Transnational Partner Search “FOCUS: LOCAL PACT FOR THE EMPLOYMENT OF DISABLED PEOPLE IN THE LOCAL LABOUR MARKET” Lead Organisation: Cooperativa Sociale “COOSSEL” Via Reggio Campi II Tronco 89100 Reggio Calabria – ITALIA Tel: ++39 0965 331841 Fax: ++39 0965 331841 Email: email@example.com Sito Web: www.coosselr.it Contact Person: Saverio Sergi, Project co-ordinator Type of Organisation Social Firm Main Activities The main activity of COOSSEL co-operative, the first promoter of the DP “Focus”, is the management of interventions for the social integration of people with psychiatric and other disabilities. Within this area, the co-operative operates on various sides: a) psychiatric and psycho-social rehabilitation; b) daily home assistance; c) psycho- social support for families with multiple social needs; d) scientific investigation into such issues; e) creation of routes for the social integration of young people with mental problems in their starting phase; f) training courses and vocational guidance. The co-operative mission is that of planning, running and implementing routes for the social integration of people expelled from the systems of active society and conducting a marginalised life, not only from an economical point of view. The operating field is that of psychological and/or psychiatric problems. The aim of the interventions is that of supporting these people along the hard path towards the claiming back of their identity and social role lost because of their disease. In order to attain these goals, the co-operative makes use of scientific methodologies and approaches capable of rising the target group‟s levels of competence, in order to make easier the achievement of socially competent behaviours. In the last years the activity has also taken a definite scientific and experimental character. In fact Italy is one of the few countries in which the approach of professor Mark Spivak of Harvard and Jerusalem University has been used in a scientifically planned way. This is a methodology meant for the creation of individualised rehabilitation routes addressed to people with previous long stays in mental hospitals, thus particularly disadvantaged from the point of view of relational competences and abilities concerning personal and social autonomy. It is an eclectic approach integrating and using methodological hints coming from other psychological and psychiatric approaches, such as the systemic-relational one, the psycho-dynamic one, the behaviourist one and the one known as “person-centred approach”. The scientific direction of this project has been taken up for over four years by Professor Spivak himself, who, directly and at regular intervals, engaged to train and keep up to date the workers involved in the rehabilitation projects in Reggio Calabria. He also measured and supervised the work done, personally verifying the achievement of the objectives. Several reports and scientific publications came out within this activity. Calabria background Calabria has a very weak productive base whose characteristics are the strong specialisation in traditional fields on the one hand, and the firms‟ dimensional pulverisation on the other hand. According to data of the ISTAT intermediate census of industry and services, at the end of 1996 in the province of Reggio Calabria there were 24,937 firms, with an employment of 47,517 workers. In the field of trade and repairing operates the 48,26% of the firms in Reggio, followed by property companies, renting, informatics and research (15,54%), manufacture (11,75%), building (7,2%), hotels and restaurants (5,54%) and finally other public, social and personal services (5,47). Thus the sectional specialization concerns the fields of trade, building, the other public services and hotels and restaurants. Yet, these sectors coincide with the less dynamic productive activities, mainly addressed to the local markets. In terms of employment, the sector using the greatest number of workers is trade (19,636), followed by manufacture, employing 7,856 workers. Small firms with less than ten workers represent a very big part, more than the 90% of the local firms. According to the already analysed results of the intermediate census of 1996, Calabria shows some kind of sectional specialization only in the less dynamic sectors, little exposed to external competition and almost exclusively addressed to the local markets. Therefore it is a success limited to single firms, whose main explanation lies just in the fact that no interconnection among the firms exists. The possibilities of work integration for disabled people within the productive web of the province of Reggio Calabria seem to be very scarce, since in the whole province out of a total of 24,937 firms, those with more than 15 workers are only 204 in the private sector, that is the 0,8% of the total. What is more, there is a difficulty in quantifying the real number of people who can be introduced to employment according to the set of rules of the law 68/99, due to problems related to the structure of the census. According to plausible criteria applied both to the successive classes of workers of the firms and to the local units of the institutions, the part of reserves, according to the new provisions of the law 68/99, is about 3,000 units. In the province of Reggio Calabria, the number of disabled workers employed according to the previous law 482/68 is about 1,500 units (of which 418 in private firms and 1,090 in public companies), where the biggest part is represented by disabled people). According to some research, the percentage of failure in the introduction to work based on the law 482/68 is very high (about the 75%) and includes cases of desertion of work on the part of the disabled (who do not start the job in exchange of a ”donation” by the firm), cases of resignation before the end of the period of probation (because of the lack of a suitable