With ESF help, a Slovenian social enterprise is placing qualified disabled people in higher-quality jobs
Slovenia has 21 social enterprises that employ people from disadvantaged groups, such as the long-term unemployed and people with disabilities. However, while these jobs are often less demanding, they are also among the lowest-paying jobs – for example, in the cleaning, waste-management and processing and manufacturing-assembly sectors.
In contrast, the social enterprise ‘Dobrovita’ believes it can offer disadvantaged job-seekers better opportunities. “Our key aim is to provide job opportunities for higher-qualified people with disabilities and thus expand the range of activities that are normally offered by social enterprises," says Uroš Urbas from Dobrovita. So far, the enterprise has found work for four candidates – as a land surveyor, a historian, an economist, and a wood technician.
Damjana Košir from Slovenia’s Ministry of Labour says interest in this type of employment has been increasing since the adoption of the Social Entrepreneurship Act in Slovenia, pointing to good practice examples in other countries, such as the Mondragon co-operative in Spain which employs 5000 workers in many highly skilled areas like technical work, retail and banking.