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
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 - Finland
Target group:
mental health problems
Activity: integrated facility, individually tailored

“Supported employment in the Clubhouse”
(in Finnish “Klubitalolta tuetusti töihin”)

“The clubhouse model is a best practice on a national level as many studies have proven. Our members wouldn’t be employed without this project.”

The organisation

Supported employment in the Clubhouse (in Finnish: “Klubitalolta tuetusti töihin”) runs two Clubhouses in Helsinki: Helsingin Klubitalo and Itä-Helsingin Klubitalo. The parent organization is Helsingin Klubitalot ry. It works for people with mental illness and on their position in the society, helping them to stay out of hospitals while achieving social, financial, educational, vocational and employment goals, running two Clubhouses in Helsinki (names: Helsingin Klubitalo and Itä-Helsingin Klubitalo). The clubhouse is for people with mental illness, who they refer to as members. Both Clubhouses follow the international Clubhouse model (about the Clubhouse model you can reed more on www.iccd.org ).

The Clubhouse model includes the ambition to help its members to employment. The Clubhouse offers its own Transitional Employment programme (TE) which provides -as a right of membership- opportunities for members to work on job placements in the labour market. Also, the Clubhouse model in theory prescribes to offer its own Supported (SE) and Independent Employment (IE) programme. In practice the Clubhouses have done TE well, but they do not have enough resources to do SE and IE. That is the reason why they have founded a project to develop SE and IE as well as they do TE. In the meantime, they offer courses and groups with themes such as job applications, skill analyses, IT and hygiene and the project worker seeks for external SE and IE placements.

The clubhouse model includes a work-ordered day system. That means that members and staff are working side by side doing Clubhouses own tasks (for example cleaning, administration, research, or work in the restaurant and cafe). All work in the Clubhouse is designed to help members regain self worth, purpose and confidence; it is not intended to be job specific training. TE, SE and IE jobs are normal labour positions given to members(such as library work, market assistance, catering and cleaning).

Results

The key results are that their members have moved on to the more permanent SE and IE labour market (TE is always temporary). Hence, their economical situation has improved, meaning less social security support. Moreover, the members generally gain more self-esteem and their role as members of society has changed as citizen.

The main goal is to stimulate people towards regular paid employment. This is done through the offering of SE and IE placement possibilities for members, educating staff about supported employment possibilities, and developing a good practice model for Clubhouses in Finland. In the past 4,5 years 31 members have gotten employment (usually part-time), 6 have started to study, 14 have interned or had a work experience period, 33 have participated in the job application course or group, and 4 have remained on the same level.

Because the participants have mental illness, results might not be visible straight away; members need time to recover and some of them might need this kind of support for the rest of their life. While the project thusfar only received temporary funding, they are striving to make it a permanent project through discussions with the national ministry of labour affairs and local officers.

More information

Website: www.helsinginklubitalo.org and www.itahelsinginklubitalo.org

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

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 - The Netherlands
TG:
people with mental heath problems
Activities: peer involvement, individually tailored, low threshold, product sales

SCIP

“Give the participants a lot of freedom to explore their own talents and capabilities. Adjust the activities to the abilities of the participants to keep them involved and responsible.”

The organisation

SCIP started as an independent initiative in 2000, and since 2009 it is an independent client controlled branch of HVO-Querido daytime activities in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. During the foundation of SCIP, the clients themselves decided how they were going to implement the project and they wanted to organise something independent of healthcare institutions. The projects are for people with mental health problems. Individuals who want to work for SCIP do not need official medical approval; everyone who wants to participate is welcome.

The essence of the strategy lies in the client control. At least 51% in all layers of the organisation (from menial work to management) has a psychiatric background. SCIP has 17 paid employees of which 14 have a mental healthcare background. SCIP runs around 18 projects focussing on social integration, meaningful day activities and work (ranging from group dinners to a publishing house). The work-projects are: Tobi Vroegh, ACC, Web buro en login/logout.

Publishing house Tobi Vroegh is a project where volunteers take care of all the activities in the printing and publishing process. All publications have a link with psychiatry, being either written by someone with psychological problems or on a topic related to psychiatry. ACC are computer centres, where in the mornings and evenings people can follow courses, and in the afternoons people can work independently. Login is a shop where new and second-hand computers and hardware are sold. Login has a separate workplace where computers are fixed/put together in order to be sold in the shop. At the workplace they also offer a course on hardware and software and outsiders can visit the workplace to fix their own computer under professional guidance. Logout started in 2008 and offers help with computers at home and Web buro can develop professional websites.

Results

The volunteers participate as real employees and several volunteers move on to paid jobs inside and outside the organisation. Participants become more socially included and learn to put their skills into practice in a protected environment. SCIP emancipates people with a mental healthcare background.

At Toby Vroegh all the expenses are covered by the financial yielding of the publications.

Contrary to the regular approach in psychiatry people at SCIP are not approached or treated as mental healthcare clients, but responsible individuals with personal capabilities. Rather than disabilities the focus lies on talent and individual strengths, and the contribution a person can make to any of the projects. At SCIP individuals shape their activities themselves, without being pushed to walk a certain path or to achieve specific targets. People are stimulated to do things their own way. Consequently there is a low drop-out rate and a higher well-being and commitment among the volunteers and employees.

There are no access criteria, and everyone who wants to participate may do so. As a consequence the participants of SCIP are very diverse in their capabilities, level of recovery and social abilities. The resulting cooperation between those with lighter and heavier problems has proven to contribute to the empowerment of all participants. Those with heavier problems are empowered through the support of the stronger ones, and the ones with lighter problems can gain confidence by fulfilling an exemplary role.

More information

Websites: http://www.scipweb.nl/ and www.webbureau-amsterdam.nl