Integrating people at risk of exclusion into the labour market
Specific initiatives of companies are aimed at assisting people at particular risk of exclusion – such as the long-term unemployed, early school leavers and people with disabilities – to take up jobs in the regular labour market. Initiatives can take the form of innovative partnerships between companies and public employment bodies.
- Koersvast, the Netherlands: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – long-term unemployed
Koersvast is a temporary employment agency for long-term unemployed people. The agency recruits workers for jobs at the lower end of the labour market. In the past seven years, the agency placed more than 600 workers in jobs in over 70 companies, which were all small and medium-sized enterprises in a wide range of economic sectors. Despite a changing economic climate and the cessation of regulations encouraging the temporary employment of unemployed persons, Koersvast continues to succeed in integrating people with limited opportunities into the labour market.
- EDF, France: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – people with disabilities
French energy company Électricité de France has implemented a long-term policy aimed at integrating and supporting people with disabilities. Based primarily on collective agreements at company level, the policy includes both quantitative and qualitative measures. The implementation of this policy involves all actors of the company, including senior management, worker representatives and employees. A special department is devoted to monitoring the implementation of the policy measures while closely cooperating with all levels of the company.
- Adecco, Italy: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – long-term unemployed
In 2001, the temporary work agency Adecco established the Adecco Foundation for equal opportunities. This Foundation has introduced programmes aimed at developing integration paths for long-term unemployed people in an effort to get them back into employment. Beginning with an assessment of the reasons for labour market exclusion, the company identifies, together with the worker, the most suitable training opportunities and professional path to upgrade their skills.
- Company A, France: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – long-term unemployed
‘Company A’, a private association financed by public funds, has implemented a new innovative process aimed at integrating people who are at risk of exclusion from the labour market into employment. The measure targets those receiving income support, long-term unemployed people and people with low or no qualifications. It is based on an ‘intervention on offer and demand’ method, aimed at both eliminating the company’s interest in the workers’ personal characteristics during the recruitment process and at supporting companies in identifying their real internal needs.
- Flexwork, Austria: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion
Flexwork is a temporary work agency founded as a result of a tripartite initiative aimed at the labour market integration of people at risk of exclusion. To reach this objective, the agency takes an innovative approach by offering those people the opportunity of a job through the use of socially acceptable temporary agency work. The agency operates as a non-profit organisation in a competitive market and is also active in the field of labour market policy. It works in conjunction with the City of Vienna, the social partners and the Public Employment Service.
- ScottishPower, UK: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – early school-leavers
The energy company ScottishPower runs a number of schemes aimed at improving the employment opportunities of young people in the areas in which it operates. In particular, the Skillseeker programme helps 16 and 17 year olds with limited academic qualifications to move from school or unemployment to sustainable employment or further education. Over the 10 years of the initiative, ScottishPower and a number of its business partners have taken on many of those passing through the Skillseekers training.
- De Schalm, the Netherlands: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – long-term unemployed
De Schalm is a recycling company, consisting of two shops selling recycled products and various repair workshops. The company hires long-term unemployed people, most of whom have psychosocial problems, offering them work experience and counselling to facilitate future integration into the regular labour market. Within the project’s scope, 100 jobs are available for these people, and workers have the possibility of staying in the job for a maximum of two years. On an annual basis, about 30% of the people leaving the project find paid employment in the labour market.
- Eurogate, Germany: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – long-term unemployed
Eurogate introduced a policy to integrate long-term unemployed people into the workforce. After intensive selection procedures, successful applicants are trained as gantry crane or van carrier operators. Participants then receive a fixed-term employment contract for two years followed by a permanent contract. In the last six years, the company created 1,350 new jobs, allocating 600 of these to long-term unemployed people. Since 2001, Eurogate only recruits long-term unemployed people for blue-collar jobs.
- Indesit, Italy: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – early school-leavers
Since 1998, Indesit has been running a project which offers work placement to young people who are mainly early school-leavers and also young offenders. The ‘Jonathan’ project is named after the non-profit organisation which provides young offenders with an alternative to prison. To begin with, the young people are employed on a fixed-term employment contract, following which they may continue the usual route adopted by other workers who are on open-ended contracts.
