Network F Supporting the adaptability of firms and employees to structural economic changes and the use of information technology and other new technologies.
Project name Alliance for Work
Project number F0607

Project description

The Development Partnership's objective is to maintain occupational and social activity of people who are in danger of redundancy. This will be achieved by introducing job coaching methodology and integrated training system. The target group are individuals aged 45-65 who are in danger of redundancy or lost a job during the term of the Project, with special focus on those discriminated against or mobbed due to their age. The Partnership focused its activities on employees from light industry, health care and non-government organisation sectors (a total of 440 final beneficiaries). As a general rule, target group members possess inadequate skills that are required for implementation of new technologies in their enterprises and often are unable to use modern office automation equipment, computer or the Internet. A group of 380 beneficiaries will participate in a series of training events intended to overcome mental barriers associated with retraining and investing in one's own vocational development. Training will be tailored to "personal development plan", as drafted jointly by the beneficiary and his/her job coach (personal job adviser) in consultation with beneficiary's employer. Training will involve computer courses, including basic computer skills, such as the use of Office package and the Internet, the use of Excel spreadsheets in day-to-day accountant's responsibilities or - optionally - the "Płatnik" software (for payment of contributions to the Social Insurance Institution). The beneficiaries will learn how to open and maintain an on-line shop and attend "Computer in the Office/Company" and "Salesperson with Computer and Fiscal Cash Register" courses. The training offer includes the rules of computer-assisted accounting and business regulations prevailing in Poland and other EU member countries. The beneficiaries will be able to take advantage from lawyer's and psychologist's advice provided by partner trade unions and non-government organisations to support the process of retraining or outplacement.

Also employers (up to 30 managers from companies laying-off the beneficiaries) will participate in the Project. They will attend seminars on efficient crisis management (e.g. in staff reduction situations), mental status of those made redundant and those identifying themselves with their plight, as well as on the principles of communicating in emotionally sensitive situation and the broadening of employee usefulness criteria. They will also learn how to avoid evaluation traps and provide dismissed employees with useful job finding skills and information. The workshops are intended to ensure that employees better understand the status of workers aged "45+".

The Development Partnership will perform an in-depth diagnosis of employers' needs, including feasibility of training for employees aged "45+" and their continued employment in sectors under the Project. The Partnership will also investigate challenges faced by those aged "45+" on the labour market of the Łódź region. This will help to introduce the job coaching method intended for those in danger of redundancy.

During the Project, 60 job coaches are to be trained, of which 30 will be employed by the Pinel Polska Foundation. They will participate in the process of occupational and social reintegration of final beneficiaries.

The key outcome of the Project - an integrated job coaching model intended to keep those aged over 45 on the labour market - will include several components. The first component is a manual documenting job coaching implementation in enterprises and non-government organisations. The manual will include reference materials for employers and case studies illustrating specific solutions and benefits to both employees and employers. The second component is a "user's manual" of job coaching, composed of: job coach training system for higher schools (a series of lectures) or their research and development centres; job coach management procedure; certification process and job coaching standards; job coaching-based methods of work with those in danger of redundancy; psychological training and "hard" training.

The aforementioned components may be used by all labour market institutions: training providers, non-government organisations, labour offices, local government administration, employers, HR consultants and trade unions that may train their members as job coaches and enter into agreements with employers on the use of this method in their enterprises.

The strategy of dissemination of Partnership's results will include lobbying among Parliament Members from Łódź region and trade union representatives. The Partnership will publish information about their activities in paper and electronic media. A documentary on job coaching introduction in the Łódź region will be filmed. Moreover, a departmental conference, attended by representatives of trade unions, employers' associations and Polish and foreign non-government organisation (including in particular womens' organisations) will be hosted to promote good practice from the Project. Academic partners will include Project outcomes into their curricula.