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Advancing professionalisation

On 29 January 2024, PHS European social partners held an online workshop on good practices for improving the professionalisation of the domestic & homecare workforce. The workshop was organized under the framework of PHSDialogue Project.

The workshop opened with the presentation of the PHSDialogue project and the overarching goal of the workshop by the project coordinator, UNI Europa.

Afterwards, the first panel on the initiatives implemented in the services providers employment model was moderated by Grace Papa (EFFAT). During this panel,
good practices from France, Germany and Belgium were showcase. In Belgium, FormTS is the service voucher training fund and organizes trainings, creates tools and supports financially employers through grants when they make training efforts. In Germany, a representative from the Competence Centre PQHD at Fulda University highlighted that currently tensions exist as universal recognition of training and certification modules across Germany remains a challenge, impacting certification and workforce recruitment efforts. That’s why their goal is to promote the development of qualification for household-related services, by organizing trainings that enable workers to have their qualifications recognised throughout Germany. Lastly, Guy Loudière from Fédésap presented the apprenticeship model applied in France, allowing workers (from 16 to 29 years old) to access it, once followed a preliminary course. Beneficiaries can be both people already employed as well as people entering the labour market. Employers can receive financial incentives for hiring apprentices. 

The discussion then turned to the initiatives implemented in the direct employment model. In France, a representative from CGT Commerce et Services discussed the growth of the direct employment sector in France, highlighting the evolution of union representation. Nadège Turco from IPERIA elaborated on their role in professionalizing direct employment workers, offering various services like career guidance and free training sessions. IPERIA's efforts aim to fill the anticipated 800,000 job positions by 2030. In Italy, Ebincolf, established by Italian social partners, aims to professionalize domestic workers through training and certification. They have issued over 2000 certifications and aim to be a reference point in the sector. Lastly in Spain (Basque Country), The ZainLab project focuses on improving employment and entrepreneurship strategies for caregiving. Through initiatives like the Mentsad training program, the project aims to enhance the qualifications and skills of caregivers, particularly in intercultural competence.

During the last panel on potential EU initiatives to address the challenges, Viola Rimondini from DG HOME, presented the EU Talent Pool, which aims to address severe labor shortages in Member States (MS) by facilitating talent attraction from third countries. It serves as an EU-wide platform to provide legal migration pathways for jobseekers from third countries, focusing on shortage occupations across MS and those linked to green and digital transitions. Later on, Julie Fionda from DG EMPL, discussed labor shortages, particularly in sectors like healthcare, long-term care, IT, and construction. Lastly, Jiri Branka, an expert at CEDEFOP, addressed employment trends in the PHS sector, noting challenges in identifying the sector due to undeclared work. He highlighted employment concentration in Nordic countries, projecting limited growth in employment by 2035 despite substantial growth over the past decade.

As part of the PHSDialogue project, another public workshop is scheduled early 2025 and will discuss occupational health and safety prevention.