The lasting integration of severely disabled persons into the job market

In 2003 the European Union started a campaign under the slogan “European year for humans with handicaps”. The request reaching for 37 million disabled persons permanent progress in the EU, was also for the Bavarian state government important, so they took it into their program “Well and!” Under the slogan “Swabian enterprises arrange together future” was the permanent integration by humans with handicaps in the first job market pursued.

Why now is the social responsibility of enterprises an important component of their business policy? With the dimension of ecological responsibility of enterprises there is also increasingly the social component associated. It completes the so-called “Triple Bottom Line” (economic “profit”, ecological “planet” and social aspects of “people”, thus human-capital) and is expression of the increasing requirements both of investors and of the society as a whole. Social responsibility is thus raised to a strategic significance of enterprises.

One base, for example, is Corporate Citizenship. It relates to all society-referred activities of an enterprise beyond the actual business activity. It’s focused on paramount company targets and their strategic adjustment. Enterprises, which signed off on Corporate Citizenship, see themselves as a “good citizen”, who is active for itself and the community. An example from the Swabian region is the company “Betapharm” in Augsburg. They received the first price of the federal initiative “freedom & responsibility” for 10 years social responsibility in the year 2003 under the patronage of the Federal President.

But there are no concrete mechanisms or ways of proceeding! Therefore, in 2003 the program developed social audit and social profit as possible solutions. Social audit is the résumé for instruments, methods and procedures, with whose assistance the effects of operational changes regarding “social topics” examined, evaluated or be judged and appropriate measures can be suggested. Social profit can be summarized as the first step to the social audit. It contributes to a “win-win-situation”, so, it affects positively the social and economical side!

How does it work then coming from the social profit to the social audit? The close and on confidence based communication and cooperation in the regional context are advanced by the development of a network. For this it requires intensive, regular contacts. In Swabia there was the ifd (integrations fach dienst) as a central shelter, which coordinated the gradual solidification of the structures.

On the basis of a functioning operational integration management it’s to be documented whether and in to what extent enterprises can have a social profit. To begin with the documentation and the evaluation of the social profit as a short-term objective further steps leads to the long-term goal social audit. This lights up a broader spectrum of social aspects, among other things, the integration of handicapped people in the enterprise.

How does the further procedure look? The central goal was to create a basis study in cooperation with the office for integration of the government of Swabia and to create a fundamental structure for lasting integration of handicapped persons in the job-market.

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One thought on “The lasting integration of severely disabled persons into the job market

  1. I think this is a good example for “out of the press, out of peoples minds”. If a campain is started everyone is ambitious for it and supports it. But people forget when another more exciting campaign comes up. Since 2003 the Swabian government tries to integrate handicaped people in the normal job market but nothing worked out perfecly until yet. I think on the one hand it is the responsibility of employeers to be more social responsible and therefore employing more handicapped people. On the other hand it is on the consumers who should be more aware of what they are buying and who is producing it. In my opinion a company who employes handicaped people in our rough working environment we suffer now, is much more admireable than a company which can pay a high divident to its stockholders. Therefore there must be a rethinking in our whole society because a society is as good as its weakest member – in our case the handicapped one in the labor market.

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