographic factors affecting the evolution of care needs in EU Member States

The report identifies a number of problems and obstacles hindering migrant workers’ access to the labour market and summarises them into three main macro areas:

  1. The lack of language skills, knowledge of local culture and social capital;
  2. Skills mismatches and lack of recognised qualifications and administrative requirements;
  3. The discriminatory approach towards migrants hindering them from accessing the regular labour market, effectively resulting in many having no option other than to work in the grey/informal economy.

Overcoming these multiple changes is necessary as well as fostering inclusive social policies and integration measures. Since successful integration depends on the engagement of multiple actors, the study presents several different types of integration measures put in place by European institutions, civil society organisations, NGOs and employers. Their features are described in the study as well as a number of promising practices to address these obstacles and to support the access of migrants in the labour market implemented in the five European countries selected for the analysis.

To read the full report, click here.