Network G Reconciling family and professional life, as well as the reintegration of men and women who have left the labour market, by developing more flexible and effective forms of work organisation and support services.
Project name @lterEgo
Project number G0588

Project description

The Development Partnership was established to counteract the unemployment of single men and women who take care of dependent persons (e.g. disabled children).

The Project is intended to develop model solutions helping to reconcile career and family life by providing support to the development of children and dependent care institutions, improvement of skills and promotion of flexible employment schemes.

Single unemployed parents face several labour market integration barriers - including mental ones and those related to the labour market status of this social group. The most important of them are: apathy, vocational inactivity and a lack of knowledge about flexible employment schemes, as well as inadequate familiarity with job seeking methods. The approach of potential employers to single unemployed parents is also a problem: employers are afraid of their low availability.

Based on surveys made under Activity 1, the Development Partnership has structured activities intended to improve labour market status of single parents. The activities proposed under the Project are: (a) to develop occupational integration and skill improvement mechanisms to be used during an employment break for taking care of children or dependents; (b) to work out methods of cooperation between local authorities and enterprises in the area of founding and operating care/educational centres, removing communication barriers and obstacles in providing care to dependent persons; (c) to test new approaches to the promotion of flexible employment and organisation of work as a way to reconcile career and family life, among male and female job seekers and employers; to raise awareness of employers in the area of equal opportunities, especially with regard to single parents; (d) to monitor for gender discrimination occurrences.

The Development Partnership plans to establish Labour Promotion Centre (LPC), operating as a training/counseling institution and job agency using flexible employment arrangements. At LPC, the beneficiaries will have their vocational predispositions identified and personal action/ career building plan developed. In addition, the beneficiaries will learn how to write application documents (like a CV) and seek a job effectively. As part of skill improvement or retraining measures, the beneficiaries will attend vocational training courses, including "Computer Driver's License" courses (a final certificate of competence in the use of the latest information/communication technology will be awarded) and English language course.

In addition to training and advice given to the jobless, the Labour Promotion Centre will provide job agency services to the beneficiaries. Upon completion of training programme, the beneficiaries will continue to work for the Centre providing services to external customers.

A Centre of Rehabilitation and Integrative Care (CRIC) will be established under the Project to provide care to beneficiaries' children, while their parents are trained. The Centre is to host sessions and workshop delivered by specialists with assistance from volunteer workers. The
workshops are intended to develop children's interests and abilities, while integrating disabled
and healthy children.

A documentary sequel is to be produced to demonstrate the goals of the Project and its activities based on the example of actual beneficiaries of the Project. The sequel will be screened by a local TV channel to promote occupational integration and raise local community's awareness of problems faced by single unemployed parents.

The Development Partnership is planning to host conferences and workshops for the local employers in the use of flexible employment arrangements, so that they are better informed of potential benefits from using the e-centre, as available at LPC. In addition, a manual of flexible employment arrangements will be elaborated. The manual will contain information gathered throughout the Project (including a review of related employers' needs, costs and benefits from using these arrangements and related legal aspects).

LPC and CRIC will survive the Project. Thanks to the involvement of the beneficiaries in the operations of the two institutions, they will continue to provide e-centre, job agency and child care services, while motivating and mobilizing other single parents to resume occupational activities.

Good practice will be disseminated and included into mainstream policies by dissemination of information materials across Poland and abroad, hosting conferences, seminars, workshops and contests, as well as through cooperation with policy-making institution of the local, regional and national levels. International Day of Equal Opportunities will help to promote the idea behind the Project among the local community (Lublin residents).