Whilst the EU Disability Strategy focuses on eliminating barriers and has identified eight main areas for action at EU level to supplement national ones, there is of yet no structured focus or examination of these barriers at local or coal face level and which is specific to people with disabilities who are in transition from school to work.
As members of the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, and in association with the many other member organisations, representing both old and new EU member states, this proposed partnership has in depth experience, expertise and knowledge in providing and developing a broad range of services for persons with disabilities.
There is overwhelming evidence as collaborated and specified in the new EU Disability Strategy 2010-2020 (A Renewed Commitment to a Barrier-Free Europe), that persons with disabilities who are in transition from school to employment and work opportunities are either prevented, or at least inhibited from both accessing employment and/or sustaining themselves in the workplace, through interaction with various barriers which in effect hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with other citizens (EU Labour Force Survey ad hoc module on employment of disabled people (LFS AHM), 2002).
This partnership, comprised of teachers, trainers, trainees and VET professionals, as well as other social partners and institutions, and representing the European Union in its broadest context and sense is committed to mutual cooperation on a common theme through an examination of these barriers.
A fluent and cohesive transition form vocational education and training towards a working life and employment in the open labour market is both essential and conducive to the positive integration and inclusion of persons with disabilities. Having completed formal education and training with the many supports and structures provided, the process of transition can in many cases be very difficult with the absence of these structures and supports. Whilst there is general awareness and acknowledgement of societal barriers which negatively impact on the transition process from school to work, both at local and national level, there is no common template or coordinated methodology or approach to either examining and/or overcoming these barriers. The concrete goal of this partnership will be to improve the transition process from school to work.
01.09.2012 - 31.07.2014