Second Grant Scheme “Fostering Social Inclusion” EuropeAid/135012/M/ACT/MK

This Grant Scheme supports OPHRD Priority Axis 3 “Social Inclusion – Promoting an Inclusive Labour Market”.

The activities financed under this programme should contribute to increase participation of people at social risk and persons experiencing social exclusion into the labour market and to reduce unemployment. The activities would focus on the most vulnerable disadvantaged men and women. The problems of social inclusion are especially relevant in the economically disadvantaged areas.

The global objective of this grant scheme is to promote active inclusion of people in the weakest position on the labour market, thus creating equal opportunities for all in accessing the labour market.

The specific objectives of this grant scheme are:

(1) to increase the activation and involvement of persons at risk of social exclusion in the labour market by mobilising and/or improving their skills, education, qualification and facilitating their full integration into the society and in particular their access to the labour market.

(2) to facilitate integration of individuals from ethnic minority communities, especially women into the labour market through enhancement of their employment potentials.

(3) to strengthen the role of relevant stakeholders (local self-government units, governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations and other relevant stakeholders) in the development, implementation and monitoring of social inclusion programs with special focus on building partnerships, networking and cooperation.

This grant scheme envisions actions under three thematic priorities which correspond to the three measures of the OPHRD Priority Axis 3 “Social Inclusion”:

– Thematic priority 1: Fostering social inclusion of the disadvantaged persons into the labour market;

This thematic priority contributes to the specific objective (1) and encompasses developing and implementing specific employment or social services and innovative approaches tailored to the needs of individuals in the weakest position in the labour market. While on an employment path, these individuals need more support than others in terms of broad range of activities and individualized services to help them develop opportunities for employment. The access to the labour market and integration to the society demands some special measures and “pathways approach” before people at social risk are able fully to take use of the general labour market services. The activities form a coherent pathway towards employment. This requires individual action plan (a commitment of the client and activity provider like the organisation providing social services) and organized follow up of the plan. Namely, people at social risk and persons experiencing social exclusion encounter many difficulties when entering the labour market due to various social, psychological and economic reasons. In order to help these persons, specific and complex measures are implemented. Various social and professional services of rehabilitation that would increase motivation of these persons, form the necessary social skills, promote participation in the society and improve the skills needed to start using general labour market services and active labour market measures are supported.

– Thematic priority 2: Integration of Minority Ethnic Communities in the Labour Market with special focus on women;

This thematic priority contributes to the specific objective (2) and encompasses actions to address multiple exclusion factors of individuals from ethnic minority communities in particular Roma for their sustainable integration in the labour market. Ethnic minority women tend to be discriminated against for more reasons and in more spheres of life than men. Attention is paid to the initiatives that would help to change discrimination stereotypes in the society that constitute one of the obstacles for these persons to integrate into the labour market. The thematic priority deals with specific measures that promote gender equality and equal opportunities in the fields of social protection, employment and education. Addressing the conditions of ethnic minority women requires tackling social, cultural and economic factors that influence their daily lives – barriers of gender and traditions, discrimination, poverty and limited access to education and employment.

Thematic priority 3: Empowering Relevant Actors in the Field of Social Inclusion.

This thematic priority contributes to the specific objective (3) by establishing the most efficient and effective partnerships needed in order to put in place a programme/ plan/ model that promote social inclusion of the disadvantaged. Effective promotion of social inclusion needs increasing the capacities for active participation of a wide range of relevant social actors in the area of social inclusion such as local self-governments, civil society, public bodies, private sector, academic sector, social partners, etc. Support is provided to create and improve preventive social services, to create innovative methods of social work, to create special programmes increasing motivation for work and learning. In line with the principles of pluralism and decentralisation in social area, cooperation between various institutions working in this area is promoted with a view to creating and implementing integrated models of social, educational, health and employment services. There are supported new, innovative ways of solving social exclusion problems at local level.

The following twenty six (26) projects are implemented:

Second Grant Scheme 1