Country: Austria
TG: drug users
Activity: integrated services, individually tailored, hard skills, training

Fix und Fertig

“We aim to stabilise and to improve the social and technical skills of our employees, so they are able to reintegrate on the regular labour market.”

Organization

fix und fertig is one of 5 institutions of the Suchthilfe Wien, in Vienna, Austria. Suchthilfe Wien is an NGO, with several projects in the field of Drug and addiction aid, such as needle exchange programmes, an emergency shelter, drug checking programmes, out-patient substitution, health care programmes, outreach, etc.

Fix und fertig offers work (re-)integration for drug dependent and alcoholic individuals, and tries to ease (re-)integration onto the regular labour market through qualification, daily work structures and production processes.

All year round, they offer around 45 'daily' workplaces and about 18 'transit' workplaces in three different departments: renovation, serigraphy and mailing & fulfilment. The terms and conditions may vary depending on the personal situation of each of our workers. 'transit' workplaces are contracts for 12 months, 30 to 40 hours a week and the 'daily' workplaces gradually build up the work hours and provide for a daily structure. Moreover, training positions are offered at the daily workplaces to people who want to reach a 'transit' workplace, but aren't yet ready to.

They work with a very tolerant and not-abstinence orientated approach, which creates a lot of opportunities for the target group. In the meantime their strict and precise work ethics, regarding rules etc. helps them to qualify for the regular labour market and offers the necessary framework for our target group to be able to (re-)integrate.

fix und fertig was founded in 1993, and has grown from a small project to the social enterprise it is today. Early 2000 they were briefly funded by the EU, which provided them with a large budget to offer many workplaces. Now they have toned down a little bit, receiving funding from the City of Vienna and the employment services, as well as making their own profits.

Results

They consider their key results for the project to be: 1) their success in lobbying for the target group. There is a higher tolerance and social acceptance of the target group, through work participation and high-quality products; 2) higher qualification and stabilisation for the individuals with whom they work.

At Fix und Fertig participants develop their sociocultural (social skills) and technical skills. For instance they can train their punctuality, conflict management and coping strategies (Within their peer group and/or with their superiors/supervisors), or how to work in a team. Besides they develop technical skills needed at their workplace, such as painting, priming, computer skills, text programmes

They stimulate professional development in various ways. They encourage, even financially, their participants to take courses and advanced trainings, and during the on-the-job-training in their institution they learn to recognise and work on their personal weaknesses, and to develop an intrinsic motivation to enhance their skills. Around 25% percent of the participants are able to reintegrate on the regular labour market after the programme.

More information

Website: www.fixundfertig.at

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Country - Czech Republic
TG:
mental health problems
Activity: training, food & drinks, integrated services

Out of the Erratic Circle

Organisation

Out of the Erratic Circle is a project of Fokus Labe in the Czech Republich, which opens the doors to the jobmarket for people with mental health problems or other diabilities, in an attractive combination of education, work rehabilitation, diagnostics and training in a gastronomic centre. All of these steps aim to support people in getting a job and achieving special qualifications (work in the kitchen, café, catering, fresh food shops).

Twelve new working places (in sheltered gastronomy workshops within the Fokus Labe organization), and a new gastronomic traning center meeting technical conditions for cooking, preparing of cold and warm culinary fresh products, and a new type of professional education for disabled people are all part of the project. The participants are prepared for culinary and catering activities, and work in the café and the fresh food store.

The project has been financed for 85% out of the European Social Fund and 15% by National Public Sources for a period of 24 months, starting in March 2013 and ending in February 2015. During this period the following aims were set out: preparation of disabled people for the labour market through several step-by-step methods (education, social, psychologic and other support, diagnosis, work placement), the development of the new gastronomic training center, the creation of 12 workplaces withing the Fokus Labe organisation and preparation of dignified work places for people with mental health problems.

