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David French


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David French

  1. 1. Employment and training for people with disabilities: the role of Europe David French French and Burt Ltd Project design, direction and evaluation Policy analysis and consultancy
  2. 2. This presentation <ul><li>It is to help put Bifocal in its European context: </li><ul><li>Past, present and future. </li></ul><li>It reflects my experience: </li><ul><li>The outcomes of projects I have worked on as director, partner, specialist consultant and external evaluator.
  3. 3. The numerous conferences and meetings I've attended over 25 years.
  4. 4. The many things I have learned from talking to colleagues, project staff, policy-makers and, of course, disabled people and their organisations. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. 'Disability': a priority for Europe <ul><li>The EU recognises the importance of VET in an open labour market </li><ul><li>Therefore equal access to VET is a European priority </li></ul><li>Combating social exclusion is a priority of the 'Citizens' Europe'
  6. 6. So action to improve equality of access became a priority in social and economic policy as well as a key feature of relevant European programmes </li></ul>
  7. 7. Main project themes <ul><li>Developing employability </li><ul><li>Helping disabled people to recognise and use their existing skills
  8. 8. Providing direct support and training – e.g. through mentoring </li></ul><li>Working with teachers against barriers to access and participation in VET
  9. 9. Working with employers to open the workplace </li></ul>
  10. 10. Some policy implications <ul><li>Access to VET is key to access to jobs </li><ul><li>But barriers - both explicit and hidden – persist </li></ul><li>Over-concern with physical access is a continuing problem
  11. 11. The 'business case' for employing disabled people is very powerful
  12. 12. There is a great deal of latent support for improved practice – the challenge is to mobilise it </li></ul>
  13. 13. More policy implications <ul><li>The implementation of policy works at very different speeds within and between countries.
  14. 14. The 'old status quo' retains powerful support. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul>Overall orientation </ul><ul><ul><li>Developing materials to enable people in mainstream organisations to take the same responsibility for their disabled students and employees as they wouldfor any other </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. What of the future? <ul><li>The pressure towards progress is greater than pressure for a retreat.
  17. 17. But progress won't be steady or consistent.
  18. 18. Project funding at European level will remain vital – but getting it will require ever- increasing ingenuity.
  19. 19. Development must meet local needs and circumstances. </li><ul><li>One size does not fit all: not all users are the same.
  20. 20. Cultural adaptation will always be crucial.
  21. 21. But we must not give way on core principles </li></ul></ul>