NEWSLETTER 1 I MAY 2023
DOMESTIC CARE WORKERS: HOW TO CREATE AND ENSURE RESILIENT EMPLOYMENT PATHWAYS?
Upskilling domestic care workers to ensure resilient employment pathways (DoCUp) is a 28-month Erasmus+ project. Coordinated by the Folkuniversitetet in Uppsala (Sweden), the DoCUp Consortium consists of five organisations active in education, training and support for innovation in care services: Anziani e non solo (Italy), Promea (Greece), Infodef (Spain) and the University of Humanities and Economics in Lodz (Poland).
The objective of the DoCUp project is to provide domestic care workers with the social, transversal and attitudinal skills needed to ensure their resilient employment paths and to respond to future and current challenges in the home care sector, such as those raised by the COVID-19 pandemic. How is the DoCUp consortium progressing towards this project goal?
EVIDENCE-BASED LEARNING OUTCOMES FOR WORKERS IN THE HOME CARE SECTOR
The first result comprises a common competence (framework) matrix for the occupational profile of domestic carers and the challenges that the care sector has experienced before and after the COVID-19 epidemic. The matrix depicts the combination of skills, knowledge, and competences required to deliver safe and high-quality care services (skills demand), the skills & competences that are available in the labor market (skills supply), and those missing and in need for development (skills gaps).
How do we get there?
Here is a brief overview of the activities that enabled us to arrive at the definition of the common competence (framework) matrix for the occupational profile of domestic carers.
1. Design of a common methodology and collection of evidence on skill needs existing training opportunities for domestic care workers
Thanks to the methodology that was defined, the partners were able to conduct a desk research, considering any relevant experiences primarily in the partnership countries and other EU countries, and a field research(e.g., questionnaires, semi-structured interviews, and/or focus groups) in the partnership countries on care skills needs and work environment realities, primarily addressed to employment intermediaries (recruitment agencies) as well as a small number of interviews or focus groups with field experts. This activity was fundamental in determining the set of skills, knowledge and competencies needed to provide high quality care services and maintain well-being.
2. Analysis of challenges faced, and lessons learnt from the pandemic for the care sector
This task comprises secondary research on challenges faced and lessons learnt for domestic care workers that had to work in the front lines of care during the COVID-19 epidemic. In combination with the evidence collection performed in the previous research phase, the task had been vital for determining the labor market skill gaps pertaining to domestic care work and will thus provide a basis for developing the DoCUp learning outcomes.
At the conclusion of this activity, a report was compiled, bringing together what emerged in all the countries of the partnership. The report can be consulted and downloaded for free here: https://docuproject.eu/download/293/
3. Definition of DoCUp learning outcomes based on skills needs and identified gaps
Thanks to what emerged in the previous steps, we were able to define a complete picture of the skills needed for domestic care and the existing training offers, which is extensively presented in a report that you can easily download freely from here.
The learning outcomes include a diverse set of soft and hard skills and competences, ranging from critical care skills to transversal and attitudinal such as time-management, observation, and communication skills to using technological applications for monitoring clients’ health and developing sense of agency and well-being.
On this basis, we worked to develop an up-to-date training curriculum responding to the real training needs of domestic care workers and the professional requirements of their workplace.
The updated training curriculum
The DoCUp partnership has created and published the updated training curriculum for domestic care workers, based on the evidence that emerged during the survey phase of the project. The curriculum includes six areas of in-depht study, aimed at developing and/or reinforcing critical care skills, basic health skills and digital skills, as well as the full range of skills to promote worker and user safety, personal well-being, communication and interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
The curriculum is now available online and it can be consulted and downloaded free of charge in English, Italian, Greek, Polish, Spanish and Swedish via this link: https://docuproject.eu/downloads/.
Partners are now jointly working on the creation of the online, free and open version of the multilingual training curriculum, even more enriching and comprehensive version than the one already published. In addition, other training materials will also be made available, including an e-book for domestic care workers and a handbook for trainers.
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