The Office of Autonomous Living (DSL) supports people who have difficulty accessing the working world with integration into the universal job market. With this in mind, this initial point of call within DSL Menschen (DSL People) helps people with disabilities to access education and work.
Its staff needed training in order to improve service quality and meet European standards. That was why they decided to apply for funding through the Erasmus+ programme in 2015. It proved to be a very good decision, with best practices being developed as a result of the project.
Multiple staff members successfully took part in the further training for integration consultants at BAG UB. “Providing professional employment support” is a long-standing further training course offered by Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft für Unterstützte Beschäftigung (Federal Working Group for Supported Employment – BAG UB). The eight modules cover the process of professional integration, from individual career planning, to successfully securing a job and gaining qualifications at work, to maintaining long-term employment relationships and understanding good practice for regional networking.
The newly trained employees valued their discussions with German colleagues, and in October 2017 participated in a follow-up meeting to discuss and evaluate developments within the different institutions. During the project, participants made interesting, long-term contacts and exchanged a great deal of information.
As well as attending the different modules, participants had to complete various pieces of written work, complete and evaluate a project, and submit process documents on work with a client. This enabled them to reflect on their own ways of working and grapple with on “professionalism” and “European standards” which, according to participants, greatly increased employee motivation and service quality.
The methods learnt were discussed in team meetings and some were directly tested and ultimately implemented within DSL. All colleagues were involved in this process, with the learning outcomes benefitting the entire team.
Supported employment is also of huge interest to other organisations. During the project, the concept was presented to other institutions in Belgium’s German-speaking community (including the Ministry, employment office, departments linked to socioeconomics, and the Dienst für Sozial-Berufliche Eingliederung (Department for Socio-Professional Integration)). By spreading word of its newly acquired knowledge, DSL also reached many people outside its own remit. The Ministry has since decided to send three employees to the next round of training with BAG UB, and DSL has likewise registered three more employees.
Do you work in adult education and wish to offer your staff further training?
Erasmus+ makes it all possible, supporting training opportunities and the chance to attend lectures.
For further information about the European support programme, please see below for direct access to your national agency according to country:
- Germany: Nationale Agentur Bildung für Europa beim Bundesinstitut für Berufsbildung (BiBB) (National Training Agency for Europe at the Federal Institute for Professional Training)
- Austria: Österreichischer Austauschdienst GmbH (OeAD) (Austrian Agency for International Mobility)
- Luxembourg: Anefore asbl
- Belgium (German-speaking community): Jugendbüro VoG (Office for Youth)