Across the EU there are divergent policies on people who use or have used drugs and alcohol. In terms of increasing employability and employment opportunities for this group, practice and approaches vary greatly. The European Action for Employment in Recovery (EAER) partnership reflects the divergence across Europe as a whole. The Dutch Foundation of Innovation Welfare 2 Work (DFW2W) and Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) (both organisations are involved in Elevate as well) have written a project designed for people who have a history of drug and alcohol problems, and those who are current problem drug users. They face significant social and economic inequalities and are marginalised within society particularly in terms of their education, training and employment. Long term drug users can face a cycle of disadvantage where poor school experiences lead to low participation in post-school education and less work experience and so less vocational training. Their employment prospects are greatly reduced as are other factors including confidence and understanding of the labour market. They also face significant stigma from employers and others.
After the Dutch Study visit of SDF , DFW2W have intensified their collabouration with SDF, resulting in EAER. The EAER project objectives are:
– To deliver positive and long lasting effects on policy and participating organisations through building more employability and employment opportunities for people who use or have used substances
– To deliver positive and long lasting effects on people participating in the programme through increased knowledge, skills, and motivation to improve services.
EAER is a collaborative project of 4 partner organisations in 4 EU member states who are working with problem drug users to increase their employability as part of their rehabilitation and with the ultimate aim that they are employed, are less reliant on the state, contribute to society and, consequently economic and social inequalities are reduced within and between member states.
European Action for Employment in Recovery is a partnership that consist of Scottish Drugs Forum, the Dutch Foundation Innovation in Welfare 2 Work, AGENCIA PIAGET PARA O DESENVOLVIMENTO, and La Tenda.
The concept is to work together to increase capacity to deliver employability work with people who have a history of drug and alcohol problems in each of the partner countries – enhancing the provision of employability interventions within front-line drug and alcohol services.
We will look to disseminate good practice beyond the group through regular e-bulletins, two project conferences, and two good practice guides, along with a dedicated website for the project duration and beyond.
There will also be a blended mobility aspect and multiple networking opportunities through dedicated EAER Days, with ongoing communication through the duration of the project. to enhance activities and ensure that project objectives are met.