Welsh social enterprises hailed as models of inclusive employment practice
Last week, the Welsh Government published its Framework for Action on Independent Living, which sets out how they are fulfilling their obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).
The Framework emphasises the importance of work. Employment is crucial role of employment in promoting people’s independence, confidence, health and well-being, providing a route out of poverty and enabling participation in society. In 2012, 44.8% of disabled people aged 16 to 64 in Wales were in employment, compared to 74.6% of non-disabled people.
It’s revealing that the examples of best practice given in the Framework are all social enterprises:
“Agoriad Cyf is a social enterprise which operates across North Wales. It was established in 1992 to develop the employment possibilities for disabled and disadvantaged people. It provides a service in Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbigh, Flint and Wrexham. Working with socially responsible businesses, Agoriad’s teams seek the best opportunities and match these with appropriate training and after-placement monitoring to ensure a seamless transition into work for its clients.
DEWIS in Pontypridd, Diverse Cymru in Cardiff and the Vale, the Centre for Independent Living De Gwynedd, and Taran in Anglesey are social enterprises with which local authorities contract to provide a number of services, including support to disabled people in using direct payments.
The Coleshill Centre in Llanelli has attracted European funding for a major new development which will offer a wide range of training opportunities and income-generating activities, as well as advisory and therapeutic services. It is a partnership project led by Carmarthenshire Council which promotes the economic inclusion and well-being of disengaged people, as well as supporting the regeneration of Llanelli town.”
The Wales Co-operative Centre provides business services to social enterprises in Wales. By helping this business sector to thrive, we encourage sustainable economic activity with a social result.