Results

The three major results of this project are the 12 new work places at Fokus Labe (paid with contracts), the gastronomic training center and the newly developed special educational course programme. Thus, during the project 45 participants receive special education and training, and 12 participants end up with a job, due to the job positions they created. All participants will gain an enhanced understanding and professional skills regarding culinary, catering, café and/or sales work. All participants have sessions with professional staff (social workers, course leaders, etc.), they invite a successful peer to serve as an inspirational example, they offer the opportunity to gain practical examples, they assist in the participant's work plan and all is interwoven with other psycho-social or pscyhological support.

Although this project was still running at the time of writing and most results as well as the project's sustainability could not be reported on, Fokus Labe has a lot of experience in offering similar services in a sustainable manner. On a social economy basis they have developed many kinds of jobs that they have managed to make a structural part of their organisation. While taking part in a continuous process they are growing continuously, with this project forming just part of their services on offer.

More information

Website: www.fokuslabe.cz

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Country - Czech Republic
Target Group:

Activity: Training, individually tailored

GLE o.p.s.

If you decide to design the project specialised in supporting people in setting up a business you must have:

  • An experienced expert team
  • Contact with local businesses in order to get an inspiring example and a lot of mentors for the participants
  • Working cooperation with the local labour offices in order to get into contact with the certain members from disadvantaged groups (50+ individuals)
  • Enough time for the project activities
  • Well defined monitoring indicators, and be very cautious about the number of entrepreneurs who start during the project

The organisation

“Master of her own time” is a project run by GLE o.p.s. in Prague. GLE has a lot of experience on the field of work with disadvantaged groups such as immigrants, long term unemployed, parents, women on parental leave, and individuals over 50. They have been gathering experience since their foundation in London in 2007, and later they transferred the know-how and best practice from London to the Czech Republic. The project target women returning to work after parental leave, long-term unemployed women, and women over 50.

Czech women are generally in an unequal position on the labour market. The group of women after parental leave is specifically disadvantaged as there is a lack of affordable childcare facilities for the families. The fact that it is not exception that woman with two children are out of work for six years is alarming and needs to be solved. Entrepreneurship and support to establishing an independent business is a possible solution.

The main aim is to support the target group in their labour market integration.

Results

At the beginning of the transfer of the project from London to Prague, it was set out to support 120 women through the project, and help 12 women set up their own business. Although the project had not yet been completed at the time of writing, GLE had already supported a total of 140 women and 10 women had started their own business, with the expectancy that two more would do so in the coming months. All in all, the project offers long-term work with the participants and a response to current needs giving them enough time for any further steps, individual care, and an experienced expert team.

The project is under very strict administrative control. The project is mentioned in: monitoring reports, annual reports, administrative documents, and articles in the local media and on the website.

More information

Website: www.gle.cz

 


Country - Czech Republic
TG:
people with mental health problems
Activities: individually tailored, training

RYTMUS

We have three recommendations for those who wish to get involved in WIPs: Use person centered planning, follow the EUSE strategy, and prepare to become a long-term partner to employers.

The organisation

Rytmus offers supported employment in Prague, the Czech Republic. The have done so since 1995. At that time no one provided systematic support to people with mental disabilities in the employment field on the open labour market. Rytmus focuses on people with health disadvantages, mainly people with learning difficulties who want to work in the open labour market, and who need long term support in the development of their skills in order to get and retain a job.

Despite plenty of job offers in Prague, there is a lack of job offers for people with disabilities. At the same time, Prague has many potential jobs in the so-called hidden market. Prague has many large firms and businesses, in which it is possible to create job opportunities by “carving” a new job position. It also helps that Czech state policy has a quota system; Therefore large firms have an obligation to employ people with disabilities.

The aim is to link the needs and demands of employers with choices of job candidates, and thus achieve the creation of a stable employment relationship between the employee and the employer.

