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 We Have Jobs
Project number D0456

Project description

The Partnership is aiming to create and implement a model support system for social economy in Poland as a new tool for social and economic development at the local level, complementary to the institutions of the private and public sectors. It is expected to contribute to the improvement
in living conditions of the most deprived groups.

Approximately 420 final beneficiaries will participate in the project. Most of them (250 people) will come from dependent groups. They are long-term unemployed people, including the disabled, women, people receiving benefits from social welfare institutions, ex-prisoners, substance abusers, the homeless, single parents and registered job seekers. The other group, consisting of approximately 170 participants, will include employees of public social services, such as poviat labour offices, labour clubs, social support centres, social integration centres, vocational rehabilitation facilities, as well as the personnel of citizens' organisations which support the unemployed and excluded, local leaders who are well integrated with the community and motivated to perform structured activities to meet local social demands. The identification of such beneficiary groups is an outcome of a background analysis performed by the Partnership. This indicates that the development of the foundations for social economy in Poland has two main requirements. Firstly, people who are directly involved in the creation of social cooperatives need to be adequately prepared. Secondly, actions need to be addressed to social employees and leaders who are in touch with those at risk of social exclusion. This will establish pools of social economy leaders who will be able to use the instruments of social economy to reintegrate people and to create innovative local development strategies to enable the recovery from economic collapse.

About ten social cooperatives should also be regarded as social beneficiaries, these are both existing and newly created cooperatives. Technical support is planned for these cooperatives, mostly legal and accounting consulting.

The project objectives are implemented in accordance with several priorities. The first one, the educational objective, envisages the preparation of professional staff for the local social economy in Poland. From the autumn of 2005 to the summer of 2007 twelve regional workshops for social
economy employees and leaders, two sessions of the Postgraduate School of Social Economy Management, and international schools of social economy are scheduled. Within the education component, the development and publication of conference proceedings and training materials is also planned.

The research priority will cover the diagnosis of the potential, roles and prospects of social economy in Poland, as well as the diagnosis of the local labour markets, local social demands and the extent to which they are met in terms of using the instruments of social economy. This will be done by means of analysing the local labour markets in the Warmia-Mazury and Wielkopolska regions. In turn, the detailed objective of the consulting and supporting priority is to develop a concept for a consulting, educational and financing institution - Polish Board for the Support of Social Economy - and to set up this institution. It will be an integral component of the system which will foster the actual rehabilitation of those excluded from the labour market and support
innovative initiatives aiming to create jobs and provide territorial cohesion.

The project output that is approved for validation is "a coherent support model for the state social economy as a mechanism of local development including marginalised communities". It consists of several elements. The first of them is a concept of professional training for the employees and staff of social enterprises and for those who implement local projects. The Partnership will, for example, develop a postgraduate curriculum Postgraduate School of Social Economy Management and regional social entrepreneurship workshops for those who already

run social cooperatives/enterprises or have taken actions to establish such entities and can confirm them, programmes and systems for summer and winter international social economy schools for regional workshop leaders and for the graduates of the Postgraduate School of Social Economy Management, as well as for local community leaders. The offer is also meant for the staff of scientific institutions, graduates - customers of university career agencies and 3 editions are planned with 25 participants each. The Partnership will also develop the appropriate materials for these forms of education and an integrated system of foreign internships. The material and textbooks will be available as hard copies as well as at the website.

Another product component is a consulting and financial support system for local founding initiatives, a new integrated consulting and financing service for social entrepreneurship to enhance the capacity of citizens' organisations and existing cooperatives. The other two elements are a model of a monitoring centre for the development of social economy State Observatory of Social Economy and an economy promotion system addressed to society as a whole.

The Partnership will disseminate the project results through the State Observatory of Social Economy. They will also be promoted during national and international conferences and seminars, through the Partnership's website, as well as by means of radio and TV broadcasts. Seven publications are also planned about the institution of social economy in Europe.