The final conference of the TRACK project
took place on 21 June 2017 in Brussels
Empowerment of informal carers through training,
skills recognition and certification:
is there a European Future?
How to ensure that people caring responsibilities get the support they need in order to fulfil their commitment while maintaining their own well-being? How to provide a meaningful pathway to employment to informal carers who have been set aside from the labour market for a long caring period?
During the event, participants were invited to:
- Discover the innovative TRACK blended training programme designed for informal carers caring for a person affected by dementia;
- Discuss the added-value and possibilities of certification as a tool for highlighting and recognising informal carers' skills;
- Discuss the use of innovative ICT-based solutions to offer new learning opportunities to informal carers;
- And take part in a debate with practitioners and high-level decision makers on the issues attached to the development of training for informal carers at the EU, national and local level.
REPORT (to be available soon)
Presentation by Peter Wintlev-Jensen (DG CONECT)
More about the context and the organisers
Informal carers are persons who provide care (usually unpaid) to someone with a chronic illness, disability or other long-lasting health or care need, outside of a professional or formal framework. Informal carers across the EU provide over 80% of all care, with women providing approximately two thirds of care mainly as daughters (in law) and wives/partners. In our ageing societies, more and more people endorse informal caregiving activities.
While caring for a relative can be source of personal satisfaction, it brings also its own set of challenges and difficulties. Indeed, the quality of life of carers is generally poorer than for society as a whole. Being a carer is often associated with poverty, isolation, frustration, ill health and depression. Informal carers often face the specific difficulties attached to dementia without benefiting from adequate support. Informal carers of working age face significant difficulties to remain active on the labour market.
Learning opportunities, in particular when embedded in a range of support services, are highly valued by informal carers, and recommended by health professionals, vocational training professionals as well as academic research. However, evidence shows that informal carers face a multiplicity of obstacles preventing them from accessing training, including a lack of information, self-awareness, opportunities at disposal and limited availability due to their caring responsibilities. The development of online support and training offers new ways to reach out to informal carers and provide them with new opportunities.
The project TRACK (for TRAining and recognition of informal Carers’ sKills) focuses on training for informal carers caring for a person affected by dementia. Building on the cooperation between training providers, informal carers organisations and experts on skills and qualification, it has developed:
- A baseline study on existing support and learning opportunities for informal carers in the EU;
- A blended training for informal carers facing dementia, combining online and face-to-face modules, adapted and tested in three pilot countries (Germany, Spain, France);
- A study on the feasibility of the certification of this training.
Photo © Hannah Müller