Promote Roma Human Resources Development
Education is the area that can produce long lasting effects. The existing skills gap is one of the key factors contributing to the exclusion of Roma from quality employment. Education is the most important tool to prevent and remedy social exclusion.
However, the current focus on basic education for disadvantaged groups suggests that another generation needs to pass before Roma can begin to jump socio-economic barriers. The result would be an unintended perpetuation of the disadvantaged position of Roma, as the general population becomes better educated. A targeted Roma component in Human Resources Development Programs could not only help individuals progress, it would also help create an avant-garde of professional Roma who could be role models, take up key positions in public administration, including at European level, or assume leadership roles in business and civic society.
Human Resources Development is a European priority area, supporting societies’ adaptation to changing economic needs. As such, it is promoted and supported financially. Although these programs are in principle open to Roma individuals, Human Resource Development of Roma is rarely recognized as a priority. No special attention is given to making these programs accessible to Roma. The EU needs to complement this mainstreaming approach with an explicit but not exclusive reference to the importance of skills development among Roma.