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Inclusive approaches

Some groups in society face discrimination in finding work, as well as in the workplace. They include women, older workers, minorities, and immigrants, among others. To help such groups, and others, ESF projects promote active inclusion measures which involve a series of steps to accompany them towards employment.

While many jobseekers only require help with new skills or work placements, more disadvantaged people may need more intensive support. This can involve ‘integrated pathways to work’ – meaning giving an individual personal support to guide them into a job, or to improve their well-being. Counselling on individual needs and aspirations can be followed by help with getting appropriate skills, then accompanying the participant through the job search and job application process – and providing follow-up support, often in cooperation with the employer. Better access to health and social services and childcare support can form a part of this process. Many ESF projects are implementing such ‘active inclusion’ measures.

  • Many ESF projects are fighting the discrimination people face in getting a job and in the workplace. Activities include creating pathways to re-entry and reintegration into employment for groups suffering discrimination, for example in projects that work with employers to identify job opportunities for women with young children.
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  • Others are working on creating a culture of diversity in the workplace to combat discrimination and raise awareness. Examples include visits and workshops arranged between young immigrant job-seekers and local police and fire services – aimed at encouraging them to consider public service as a career.

ESF projects are helping a wide variety of people facing difficulties and discrimination. Mothers looking forward to returning to work after having children, but whose childcare obligations are unwelcome to employers; highlyskilled older people who are passed over for promotion in favour of younger candidates; immigrants who are discriminated against by potential employers, employers or colleagues; people with chronic illnesses, or those have been released from prison. These are groups of people who suffer from discrimination in the labour market – in getting a job, in keeping a job, and in progressing in a job.