The objectives of the Supported Employment Agency are to assist in:

  • Acquisition and development of social and working skills.
  • Obtaining and retaining a job in a mainstream environment and achieving a maximum degree of independence.
  • Strengthening the enforcement of rights and active involvement in civic society.

Activities are carried out by experienced job coaches. Job coaches work with people with learning difficulties on one side, and with employers on the other. A.o. the job coaches assist in: vocational profiling, job finding, and on/off job support, such as guidance in social skills, employer support, and assistance in practical problems outside work. There are also other activities aimed at job seekers such as Job clubs, Social Skills Training. PC Skills Training etc. All is done based on the methods of supported employment in accordance with EUSE methodology.

RESULTS

Through the activities of the SE Agency they achieve improvement of the situation of the target group in the area of employment. Annually, about 60 people participate in their activities, 20-30 people gain experience in employment in the open labour market. Every year they support about 50 employers.

They publish an annual report each year, it is publicly accessible on their websites (in Czech only). They also use Facebook and press releases, and organize seminars, such as those for NGOs on how to work with employers, and how to work with the community around the person, or seminars on CSR about how to work with people with with learning difficulties and the benefits for employers.

More information

Website: www.rytmus.org

 


Country - Germany
Traget group:
mental health problems
Activity:
training + individually tailored

Alondra

The organisation

Alondra is one of the projects of Q-Prints & Service in Germany. Alondra strives to integrate people with handicaps or other major difficulties in finding a job into the labour market. They do so through internships abroad, particularly in Spain and Italy. Participants are first offered a preparatory training, during which they make a job perspective planning, their skills and opportunities are identified, and they receive language training. Then they go abroad for two months, during which they receive more language training, they commit themselves to six weeks of practical internship, and they stay with host families or in an apartment. When the participants return, Alondra offers job application trainings, job seeking guidance, and support for the participants' networking. The project is geared towards people with handicaps who are seeking employment and training and who live in the town Pforzheim, Karlsruhe or in the region Enzkreis. Alondra looks for individual internships for each participant. It is a really wide range e.g. one participant worked in a IT company almost like a normal staff member, while others worked in a garden, elderly care, car workshop, tailoring, painting, kitchen assistant etc. The kind of work depends a lot on the participant's interests, language skills and physical capacity. In all their placements Alondra strives for the work integration of people with handicaps or other major difficulties finding a job, while improving their social participation. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Germany) and the European Social Fund. The future of the project is strictly bound on the funding period, if the funding period is over the project is over, there are no other opportunities to finance the labour force, but the next funding period is planned.

Results

The key results of Alondra are the improvement of participants' self-confidence. It proves (to themselves and the outside world) that they are flexible and willing to learn, and it motivates and activates the participants. Moreover they develop various skills. As the workplace is selected based on the interests of the participant there are many different areas of work and different levels of work, meaning that each individual participant develops different and personally relevant skills. Alondra stimulates the professional development through opportunities for participants to meet each other, and there is a strong focus on planning and future job opportunities to make the project's effects more durable. About 20% of the participants moves on to regular paid employment. However, they tend to get hired on temporary contracts, and it thus remains the question for how long they stay employed. A positive aspect of the project is that it is very well integrated in a professional network and it offers an international exchange opportunity, which is not provided for by any other institution.

More information

Website: www.q-printsandservice.de/de/projekte/alondra.html

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Country - Portugal
TG:
drug users, (ex) offenders
Activity:
peer involvement, training

InPAR

“Through the collection and systematisation of data, our process and outcome results proved the efficacy of peer workers. This was used in our advocacy for their recognition and for building relationships of trust between organisations/teams and peers.”

