Staff are the lifeblood of the social care and support services sector. Without staff, there are no services. A strong workforce, with the right training and skills, is crucial to the delivery of high-quality support to persons with disabilities, that are in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD). Despite their importance, the recruitment and retention of staff is a growing and ever more pressing issue for support service providers across Europe and beyond.
EASPD’s recent conference, ‘Staff Matters! Disability Workforce of Tomorrow’ brought together over 300 participants to explore how we can create the conditions for a disability workforce that can meet the future needs of their service users and their families.
Digitalisation, the increased mobility of workers and the demand for more flexible working arrangements, as well as the need to make the sector more attractive to employees and ensure that staff are equipped with the appropriate knowledge and skills, all impact on the quality of service that our members can offer. These issues were identified as posing key opportunities but also challenges as we seek to shape the future workforce of the sector.
Our programme at the two-day conference in Helsinki meant that we could showcase the very latest research and promising practices in promoting recruitment and retention in the sector. Delegate discussions have laid the foundations for EASPD’s future activities. We shall continue to work with our members towards our goal. That is to develop innovative strategies, that secure the sector’s status as a respected employer, with a motivated workforce who can deliver high quality based personalised services and contribute to the full implementation of the UN CRPD.