Workplace Inclusion in general
Workplace Inclusion means to build up a workplace culture that builds respect, fosters inclusiveness, promotes diversity and embraces the unique skills and qualities of all employees of a company. Workplace Inclusion encompasses many positive aspects of life.
It is about acknowledging the diverse skills and perspectives that people may bring to the workplace because of their cultural background or their disability.
The aim is to remove barriers to ensure all employees enjoy full participation in a workplace which supports the development and achievement of well informed and culturally appropriate business outcomes.
It also involves recognizing the value of individual differences and managing them in the workplace.
Furthermore, the project targets the priority adult education: Extending and developing educators’ competences and the priority vocational training:
Developing business partnerships aimed at promoting work-based learning in all its forms.
Workplace inclusion as an opportunity
In many European companies, workplace inclusion is seen as an annoying and costly obligation rather than an opportunity. A new training course should offer the opportunity to better integrate people with disabilities, having the aim to strengthen the company’s profile enormously.
The legal situation is clear: ** All public services and goods should be accessible. **
This law facilitates the independent living of about 15 percent of the population with increasing tendency caused by the ageing society. However, the knowledge about the different requirements of the various types of handicaps is largely missing and barrier-free adaptation is often not available in spite of compulsory standards. The project, initiated by Franz Niederl, lecturer at the Institute for Internet Technologies & Applications, aims to counteract this development by creating a new training course entitled Workplace Inclusion 4.0. The project started on 1 October 2017 and will last until 30 September 2019.
The project focuses on improving the workplace situation for people with disabilities and thus on a better integration at the workplace. Initially, a study will be carried out to assess/ evaluate the current state of occupational integration of people with disabilities in different regions in Europe. The collected best practice examples will be integrated into the creation of teaching and learning materials for a training with subsequent test courses. It will take place in Greece, Finland, Italy, Turkey and Austria, the five participating partner countries. Finally, the test courses should be evaluated and the WI4.0 training will be improved according to the results. The program is designed for business consultants and HR staff, especially at universities, to sustainably improve the working conditions for people with disabilities.
Training with certificate
The result of the project is a comprehensive training which enables the participants to improve the work situation for people with disabilities. The awareness of the topic should be consistently raised and the participants can additionally receive a certificate of the completed training course. The WI4.0 training is also suitable for people with disabilities, so that they can create better working situations as “experts for their own case”. The training course corresponds to the national implementation within the framework of the European Qualifications Framework.
The training will continue even after of the project is completed in the autumn of 2019. In addition, the training materials can be accessed online. The certification can be obtained after the project has been completed. The increased know-how of the participants represents an important milestone for further positive developments towards accessibility in the world of work.
In the project WI4.0, the following activities are conducted:
1) Survey of the current status quo of WI4.0 in different companies.
2) Collecting best practice examples from different regions
3) Development of teaching and learning materials for the training course WI4.0
4) Implementation of the training course in all five partner countries
5) Participants can additionally receive a certificate after completing the training course