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 - Germany
Activity:
product sales, commercial, hard skills, low-threshold, gardening/agriculture
TG: drug users

Mudra Berufliche Integration

“We installed a permanent quality management system to ensure the ongoing development of our organisation”


The organisation

Mudra vocational training and employment services is part of Mudra Alternative Jugend- und Drogenhilfe Nürnberg e.V. in Germany. They strive to help drug addicted persons in finding their way back to the job market. In their different projects there are various possibilities for qualified job trainings. They also offer low threshold opportunities to acquire basic competences that are needed in all kinds of jobs. Their goals are not limited to the direct needs of the job market but also include psychosocial counselling and support in other important domains. There is more information about this in the UNODC-Document about Sustained Recovery Management.Mudra's project leader was a member of the working group responsible for the document.

The participants can work for all sorts of projects, such as forestry, a women’s workshop for costumes, jewellery and sewing, cleaning services, cabinet maker’s workshop, gardening and landscaping, a day labour project, and training in business administration. At the time of writing these projects offered work to around 90 participants, and the numbers were increasing over time. The forestry project was founded in 1985, so Mudra has many years of experience in work reintegration. In all their work they aim to improve the situation of recovering drug addicts concerning job integration, connected with psychosocial counselling

About 50% of the Mudra services is financed through the sales of their goods and services. Their offer is quite extensive. To get an impression of what they sell you may visit their online shop (in German) at: http://mudra-shop.de/. The remainder of their financing is through funding from the Employment Agency, State of Bavaria, District government, City of Nuremberg, Integration Office (responsible for job integration of handicapped persons) and some donations.

Results

The key results of Mudra are that they contribute to a reduced crime rate, they reduce relapses, and they help to improve the work competences of their target group. Concerning the last point they do not only assist in the development of basic skills, but they also offer formal gardening and landscaping training as well as business administration. Not many participants move on to regular employment, as the main target group is long-term drug users with multiple problems. On average about 20% moves on, 60% stays on the same level, 20% drops out. In their work they often see younger participants with no work experience and no qualifications, and older participants with increasing health problems, for whom it is hard to move on to regular employment as the current job market has very few opportunities for unqualified, older and less productive peoples. However, through combining their integration programme with psychosocial counselling, and better payment for more challenging jobs, Mudra does manage to motivate the professional development of its participants. In the near future they will focus on the challenges of new drugs, and adapting job offers to older and less fit participants.

More information

Website: www.mudra-online.de

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Country - Portugal
TG: drug users
Activity:
hard skills + product sales + gardening/agriculture

Dianova

Organization

The plant nursery and the Viveiros Dianova greenhouse are part of Dianova, an NGO specialised in drug and alcohol treatment and certified training, in Portugal. Since April 2000, this social enterprise works on sustainable and social goals through the employment and empowerment of 13 people. They are specialised in the production of plants and flowers. The social enterprise hires people that have completed a drug and alcohol rehab programme, 45+ unemployed people, or those without higher education or professional qualifications and experience, as well as socially vulnerable peoples. At the workplace the employees have regular 8 hour workdays, during which everyone works according to their own capacity. The employees are responsible for the growth and production of plants and flowers, ranging from seeding, plant nourishment, to the final sale of the product. Of the 13 employees, 8 have already become regular staff members and 5 are in the process of a 2-year training in general professional skills as well as floriculture specifics. Since its foundation the social enterprise has benefited 52 people. For all these people the overall aim was to increase their professional capabilities and so stimulating social reintegration on the regular labour market. Moreover, the sales of Dianova's plants increases the NGOs revenue and sustainability in the long term. The 5 specialised work places are co-subsidized for a 2-year period frame by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and its sustainable goal relies on the sales of the produced plants and flowers to the national Portuguese market.

Results

All in all the social enterprise has reintegrated 52 people socio-professionally. They have done so through empowerment, the teaching of social and professional skills, advocacy for equal opportunities and the promotion of self-employment. At the workplace the employees learn new social and relational soft skills (team work, self esteem, conflict management, time management, autonomy reinforcement) as well as hard skills (greenhouse/ stove maintenance, plants and plagues biology, plant trimming, garden plants and house plants, main rules for care of plants). These skills are taught through various ways, namely: psychosocial support, training sessions throughout the year on soft and hard skills, as well as corporate celebrations designed to increase employee engagement. Although reduced financial support has made it difficult to hire a manager that can make the enterprise more profitable and the outcome of the work is dependent of the weather, the enterprise has turned out to be rather successful. Not only have they been running for more than 13 years, they have also benefited more than 50 highly disadvantaged individuals, and have constantly adapted to the changing market needs. Thus, in the years to come they will continue to optimise their efficiency and effectiveness of the enterprise, hoping to maintain their level of employees and increase their revenue.

More information

Website: www.dianova.pt

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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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