Network D Strengthening the national social economy (the third sector), in particular the services of interest to the community, with a focus on improving the quality of jobs.
Project name The Academy of Entrepreneurship. Developing Alternative Forms of Employment
Project number D0391

Project description

This Partnership offers solutions focusing on the social and vocational rehabilitation of the longterm unemployed who receive social welfare benefits and of people with mental disorders. The value added of the project for the final beneficiaries will consist not only in providing jobs, but also in a comprehensive support in their becoming self-sufficient on the open labour market. This will begin with psychological support aimed at enhancing their motivation and self-esteem, teaching self-presentation through trainings, finding a job on the open labour market or in a social enterprise - and end with support in self-employment or establishing their own cooperatives.

Three consulting and training centres will be established within the framework of the project, providing services in the field of social economy, job placement and specialist training in social employment and supported employment. The project is expected to cover 55 beneficiaries. The Wieprz and Mogilany municipalities will each recruit 20 people meeting the project criteria. Within each community 12 people will be employed in a social enterprise, and 8 people will be introduced to the open labour market with the use of coaching.

The recruitment of beneficiaries in the communities will be carried out through social welfare centres, whose employees are able to access the information about the period during which the person remains unemployed and also about the person's living conditions. A psychologist will participate in the recruitment process. During the process, the principle of equal opportunities will be followed, which means the same opportunities for men and women, as well as for the disabled to participate in the project.

The Hamlet Foundation in Cracow will involve in the project 15 unemployed people with mental disorders. They will be rehabilitated in a social enterprise, which will offer jobs to 5 beneficiaries. The other 10 will be introduced to the open labour market by coaching.

People who will be prepared to perform new, specialist jobs, very important for social enterprises (social manager, supported employment coach, job coach, and entrepreneurship coach), whose character has not yet been described in Poland, will also benefit from the project. These jobs will be offered to graduates and the unemployed from Mogilany, Wieprz and Cracow in the first instance. Thanks to the specialised training, they will learn a promising profession which, in the light of the development of the social economy sector, should enhance their position on the labour market. Social managers will participate in a series of specialised training sessions and internships in the field of managing social cooperatives and working with socially excluded people. Supported employment coaches and the entrepreneurship coach will form links between social enterprises and employers. They will also participate in a series of trainings devoted to the labour market and labour regulations, working with people at risk of social exclusion, and the coaching method. Moreover, the entrepreneurship coach employed at Małopolski Związek Pracodawców (Employers Union of Małopolska), will undergo detailed training on the legal framework of employing the disabled and long-term unemployed. Job coaches will receive additional vocational training (these people should have completed vocational education in a field which matches the profile of the social enterprise) and participate in a pedagogy course.

The main project output is "Coaching as a method for social and vocational rehabilitation in three economy sectors". Coaching is used for people who have remained outside the labour market for a long time due to their disability, low level or obsolete professional qualifications, employment gaps or linguistic and cultural barriers. This method consists in the restoration of the ability to perform on the open labour market by a coach through appropriate motivation, rehabilitation and support. Using the "job coaching" method, the coach will guide an individual The Academy of Entrepreneurship. Developing Alternative from the period of unemployment, through potential work for a social enterprise, to the initial period of work for a commercial entity. Experience of western countries indicates that such an approach to working with beneficiaries is highly effective and produces long-term results.

The project output also includes the description and promotion of Training and Counselling Centre with a social enterprise as an optional workplace for the coach. The centre performs a supporting role for the beneficiaries and the coaches are able to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their clients. This will allow the coaches to refer beneficiaries for training and to guide them to work for social enterprises. Coaches can also be employed by NGOs, private businesses and public authorities, e.g. by labour offices or social welfare centres. Other entities which can successfully utilise coaching, and thus use the developed method, include voluntary labour corps, training institutions, employment agencies, social integration centres, and public administration.

Within the framework of output dissemination, the Partnership wishes to establish contacts with local and regional media, as well as with the Press Room of the Marshal's Office of the Małopolska Voivodship. A guide will be published with essential information and good examples for all entities interested in establishing and running a social enterprise employing people at risk of social exclusion. Information meetings, seminars for entrepreneurs and workshops will be held, during which the Partnership will demonstrate the project outputs, raise the awareness of the need to be involved in social affairs, and present the benefits of corporate social responsibility.