Organization

InPAR was a two-year project run by the Portuguese NGO APDES, from August 2009 until July 2011. InPAR was an experimental project at national level in the area of professional and social reintegration aimed at unemployed people who use drugs, but motivated to work. The project was worked on in close cooperation with harm reduction interventions. It was anchored in action-research principles, with participative methodologies playing a crucial role in the process of implementation and evaluation of the project. The project was implemented in the north of Portugal and studied/developed a reintegration methodology in socio-professional responses for people who use drugs, namely through peer work. The overall aim was to highlight the facilitating factors and obstacles in this process of integration and identifying good practices/recommendations for future projects. Regarding the integration of drug users as peer workers the objectives were the following: Integrate 8 drug users in outreach teams and facilitate their bio-psycho-social stabilisation; Offer training and follow up for these persons as peer workers; Facilitate conditions for the integration of peer educators into the outreach teams, as well as into their supporting organisations; Develop a professional and social reintegration methodology, identifying facilitating factors and obstacles for the integration of drug users as peer workers; Contribute to the recognition of the profession of peer worker.

This project was the starting point of two other projects, namely:

  1. PREVIH, integration of Sex Workers as Peer Educators in Harm Reduction Projects. APDES is responsible for the training of the sex workers, implementation and adaptation of the peer educator’s integration model on sex work intervention (together with Porto University);
  2. Vanguarda, a prevention Project in a Prison, aimed to train and develop a peer education methodology inside a prison.

Results

The main conclusions achieved by InPAR are brought together in the manual "O Trabalho primeiro" [Working First - Manual for Employability of Drug Users and Recommendations for Integration through Peer Education]. This manual was published in June 2012 and since then 300 copies have been disseminated through the project partners, national outreach teams, universities and professional training resource centres.

The main results showed a relevant change of the situation in Portugal: 4 peers integrated with formal contract with the organisation after the project end, and 2 peers were doing voluntary work (10 Peers were followed throughout the project); increased recognition of the peer workers' contributions to Outreach Teams; Policy impact suggested by the firm commitment from the public funder to study/adopt criteria for applications evaluation where the inclusion of a Peer Worker in the outreach team can be valued; Creation of a methodology for promoting the employability of drug users, particularly in Peer Work, through identification of key factors (obstacles and facilitators) for integration.

The model developed by InPAR was implemented in a project held in the prison context, with prisoners as peer educators, and in a project involving outreach teams that intervene in the sex work area, with sex workers as peer workers. Also, the model lends itself for further distribution in other countries and/or settings, for instance by using the previously mentioned manual as a training tool.

More information

Website: http://www.apdes.pt/en/project_inpar.php
or http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/html.cfm/index52035EN.html?project_id=01PT10&tab=overview

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Country: United Kingdom
Target group: ex-offenders
Activity: commercial, training, hard skills, integrated services,

Blue Sky

“Giving someone a job has been described as the greatest charity that anyone can perform and as one former member of our management team (an ex-armed robber himself) colourfully put it: 'you may not like ex-prisoners, but absolutely no one in their right ming wants them to re-offend'. “

The organisation

Set up in 2005, Blue Sky is a charity and a social enterprise that tackles the issue of re-offending by focussing on employment. They win commercial contracts from local authorities and private companies and exclusively recruit ex-offenders into small teams to fulfil the work. Blue Sky employs them on 6-month contracts offering training, housing support, mentoring and onward job brokering. Since operations began they have employed over 750 ex-offenders accross the country and only 15% has gone on to re-offend – that is a quarter of the national average.

At any one time they can be employing 30 to 60 ex-offenders on 6-month contracts. Much of their work is seasonal so they take on more people over the summer months. Each year they employ over a 100 ex-offenders around the country.

Blue Sky's mission has always been to reduce re-offending and challenge negative perceptions about people with a criminal record. If society wants to cut the levels of re-offending it should focus on finding jobs for those ex-prisoners who want to work. In Britain, which has the second highest re-offending rate in Europe, it has been proven empirically that a stable job reduces the probability of re-offending by up to 50%. Yet 75% of all prisoners are released to joblessness, and an ex-offender is eight times more likely to be unemployed than someone with no criminal record.