- Adecco, France: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – people with disabilities
Access to employment for persons with disabilities through the provision of temporary work is part of a recruitment and integration process within private sector companies. A network of agencies promotes the diverse capabilities of people with disabilities in an effort to integrate them into the labour market. The aim is to facilitate the employment of these people and to provide a follow-up service once they are employed. This approach is based on the principle of non-discrimination in the recruitment processes, namely to focus on their skills and not their disability.
- Spectra Collection, Sweden: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – long-term unemployed
Spectra Collection AB, a wood manufacturing company, initiated a training programme which was aimed at providing long-term unemployed persons with the training needed to become wood industry workers. The training course included eight weeks of theoretical training and 32 weeks of on-the-job training in companies. Five participants of the programme did their practical training at Spectra Collection, and four of these were subsequently hired by the company after completing the training programme.
- Deutsche Steinkohle, Germany: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – people with disabilities
Deutsche Steinkohle offers apprenticeships to deaf or hearing-impaired young people in a normal company setting. Instructors within the company have a good command of sign language, as the ability to communicate with the apprentices who have a hearing impairment is key to their successful integration into the workplace. Over the last years, more than 100 hearing-impaired or deaf young people mastered their skilled worker (craftsperson) qualification in technical professions which can be applied beyond mining occupations.
- City of Stockholm, Sweden: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – early school-leavers
As there is a shortage of young employees in the City of Stockholm, the municipality has introduced a new initiative to encourage young people into employment. In phase one of the initiative, 85 persons aged 20–24 years who were unemployed for more than three months were offered complementary training supported by trained supervisors. The programme’s second phase took on 30 early school-leavers aged 18–20 years. After six months’ training and six months’ trial employment, 55% of the first stage participants are employed while 15% are pursuing studies.
- Spar–Jobfabrik, Austria: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – early school-leavers
Spar and Jobfabrik have jointly established ‘Spar Jobtraining’, a vocational certificate programme for young people who do not have the ability to complete an apprenticeship and hence who risk being excluded from the labour market. The programme includes job placement in a supermarket, formal training and monitoring by a mentor, who looks after the successful integration of the programme’s participants in the workplace. All participants are offered a permanent work contract with Spar following completion of the programme.
- Ilva, Italy: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – early school-leavers and long-term unemployed
In 2003, the management of the Riva Group steel production plant in Taranto and the representative trade union agreed to establish measures to facilitate the placement of young people aged under 29 years and long-term unemployed people aged under 32 years in the work environment. The agreement is geared towards progressive employment stability, since it explicitly provides for a high rate of work and training contracts as well as fixed-term employment contracts extending to open-ended contracts. The trade union is involved in the monitoring activity on an ongoing basis.
- Laing O’Rourke, UK: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – early school-leavers and long-term unemployed
Laing O’Rourke’s response to the recruitment problems faced by the Scottish construction industry is to look at the possibilities of getting more local people back to work. The company has taken initiatives to support in particular long-term unemployed people, young school-leavers and refugees. These categories are the target groups of the company’s integrated policy of corporate social responsibility. The company believes that, by creating a trained pool of labour, it can contribute to an increased supply of skilled workers for the construction industry.
- Philips, the Netherlands: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – early school-leavers
Royal Philips Electronics is one of the world’s leading electronics companies. In 1982, the company introduced the ‘Philips Employment Scheme’ which originally was targeted at young and unemployed school-leavers, offering training and work experience for people with limited opportunities in the labour market. At a later stage, the initiative came to include other groups of people such as women returning to work and persons with disabilities. By 2004, over 11,000 people had benefited from the employment scheme.
- Bayer, Germany: Integration into the labour market of people at risk of exclusion – early school-leavers
A training programme set up by Bayer AG in 1988 is designed to give disadvantaged young people an opportunity to receive vocational training. The programme allows these young people, who do not have sufficient qualifications, to directly enter an apprenticeship, and the opportunity to attain qualifications and acquire professionally relevant knowledge during a one-year preparatory course. To date, the programme has allowed Bayer to help 745 young people to qualify for a vocational training placement within the company. The scheme is fully funded by the company.