LaMP Flights: Attending Berlin and Vienna Conferences to Stress Importance of Quality Labor Mobility in Elderly Care  

AUTHORS: ZUZANA CEPLASOPHIA WOLPERS, REBEKAH SMITH

FAVORITE QUOTE: 

Our seniors deserve the care they need and the many workers around the world deserve the chance to get a good job within aged care through safe, reliable and sustainable labor mobility. 

– Rebekah Smith, CEO, Labor Mobility Partnerships (LaMP) 

MAIN TAKEAWAY: 

The LaMP team organized a workshop on why and crucially how to expand legal pathways in the elderly care sector as part of the Metropolis conference in Berlin, Germany. The session received a great response and spurred interest of many different audience members as we brought a unique combination of perspectives.  

We learned about the needs of employers from the European Aging Network, how to design pilot pathways for governments from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and how to move workers in practice with responsible recruiters from Staffhouse International Resources from the Philippines. Finally, our very own Sophia Wolpers outlined approaches and tools with potential to address worker shortages in the aged care sector.  

We were also honored to have Senator Ratna Omidvar of Canada highlight LaMP in her closing plenary session as an example of the way forward in labor mobility. 

The LaMP team also attended CARE 4.0 conference in Vienna, Austria, connecting with and learning from service providers from all around Europe about the challenges within the elderly care sector and emphasizing the importance of quality labor mobility in addressing of these issues.  

LaMP TEAM REFLECTION: 

Through these unique opportunities, the LaMP team got a chance to engage with many actors within the elderly care, providing technical and strategic guidance on creating mobility pathways for the sector. As a result, we had connected with speakers and audience members alike on how to move our ideas forward in practice. 

However, engagement with specifically the individual employers stressed the nuances and uniqueness of this sector, which need to be reflected in any programming focused on elderly care. It is critical that any mobility pathway created to bring foreign workers to help take care of one of the most vulnerable populations – the elderly – includes rigorous skills and language training allowing them to provide high-level services that go beyond the “basic” needs of the residents and patients. At the same time, this training must be done in a way that allows the workers to start at their jobs within a reasonable timeline, providing them with an opportunity to improve their lives while also helping employers to address the growing labor scarcity within the sector. 

LaMP has accepted the challenge of solving this delicate and very complex set of issues. We are now turning our attention to plans for the next year, which include new areas of work in the sector to address the individual hurdles and an increased focus on how to build a movement around labor mobility in the elderly care sector as a pathway to prosperity and equality.  

Stay tuned for more details!  

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