In December, within the framework of the project LLI-468 “A Step Forward: Developing Personal Resources and Skills for Employment” (I can work), Kurzeme Planning Region visited two companies, “Arčers BB” in Roja, Talsi municipality, which owns the cafe “Otra puse” and the hotel “Roja” and in the social enterprise “Creative Bread Laboratory “Ramala ””, Ventspils.
Zane Vaivode, the head of the company “Archers BB”, welcomed and introduced us to the company’s operations, emphasizing that the tourist season is the busiest from May to October. During this time, the company attracts additional staff and has experience in employing people with disabilities. The company has employed two young people with disabilities, one of whom has done cleaning work on the territory, and the other has worked in the field of record keeping.
The head of the company emphasizes that when attracting an employee with a disability, the entrepreneur must identify the type of disability and provide the job according to his or her abilities. It should be noted that this person is likely to need support and supervision on a daily basis. The company has used the support provided by the State Employment Agency for subsidized jobs. This support has been useful, but there is a need for such support in the long term.
This support is designed to promote the responsibility of entrepreneurs to involve people with disabilities in self-employment, but unfortunately companies cannot always afford it. The discussion was also attended by young people with disabilities, who shared positive work experience and emphasized the importance of being useful, helping and completing their daily lives. One of the girls shared her experience that due to the opportunity to work, she has overcome emotional difficulties, depression and the feeling that no one needs her. The head of the company says that one of the youngsters comes to clean the area and helps with the work, even when there is no season and the entrepreneur does not have the opportunity to employ this person because he feels useful
The second company we visited is the creative bread laboratory “Ramala”. The company manufactures confectionery, provides catering services, and organizes bakery therapy classes. For the first time, the hostess was exposed to bread therapy classes at the Bulgarian organization “Maizes māja” which has created bread therapy as a working method and promoted it all over the world. Bread therapy helps to develop fine motor skills, arouses fantasy and imagination, develops daily skills and abilities, provides positive and unforgettable emotions.
During the meeting, the hostess allowed us to enjoy a bread therapy session, which was a wonderful adventure and resulted in a loaf of bread in the form of a Christmas tree, which filled the whole room with its warmth and smell.
The head of the company Ruta Šenkevica shared her experience in employing various target groups and discussed the possibilities of employing people with disabilities.
The head of the support center for families and children with special needs “Cimdiņš” Ieva Sāmīte took part in the discussion. She emphasized the importance of promoting co-operation between local authorities, businesses and non-governmental organizations working with people with disabilities on a daily basis. She emphasizes that young people who visit “Cimdiņš” are very happy to get involved in everyday activities, such as cleaning the territory, cleaning snow, etc.
By collaborating and involving a mentor to provide support and supervision during the work process, these young people with mental disabilities could be successfully employed in areas such as assistant janitors, cook assistants, etc. areas.
Young people with disabilities also shared their desires and dreams about work. They emphasized that they were very happy to be useful and involved in employment and that the main areas in which they could work were washing dishes, cleaning the surroundings, and helping the kitchen with the products.
At the end of the event, we sat at the table, discussed and treated ourselves with the delicacies and tea provided by the hostess of the company.
The activities of the project “I can work” are implemented with the support of Interreg Latvia – Lithuania cross-border cooperation program 2014.-2020.
Find out more about the project on the Kurzeme planning region website: https://www.kurzemesregions.lv/projekti/socialas-joma/i-can-work/
For additional information:
Kurzemes planning region
project “I can work” manager
This information reflects the views of the author. The Managing Authority of the program is not responsible for the possible use of the information contained therein.