task), cases of dismissal of the worker during the period of probation and finally cases of non-starting of the job. Alongside about 1,500 people already employed in September 2000, almost 10,000 disabled people are willing to work and could be addressees of the new law, whereas, on the same date, only 45 disabled people are employed among those starting their jobs between 01/07/99 and 15/09/00. In short, the weak economic structure of the province of Reggio Calabria and the specific conditions of the labour market - which have been clearly outlined in the introduction to the specific territorial context - lead to believe that the possibilities of making successful the system reforming the introduction to work of the disabled, are strongly conditioned by the adoption of intervention techniques which may have a concrete impact on the system of employment services, becoming a widespread practice in the matching of supply and demand. The intervention on this specific segment of the process of introduction to work of the disabled allows the contemporary achievement of some objectives: a) it improves the quality of the intervention of vocational guidance and training integration of the disabled; b) it introduces them into an institutional process complying with their right to work. Aims FOCUS DP proposes a system of actions under the EMPLOYABILITY thematic field, whose aim is to promote the conditions to give better chances to the identified target in the labour market. The strategy of the project is aimed not only to create new employment, but to have a real impact on the local labour market, significantly reducing all patterns of discrimination usually preventing disabled people to have access to employment. In summary, our proposal is to promote a „Local Pact for the employment of disabled people”, through the involvement of a number of key actors of the economic and social system at the provincial level. In other terms, we would like to consolidate the network of subjects operating within the geographical area of the province of Reggio Calabria and to make them inter-act with the aim of making the labour market more permeable to disabled people. The project will be carried on by a multi-agency development partnership, involving different subjects, all able to have an active role for the achievement of the outcomes, thanks to the added value coming from their interaction. Target group FOCUS will work with the following disadvantage group Young people with problem of mental health; People with learning disabilities It is a kind of target living on the fringes of social and productive life, since the policies and the interventions for the rehabilitation from the condition of social isolation in which these people live are only episodic. The only route they are let go along as “protagonists”, if we may use this expression, is that of remaining indefinitely guests of mental hospitals or supported by social services. Objectives To build and experiment a local network of subjects interacting to promote employment opportunities for disabled people; To promote the formal endorsing of a “Local Pact for the Employment of Disabled People”, describing the roles, contents, objectives and strategies to implement; To favour the matching between offer of labour coming from disabled people and demand of labour from the local business system. In this context, a key action will be to break the stereotype by which employing disabled people means a loss of productivity and not a resource to valorise. To create, within the Job Centres, operational sectors specialised in giving advise and support to local commercial and social firms potentially willing to employ disabled people; To experiment training actions directly linked to professional and competencies needs of firms; To create new orienteering and empowerment methodologies, able to enrich competencies of disabled people; To guarantee in all stages of the projects, equal opportunities for mental disabled women; To create a network of psychiatric and social aid to the final beneficiaries, though the involvement of the local health authority and te social services; To carry on research actions to investigate on the needs and the quality of life of disabled people and on the training and professional needs of local firms; To build a system of information and dissemination of the methodology experimented during the implementation of the project; To start a training action for trainers in order to enhance their competencies; To promote a system of certification of competencies for the final beneficiaries; To promote further agreements with the local business system in order to give disabled people the opportunity to have work-experiences or in-site training; To establish a model of mainstreaming; To create a web site for the job-matching, specialised with disabled people seeking employment; Project Partner The DP “Focus” is an aggregate of local parties of high value added within the province. The operative synergies which will be built and the level of integration and co-operation which will be developed, will be the elements guaranteeing the success of the whole enterprise. In fact, we are convinced that the province of Reggio Calabria possesses potentialities that must be enhanced in order to promote routes of development and socio-economical integration for the disabled. Therefore, the operative phase of the project will represent a testing ground for innovative models allowing the local community - through the direct involvement of the key parties in the development and representation - to guide, monitor and evaluate the single interventions and the project as a whole. The “social control” is necessary above all for a continuous testing of the correspondence between project and technique of realisation. The problem leads directly to the process of decision-making which cannot be limited to the phase of