Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee: Towards a Framework of Action on Retention and Recruitment in Social Services

The Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for social services met in the form of two working groups on July 3. It brought together members and affiliates of the Federation of European Social Employers (Social Employers), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), and the European Federation of Public Service Unions (EPSU), to discuss the first topic for the work programme agreed during the first meeting in December 2023: retention and recruitment in social services.

During the meeting, Eurofound provided an overview on the state of play of the workforce in the care sector. The importance of good working conditions was outlined, with a focus on mental and physical health risks, to meet with the increasing need of care.

This was followed by a discussion on retention and recruitment in the social services sector. The European Commission made an introduction to the Action Plan to address labour and skills shortages in the EU released in March 2024. The Action Plan outlines several strategies, including support for skills development, training and education, improvement of working conditions, incentives for career development, and measures to attract new workforce.

The Social Employers and EPSU also provided an overview of their joint work on recruitment and retention. This includes a joint position paper on recruitment and retention and a project report on attractiveness. Both documents highlight the need of good working conditions,  skills & training and communication on social services jobs.

During the second part of the meeting, the Commission also presented the main outcomes from the Mutual learning workshop on long-term care (LTC) workforce that took place in April 2024. It gave the opportunity for the national long-term care coordinators to exchange on good practices, especially on topics such as social dialogue and collective bargaining, education and training and the support to workers in vulnerable situations. The Commission is currently in the process of receiving their national reports.

The Social Employers, CEMR and EPSU secretariats will continue working with their members on drafting the framework of actions until next Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee in November 2024.