The Women Return to Work Project was a two year project funded through Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships for adult education: KA2 – Cooperation for innovation and the exchange of good practices: 2016-1-SE01-KA204-022066
The partners were from:
The aim of the project was to prepare women of all ages (local, migrant, refugee and disabled) to return to employment or entrepreneurship after a period of economic inactivity by developing their key skills and competencies to improve labour mobility especially in rural areas where finding employment can be more difficult by providing them with explore opportunities to create employment.
Each partner provided their expertise in specific areas: Sweden will present its ISO 9001 certified mentoring programme; Northern Ireland (UK), how to support women to set up a business in rural areas; Poland, supporting women with a disability to return to work and Turkey, its vocational training initiatives for women.
The project ran from the 1 October 2016 to the 30 September 2018.
The first meeting took place in Sweden in December 2016.
The Project partners from Turkey, Poland and the UK were hosted by their Swedish partner in Falun. The meeting was an opportunity for the partners to develop their work plan for the 2 year project and agree a programme and dates for future meetings.
Marianne Lundberg, President of Minverva Foundation presented their mentoring programme which supports immigrant women graduates to secure employment. Participants heard the personal stores from the the Mentors and Mentees involved in the programme. This best practice model will be shared at further meetings in N Ireland, Poland and Turkey.
The second best practice meeting took pace in N Ireland (UK)
10 – 14 May 2017.
The purpose of this meeting was to share their best practice between in N Ireland and to here how women are supported to return to work or set up business in this region.
Partners from Sweden, Poland and Turkey begin their visit with host, Heather McLaughlin, Europe Direct NI in the EU Commission office, Belfast.
The third best practice meeting took place in Krakow, Poland 11 – 15 October 2017
The specific theme of this visit was how to support women with disabilities.
Partners from Sweden, UK and Turkey with Polish hosts Grzegorz, Joanna and Lidia with speaker Beata Zelek who support students with disability at the University of Krakow.
Dissemination events were held in Konya, Turkey 2 – 5 May 2018
During the disseimantion event the partners from Sweden, Poland, UK and Turkey met with some of the groups of women in the various trianing centres run by KOMEK. The women receive training to support them return to work through KOMEK who deliver trianing to over 30, 000 women each year.
The group visits Culture Park Sale Centre who help to sell the products the women create during their workshops such as ceramics, lace, pottery, art works. Visits also took place to Saman Pazarı Furnishings Workshop Buyuk Sinan Art and Design Center and Karatay Women’s Club as well as Konya Ecdat Park to meet and share the benefits of participating in the Women return to work project.
As it was the end of the training year a speical celebration exhibition was held to exhibit and display all the items the women had produced and to celebrate their development throughout the year. The exhibition was attended by over 500 people at the İrfan Cultural Centre.
The dissemination meeting was reported on Turkish Television
On the final day a seminar was held where each of the partners shared the best practice from their region and heard from some of the success stories from women who had taken part in the programme which had helped them to set up their own businesses.
The final Meeting Krakow, Poland 31 August to 2 September 2018
The final meeting of the women return to work project took place in Poland to review the action plan and to prepare for the final report.
The project partners discussed final promotional activities to share the results of the project and to evaluate how the project had achieved its objecives.
The partners will share their reports and best practice examples on mentoring; developing entrepreneurship in rural areas; supporting women with disabilities to return to work and vocational training for women on the Erasmus+ online results platform.
More information on the Women return to work Facebook page below.