Public investment in the social services workforce to deliver inclusive growth - EPSU at the 2019 Annual Convention for Inclusive Growth

Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, DG EMPL, delivering her speech in the opening session

Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, DG EMPL, delivering her speech in the opening session of the 2019 Annual Convention on Inclusive Growth [Photo © European Commission 2019,, Flickr section]

(24 May 2019) The Federation of European Social Employers (short: "Social Employers"), together with the European Association for Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) and EPSU hosted a side event (see here for the agenda and here for the slide set with the main messages) at the 2019 Annual Convention for Inclusive Growth (ACIG) in Brussels. The event organised on 20 May 2019 was entitled “How can investment in social services workforce deliver inclusive growth? Innovative approaches in recruitment, retention and training?”

Social care systems are in need of reform, due to social trends such an ageing population, more women entering the labour force, integrated care and technology and a move towards deinstitutionalisation and person-centred care. The demand for social care is expected to strongly increase whereas studies predict that this high demand may not be satisfied, mainly due to a shortage of qualified social care and support staff. The side event (see for more details p. 45 of the programme) addressed the following questions, from an employers', users', providers' and trade union perspective: 1) How does social services staff contribute to delivering the European Pillar of Social Rights?; 2) How will the future of social care and support services change the nature of work in social services?; 3) How to attract qualified professionals to the sector?; 4) How to use cross-sectoral collaboration to make social services the best employers? The presentations and discussions also touched upon innovative practices with regard to training, recruitment and retention, in particular in the child care sector, including efforts to recruit more men as childcare workers - based on an initiative and campaign by a French employer organisation ( SNAECSO) - and looked into strategies and recommendations on how to make social services more attractive.

EPSU contributed to the panel discussion on related challenges for the social service workforce and possible solutions from a trade union perspective. You can read the notes of the EPSU intervention here and the main messages of four of the five panelists here. The Social Employers have issued this article on the event. You find the key recommendations from the side event on p. 7 of this slide set.

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