planning of the interventions, but must follow the various stages of its route. For this reason, utmost care will be given to the whole process of building of a methodology guaranteeing all the partners‟ active participation and the necessary social control. The two parties promoting the DP “Focus” will play a leading role in the process of involvement of the whole group of partners. Four steering groups will thus be activated. Within them all the organisations, institutions, associations and firms of the DP will operate. The idea is that of guaranteeing every partner a role in all the phases of implementation of the enterprise. Therefore the project will be run by the following coordinating groups: 1) technical-scientific coordination: it is the structure guiding the whole project, made up of the representatives of the two promoting parties and those appointed by the three “ASL” of the province of Reggio Calabria, the trade union “CISL”, the province councillor for equal opportunities and the associations for the protection of rights. This technical group will be the interface with all the other partners of the DP carrying out project activities; 2) executive coordination: it will have a crucial role in managing the financial and secretarial processes. It will be the concrete reference for the relations between local and transnational partners; 3) coordination for the constitution of the “local agreement for the employment of the disabled”. In this case a leading role will be played by the institutional partners, namely the A.P. of Reggio Calabria - also by virtue of its competences in the field of compulsory employment – and the representatives of the town councils of Palmi, Villa San Giovanni, Rosarno, Siderno, Melito Porto Salvo and Cittanova. Other types of partner will be involved in the DP. Planned Activities The DP “FOCUS” has been developed through many meeting with the strategic partner in the province of Reggio Calabria. The DP involved the following types of partner: Type of partners Key roles Institutional Partners Public administrations of the province of Reggio Calabria. They contribute in highlighting the needs of the territory as regards the occupation for the disadvantaged groups, and they are interpreters in first appeal to develop positive actions to support the social economy. If necessary, they can financially participate in the development of the project. In the presentation of the DP they will be represented by a partner institutional leader. Consultant Partners Entrepreneurial organisations and the social partners. To them we will ask every support to favour the birth or the strengthening of new economic activities that can be managed by the enterprises of the social economy. Particularly they will favour this trial creating correct synergies with initiatives of their competence. Besides, they will also guarantee a transfer of specific know-how in such matters as rights and duties of the work force who will presumably be occupied thanks to the project. In the presentation of the DP they will be represented by a partner of consultation leader. Project Partners Non profit organisms that have shown competence and experience in planning and management of complex community projects. They will contribute with a variety of competencies: techniques, managerial, financial, formative, consultative, etc. It is up to them to fill-in the proposal (on the escort of the indications collegially emerged with the other partners) and his operational run, guaranteeing a suitable assistance in the following phases of development of the program. In the presentation of the candidacy they will be represented by a partner or project leader. Beneficiaries Partners They are the recipients of the activities, services and supports that the project produces for favouring the growth of social enterprises. Among them we have the associations, the social Cooperatives type B, the non social Cooperatives and the Enterprises profit ethically directed. Many among these are already gathered in an institutionally recognised organism called “Consult of the Voluntary sector”. In the presentation of the candidacy they will be represented by a partner beneficiary leader. All the partners will be involved in the following actions: management of DP through a Steering Group; process of mainstreaming; monitoring and evaluation; trans-national activities. To ensure a formal description of roles and responsibilities, the DP “FOCUS” have chosen as a formal agreement, the Partnership Agreement. The active role of each partner will be promoted through the following actions: Steering Group which will meet twice monthly; Executive Committee ; Website of DP “FOCUS” with bulletin board for partners only; Involvement of partners in each decisional process; Timetable Action 1: the preparation of the DP began in November and it will end on March 15. Action 2: the implementation of DP “FOCUS” will begin in May 2002 and will be concluded in September 2004. Trans-national Activities New laws has been approved in Italy in the last four years, with the aim of facilitating the transition to work for disadvantaged groups. As an effect of this, new ideas and innovative approaches has been experimented to promote the occupation of the target groups. It is therefore important to compare the effectiveness of these approaches and methodologies with other European partners and, at the same time to have the opportunity of combining different methodologies with inputs of partners that have reached levels of excellence in this sector. Therefore, trans-national activities of FOCUS will be: Exchange of experiences and innovative approaches; Exchange of staff and users; Development of common activities; Development of a trans-national mainstreaming plan. Type of Partners Required Partners with a consolidated experience in the field of social and occupational integration of disabled people.