Results

Since 2005, Blue Sky has always measured itself on three key performance indicators: the number of employees who receive an accreditation, the number who leave to onward employment at the end of their six-month contracts and the number who re-offend. Over the past eight years they have employed over 750 ex-offenders and of these 52% have left with an accreditation or qualification funded by Blue Sky (e.g. a construction certificate, a health and safety course, a forklift driving license). Moreover, 49% of their leavers have subsequently moved into onward full-time employment. This is quite an accomplishment considering the economic climate and unstable jobmarket. Blue Sky's resettlement officer works closely with all employees from month 4 onwards to establish their career goals and aspirations.

Only 15% of their employees have re-offended – a quarter of the national average. Considering that for every 10 Blue Sky employees there are, on average, 17 dependents who are taken out of living in a workless household, the positive impact is felt by many more.

In addition, Blue Sky is always keen to participate in research to verify their social impact. A social return on investment analysis carried out by the Impetus Trust concluded that they create £17.40 of social value for every £1 invested in Blue Sky. They were also part of a pilot programme with the Ministry of Justice Data Laboratory. Using the employee database they analaysed their employees against a control group to determine the re-offending rate. The analysis shows with a 95% confidence level that ex-offenders working in Blue Sky teams re-offend 50% less than a control group with similar characteristics.

More information

Website: www.blueskydevelopment.co.uk

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Country - United Kingdom
TG:
drug users, homeless, (ex) offenders
Activities: peer involvement, training

Addiction Worker Training Programme

“Trainees provide an inspirational role to service users, showing them what can be achieved if they persevere in recovery, which is particularly helpful for those struggling to engage, who feel the cultural gap between professional services and their own lifestyles. Trainees can often provide critical words of encouragement which are listened to because of their own background, or help to diffuse problems by reassuring service users who might have barriers to talking to staff.”

Organization

The Addiction worker Training Project is managed and co-ordinated by the Scottish Drugs Forum. SDF is a voluntary, membership based organisation with nearly 300 organisational and individual members across Scotland. SDF primarily focuses on improving the quality, range and effectiveness of service and policy responses to problematic drug use in Scotland, reducing future and recurring problematic drug use and promoting and sustaining recovery from drug problems.

Scottish Drugs Forum’s Addiction Worker Training Programme (AWTP) is a unique, multi-agency funded initiative which trains, and prepares individuals with a history of problematic drug and alcohol use to work in social care whilst receiving an intensive package of support. The project was launched in 2004 to help former substance users prepare for employment through in-work placements and formal learning. Scottish Drugs Forum works in partnership with accredited learning providers and alongside frontline services to provide training for students who include former homeless people and ex-offenders who have previously experienced multiple barriers to employment. Course participants must be two years drug free, including substitute prescribing and two years problem drinking free.

Trainees are supported to complete two full time six month work placements with partner organisations, complete an industry standard qualification, and have access to a variety of training and workshop opportunities related to issues in the care field. Trainees are supported to be involved in the day to day duties that placement staff carry out, and attend placements three to four days per week, with a day for study or learning. Placements are accessed in social care projects with a key focus on addictions. Project partners offer trainees invaluable work experience in residential, community, and outreach based projects with a range of service users, and offer additional training to supplement that provided by SDF. Initially, trainees shadow other members of staff, building relationships with colleagues and service users, and learning about the project policies and procedures. In subsequent weeks and months, trainees are supervised to participate in the tasks of support workers. Tasks include, but are not limited to: working with service users, liaising with other agencies, carrying out assessments, key-working, group work, accompanying service users on journeys, accessing and updating client files and records and community outreach.

Results

SDF currently has 14 Trainee Addiction Workers on the 2013-14 course in Glasgow, and 8 Trainee Addiction Workers in the East of Scotland. Since 2004, the lowest number of trainees has been 11, with the highest number reaching 22.

