European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are currently facing serious workforce shortages and difficulty in tapping into diverse talent pools. Despite the clear benefits of workforce diversity in driving innovation and economic growth, many SMEs struggle to incorporate effective diversity and inclusion strategies. This challenge is compounded by systemic and individual biases related to age, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, socioeconomic background, and sexual orientation, which often prevent a more comprehensive recruitment approach.
In addition, vocational education and training (VET) systems are not always aligned with the current labor market needs, making it challenging to prepare and place potential employees, especially high-skilled migrant women and previously "invisible" talent pools, into fitting roles within SMEs.
Therefore, there's a pressing need for innovative solutions, like the DARE project, which can bridge these gaps. By promoting diversity and inclusion, the project aims to relieve SME labor market shortages, enhance economic growth, and contribute to a more equitable and inclusive European economy.
The DARE project aims to boost diversity and inclusion in European SMEs, turning these aspects into opportunities for economic growth and innovation. The project plans to create resources for SMEs to better understand and leverage the benefits of diverse workforces. It seeks to innovate vocational education and training, addressing labour shortages by tapping into "invisible" talent pools, such as highly skilled immigrants. By promoting fair recruitment and retention practices, DARE aims to improve workplace equality, ultimately contributing to a more inclusive and dynamic European economy.