Across the EU there are divergent policies on people who use or have used drugs and alcohol. In terms of increasing employability and employment opportunities for this group, practice and approaches vary greatly.

The European Action for Employment in Recovery (EAER) partnership reflects the divergence across Europe as a whole.

People who have a history of drug and alcohol problems, and those who are current problem drug users face significant social and economic inequalities and are marginalised within society particularly in terms of their education, training and employment. Long term drug users can face a cycle of disadvantage where poor school experiences lead to low participation in post-school education and less work experience and so less vocational training. Their employment prospects are greatly reduced as are other factors including confidence and understanding of the labour market. They also face significant stigma from employers and others.

The project oobjectives therefore are:

  • To deliver positive and long lasting effects on policy and participating organisations through building more employability and employment opportunities for people who use or have used substances
  • To deliver positive and long lasting effects on people participating in the programme through increased knowledge, skills, and motivation to improve services.

EAER is a collaborative project of 4 partner organisations in 4 EU member states who are working with problem drug users to increase their employability as part of their rehabilitation and with the ultimate aim that they are employed, are less reliant on the state, contribute to society and, consequently economic and social inequalities are reduced within and between member states. EAER partnership consists of: Scottish Drugs Forum, the Dutch Foundation Innovation in Welfare 2 Work, Agência Piaget para o Desenvolvimento, and Comunità "La Tenda" Cooperativa Sociale.

The concept is to work together to increase capacity to deliver employability work with people who have a history of drug and alcohol problems in each of the partner Countries - enhancing the provision of employability interventions within front-line drug and alcohol services.