Progress in White
The current phenomenon of the aging population in rural areas has important implications of various kinds. Focusing exclusively in the area of health, it is clear the consequent increase in age-dependent diseases, along with other factors (social, psychological ...), that generates various situations of dependency. Home care to dependent elderly mainly comes from an informal network, where the family - especially women - has an important role. However, current forecasts indicate a weakening of this network of care, a fact which is caused by several factors: change in the social role of women, aging and increased fragility of caregivers, usually generated by a situation of long and intensive care.

The Progress in White project dealt with this evolution, focusing on the skills needs for “white jobs”, particularly in the home care sector. A priority in this project was to explore and define models of social care and education, related mainly to home care for elderly, to suit the characteristics of rural areas, in order to increase the offer of flexible services and to promote equity in access to public services.

The Project was based on the Agenda for “New Skills and Jobs”, promoted by the EU Commission. It was supported by the European Union Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – PROGRESS (2007-2013).

The project specific objectives were:
  • Develop, collect and analyze existing good practices in the health and social care sector collaborating between different sectors and stakeholders.
  • Support human resources development in social home care in Europe by the dissemination of information on best practices.
  • Enhance initiatives targeted at lifelong learning and lifelong guidance involving several key stakeholders.
  • Map, analyze and disseminate existing or new mechanisms to improve the responsiveness of education and training programmes to labour market needs, regarding social care services.
  • Encourage exchanges and mutual learning, achieving the transferability of the most effective policies, good practices and innovative approaches in white jobs and its future.

Project implementation involved a partnership of several public and private institutions from nine member states: Spain, Greece, Italy, Malta, Bulgaria, Portugal, Romania, Turkey and Poland. RCDI was the Portuguese partner, in charge of project implementation if the Alentejo region.

The implementation period was 12 months. Three transnational conferences were held in this period, taking place in Poland (June 2014), Portugal (September 2014) and Bulgaria (November 2014) with the participation of invited experts from the partner regions.

Documents for download:

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This publication reflects the views only of the author,
and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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