Cross-border Network for Social Economy
To the west of the Pyrenees, on the border between France and Spain, three regions have decided to cooperate in favour of a responsible and solidarity-based economy. The TESS project has created a cross-border network that has brought together stakeholders from the Aquitaine, Navarra and Basque Country social economy to promote a more democratic and equitable economy. A job-creating and economic development that places citizens at the centre of their decisions and serves to create a fairer and more solidarity-based society.
The Walkways project aims to increase the rate of employment of people with intellectual disabilities and challenging behaviour by creating alternative pathways to employment. This is achieved by appropriate specialist employability interventions, delivered through individually tailored programmes. The project was conceived by a Welsh and Irish organisations. The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is approximately 56%; however it is in excess of 85% for people with intellectual disabilities and complex needs. The project partners aim to achieve the following: increasing equal rights for individuals facing significant barriers in participating in mainstream society, enabling participation through appropriate job opportunities and supporting individuals to realise their own employment potential. The joint activity is delivered through three individually tailored programmes:
- PEER (Providing Equal Employment Routes): To support young people in education to take their first steps into part-time paid employment.
- REAL (Reaching Employment Ambitions in Life): For adults who wish to experience paid employment.
- Social Enterprise/Firm: Establish enterprises to fulfill social needs within our communities while creating employment opportunities.
The project has already demonstrated benefits for its participants, such as increased independence, career development, personal growth, increased social interaction and ongoing support and follow up care.
Project FUTSAL has been designed by the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and the Welsh Football Trust (WFT) through part funding from the Ireland Wales Programme 2007-2013. These organisations have teamed up to use sport as a means to provide opportunities for people who are unemployed and out of formal education to help them back into the workforce. Project FUTSAL is not a football initiative. It is a social inclusion initiative that encourages community regeneration and is primarily concerned with advancing employability and education in young adults. Football is used as a tool to attract participants to learn other skills and to encourage volunteerism in local communities. The project will work with 12 Futsal education centres (hubs) developed in Ireland and Wales. These educational hubs provide an academic year of adult education, personal development, football coaching education and work/volunteer placements. The course is open to both male and female participants. Training has included accredited modules in Sport & Recreation, pan disability football coaching, video match analysis, stadium stewarding, IT, communications, football, health education and youth leadership skills. Each participant volunteers time to its local communities during the course. The accredited course has a strong emphasis on facilitating further career and educational opportunities.
Fostering Home-Based Self-employment Opportunities
The necessity of cross-border cooperation stems from low economic activity in the respective cross-border region. Latgale region is the most underdeveloped region in Latvia having the highest unemployment rate and very low economical activity. The action in particular focuses on problem of self-employed home-based individuals (amateur craftsmen and artisans). Such people often lack sufficient necessary knowledge and resources for successful running of their activities. Objectives: to increase economical activity of individuals excluded from labour market by providing potential home-based self-employed individuals (craftsmen) with favorable entrepreneurial preconditions for working at home.Results&outputs: The home-based craftsmen will benefit from a web-based platform for training, contact exchange and promotion of their handcraft. A number of training sessions will be organised and publications about entrepreneurial conditions and legal base for business in the cross-border territory will be issued. The partners working in the field of entrepreneurship will renew their technical base.