Nearly 90% of those who start the course complete, with 85% of those completing moving in to further employment, the vast majority to full time jobs in the Social Care and Addiction fields. The AWTP provides a resource of motivated and highly trained staff for the care sector, and an opportunity for people with direct experience of services to inform practice as project participants and ultimately as staff members. Overall, the project has resulted in more people previously outside the labour market are employed as trainee addiction workers (127 people since 2004), more people who have recovered from substance misuse have improved their employability skills and achieved an industry standard qualification (114 people since 2004), and more people who have previously experienced multiple barriers to employment related to their past substance misuse have moved in to further employment post project completion (97 people since 2004).

AWTP has a direct impact on trainees and their families, however wider beneficiaries include placement agencies and their service users. Through their placement experience, one trainee can support and provide interventions to up to 85 people experiencing problems with substance use over the duration of the course.

More information

Website: http://www.sdf.org.uk/moving-on/addiction-workers-training-project-awtp/

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Country - United Kingdom
TG:
people with mental health problems
Activities: commercial, training

Travel Matters

“Training in a relaxed, work environment is more effective than in a college. Work experience is on real bookings and so the sense of achievement is higher. The friendly, relaxed environment is very important in building confidence. At the beginning students can be unable to talk to anyone or even make eye contact; in just a few weeks they are interacting with their peers and on the way towards a more positive engagement with friends, family and the community.”

Organization

Travel Matters is a not-for-profit social enterprise, which provides high quality, competitively priced travel services, plus IT training and work experience for vulnerable groups, in England. Founded in 1996 as a project within the National Health Service it became an independent operation in 2006. Over the past seventeen years they have developed into an ongoing business with real social capital. The project was originally set up to provide a work opportunity for people with mental ill health and other complex needs, and to service the holiday and travel requirements of residential care homes for people with complex needs and the elderly/disabled. In 2006, when Travel Matters became an independent company, it continued to provide training programmes but broadened its target customer groups to include general business and leisure travel. This project’s focus is people with mental ill health, but is has also had referrals from other groups, such as people recovering from physical disabilities or drug/alcohol abuse.

Travel Matters’ product – the travel business – itself has a particular focus on vulnerable groups, with more than 50% of its clients being people with physical or mental disabilities, or complex needs. The project's income is a combination of payment for training from the health authority and profits from the travel business, which currently breaks down to around 80:20 (that is 80% training and 20% travel.) Historically this was more like 70:30 but travel business has dropped as a result of an overall fall in consumer spending and increasing use of the internet, plus the closure of residential care homes/restriction of funding for holidays

Results

There are 60 half day training sessions per week, with around 40-50 trainees at any one time. Trainees stay for different lengths of time, from a few months to a maximum of two years. In the last 12 months around 40% of those who left moved into employment, further education or training. These results are far higher than those achieved by the government’s Job Centre (4%) and other public providers. Trainees who have made progress, but would benefit from the continuity of longer support, can go on to become mentors for other trainees. It works very well with trainees who appreciate input from peers. Although IT courses are available at a local college, they do not offer the high trainer to student ratio of Travel Matters (maximum of 1:5), nor specialist, experienced trainers. Travel Matters is unique in providing training in a commercial office environment, with work experience featuring research and administration of real travel bookings, as well as providing a specialist IT training. Work experience trainees acquire transferable customer service skills while IT trainees gain industry recognised ECDL qualifications.

Despite their multiple funding problems (e.g. reduced funding from the health services, no structural funding from grants, the shrinking market of travel agencies, and a structural lack of funding for marketing and communications) the business has survived so far and they aim to secure their future sustainability in various ways. Besides maintaining a high quality level of training and the synergistic partnerships they have with others working in the field of mental healthcare, they will for instance build their income from the travel business, using the growing interest in businesses with genuine social values as a “stand out” factor in promotion to new business targets.

More information

Website: www.travelmattersuk.com

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