The conference took place in Brussels on the 5th of July 2022 with the following topic: Addressing workforce needs and challenges in social services to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights and the forthcoming EU Care Strategy.

The NETWORK was represented by Dionysis Serras Psychologist, Head of the Research & Development Department of the organization “PLOES”, and head of the European Programs team of the NET.

The experience of the conference was impressive, regarding the perspective that an observer can develop once he/she discovers that they are part of both the problem and the solution at the same time.

Gregor Tomschizek, President of Social Employers opened the event, presenting the key results from the Social Employers survey on staff shortages in social services across Europe.

Subsequently, specific key findings from the soon to be published report on ‘’Current attractiveness’ challenges in the social services sector’’ were presented.

The second part focused on the upcoming European Care Strategy.

During the afternoon session, examples of how to deal with staff shortages in EU member states were presented.

The event concluded with the representatives of employers and social workers from 4 EU countries: Isabelle Le Nan, SCOP Initiatives Formation (FR), Juan Vela, President of Grupo Social Lares (ES), Johan Van Eeghem BBTK (BE), Sandra van den The Braak, Maaike Piet and Bert de Haas, FNV (NL), presenting their experiences and good practices in addressing the challenges of the workforce of the social services sector.

One can say that the conference highlighted, both the importance of investments in the sector and the adaptation of employee training to current needs as well as the essential role of social dialogue in addressing current and future challenges.