Inclusion starts in the workplace! Thanks to Valueable, 328 workers and trainees with intellectual disabilities have had job placements in the past 10 years. And this is just the beginning.

February 27th 2024: the end-date of “ValueS”, the fourth consecutive project of the Valueable network, coordinated by Associazione Italiana Persone Down and a good practice funded through the European Commission Erasmus+ Programme since 2014. 

The goal? Simple: lowering the high unemployment rate of people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in Europe by fostering and supporting job inclusion in the hospitality sector. The Valueable network spans 8 European countries and has 130 members in Italy, Austria, Germany, Hungary, Portugal, Spain, Turkey and Croatia. From the beginning, the aim was to improve access to training and employment opportunities in the hospitality sector through the members of the Valueable network. At the same time, the initiative aims to increase the inclusive capacity of vocational training providers and companies in the hospitality sector. 

🎯 Valueable’s 10-year track record is rich:

  • 170 hospitality companies involved (currently, there are 130 active members), in 8 European countries, through the registered trademark “Valueable – Handing opportunities”;
  • 32 accredited training agencies;
  • 6 hotel or restaurant chains that have signed protocols of collaboration with Valueable;
  • 328 trainees/workers with intellectual disabilities included in employment opportunities; 
  • 50 young people who partook in 3-week long internships at a Valueable network hotel in a country other than their own.

💡Furthermore, through Valueable many tools to facilitate inclusion processes have been developed:

  • The app” On my own” to facilitate autonomy at work for people with intellectual disabilities;
  • Two online training courses for people with intellectual disabilities working in the hospitality industry;
  • Video tutorials directed to colleagues for proper relations with workers with intellectual disabilities;
  • An online distance e-learning course for hospitality business managers.

🗣️ Communication of the network and brand is ensured through the website, social media presence and interventions at public events, for example most recently at the World Tourism Fair – ITB Berlin on March 6th  2024. Valueable Network has been listed as an “Example of Inclusive Excellence” at the European Vocational Skills Week, sponsored by the European Commission (2020) and as an “Example of Good Practice” at the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) technical seminar “Decent Work for Persons with Disabilities in the Tourism Sector” (2020). The network was also selected as a “European Good Practice” by the European Down Syndrome Association for presentation to the United Nations on World Down Syndrome Day (2018). On top of this, Valueable has been awarded numerous international recognitions. Namely, it is featured in the European Commission’s “European Guide of Promising Practices on Reasonable Accommodations” (2020), received the Special Award as a European website (.eu). 

🎊 At the last meeting of the ValueS project held in Porto in January 2024, the partner organisations (8 associations of people with intellectual disabilities, 3 hotel chains, LUMSA University and coordinated by AIPD as the initiating body and holder of the “Valueable-handing opportunities” trademark registered in 2018), affirmed their decision to continue promoting the labour inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in the hospitality sector for the coming years. This commitment has been made between the following Valueable Partners: 

  1. Associazione Italiana Persone Down onlus (IT).
  2. Associacao Portuguesa de Portadores de Trissomia 21 (PT)
  3. Down España. (ES)
  4. Down Alapitvany (HU)
  5. Hamburger Arbeitassistenz (DE)
  6. Down Sendromu Dernegi (TR)
  7. Hrvatska zajednica za down sindrom (HR)
  8. Axis Hoteis & Golfe (PT)
  9. Melià Italia srl (IT)
  10. Libera Università Maria SS. Assunta (IT)
  11. Associazione Italiana Confindustria Alberghi (IT)
  12. European Hotel Managers Association (IT)
  13. European Down Syndrome Association 

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