Unlocking the job creation potential in the home-care services sector in Europe

Eurofound publishes new research on more and better home-care services in Europe:

Unlocking the job creation potential in the home-care services sector in Europe

(Dublin, Ireland): Europe can harness large-scale scope for increased job creation in the home-care services sector as its ageing population continues to generate demand for more and better jobs in long-term care.  Despite employment growth in the sector, however, difficult working conditions and inadequate skills and low wages threaten to slow further development.  In this context, Eurofound launches a new report looking at how successful recruitment and retention measures in home-care and support services can contribute to employment growth at a high-level conference under the Lithuanian EU Presidency in Brussels today.

Home-care services was one of the few sectors that experienced a growth in employment figures during the past five years, with an increase of nearly 6% during the period 2008-2010 and 2.6% between the years 2010 and 2012. There are currently more than 13 million people working in the health care sector and nearly five million workers in Europe providing home- care services.

‘The long-term care sector offers ways to tackle the demographic and employment challenges Europe faces. If we do things right, we will be able to provide more and better jobs while at the same time improving accessibility and quality of services,’ says Juan Menéndez-Valdés, Eurofound’s Director. ‘Overall, there is currently an increasing trend towards more community-based care promoting the greater independence of people with functional limitations, user preferences and the potential of assisted-living technology.’

There are barriers to job creation in this sector, the report found, mainly shortage of recruits and budgetary constraints, but also demanding working conditions. In the long-term, the report predicts increasing shortages, especially in the area of better-qualified personnel.

Eurofound’s research looked at initiatives in 10 EU Member States that were successful in either creating more jobs in the provision of social care for adults in the community, or in improving the quality of jobs, with the aim of both attracting new recruits and retaining existing staff, and improve the quality of service.

Attracting young people to the home care sector is particularly important as it can help decrease the high rates of youth unemployment, the report argues. It can also ensure that the current home-care workforce can be replaced in the future. This is particularly important in the health and social care sectors in which nearly one third of the workforce is 50 years old or more. Apprenticeships in home care services can also help young people who are currently not in education, employment or training improve their situation.

 

You can access and download the report here http://bit.ly/hcs2013

For further information contact Måns Mårtensson, media manager, on email: mma@eurofound.europa.eu, telephone: +353-1-204 3124, or mobile: +353-876-593 507.

 

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working conditions (Eurofound) is a tripartite European Union Agency, whose role is to provide knowledge in the area of social and work-related policies. Eurofound was established in 1975 by Council Regulation (EEC) No. 1365/75.

For more information about Eurofound and its work, and free access to all our data and findings, visit our website and follow us on these social media channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, or Flickr.