"A parcel of provisions is key to integration within the workplace"
• This was one of the conclusions of Cristóbal Valderas, Clece’s President, who also highlighted that “Employment is social work par excellence”.
• 14% of Clece’s workforce in Aragon is from vulnerable collectives
That “Employment is the solution to the social integration of vulnerable collectives” is one of the main conclusions drawn from the VII “Clece for Integration” Forum, entitled “A bridge to employment”. This took place on 15th June at the CaixaForum auditorium in Zaragoza.
The Forum, organised by Clece, brought together different representatives from the Public Administration, the private company, social agents, and a representative of vulnerable collectives. The purpose was to debate formulas for improving employability and removing the access barriers to employment faced by disabled people, those at risk of social exclusion, or the victims of gender-based violence.
Participants at the event were: Teresa Sevillano Abad, Director General of Equality and Families of the Aragon Government; Recaredo García Gaspar, Employment Promotion Services Manager, INAEM, of the Aragon Government; Soledad Bolea Bosque, Manager of the Women’s Home Equality Programs Section of Zaragoza Town Hall; Beatriz Gutiérrez, Regional Coordinator in Aragon for the Adecco Foundation; Ibtisam, a worker at Clece’s Home Help Service in Zaragoza, and Cristóbal Valderas Alvarado, Clece’s President.
The meeting highlighted the need to form alliances between private companies and Public Administrations in order to reduce the unemployment rates for vulnerable collectives.
Ibtisam, a worker at the Home Help Service in Zaragoza, found her employment opportunity at Clece. Today she is convinced that her work not only allows her to develop professionally, but has given her and her son the chance of a new life. For Ibtisam, “A job gives a woman value and energy, the capacity to continue to struggle for what she wants, to have goals, to improve self-confidence, not to surrender, and to continue forward”.
“Hiring is not the same as integrating. In Clece, people from vulnerable collectives are integrated and become brand ambassadors. Having people like Ibtisam with us makes us better. The 7,200 people integrated from these collectives are a blessing. We are passionate about this and want to continue to grow opportunities for more people working alongside public administrations,” stated Cristóbal Valderas Alvarado, Clece’s President.
Teresa Sevillano Abad, Director General of Equality and Families of the Aragon Government, commented, “For a long time Zaragoza has lived alongside the River Ebro, which today has many bridges. We must not turn our backs on the most vulnerable people, and for the dignity of our entire society we must provide bridges to employment to facilitate their integration. ”
Recaredo García Gaspar, Employment Promotion Services Manager, INAEM, of the Aragon Government, indicated “Inclusion measures for these collectives must be provided, and subsidies are fundamental to facilitating employment, or it will be more difficult. In Aragon we undertake awareness-raising work to remind companies of their obligation to fulfil the General Law on Disability. Public employment services have to work alongside companies”.
Soledad Bolea Bosque, Manager of the Women’s Home Equality Programs Section of the Zaragoza Town Hall, commented, “Equality and non-discrimination education along with support and training for women is important. The public and private sectors must join forces to support these women and achieve their workplace integration. The work of companies such as Clece, which has a presence throughout the peninsula, provides work opportunities for people who are victims of gender-based violence and a chance to change town and move away from their partner”.
In the words of Beatriz Gutiérrez, Regional Coordinator in Aragon for the Adecco Foundation, “Employment is the cornerstone for vulnerable collectives emerging from exclusion. She also added, “Stereotypes have to be broken and we have to educate future generations so that companies value people for their know-how. This starts with blind curriculums”.
At the end of the Forum, all the speakers encouraged Clece to continue to integrate vulnerable collectives and to organise events of this type to promote awareness raising.
Constructing bridges to integration
The VII Clece Forum for Integration is the work of Clece Social, the company’s social project. It aims to improve employability, integration, awareness-raising and care of socially disadvantaged collectives such as people with disabilities, those at risk of social exclusion, women who suffer gender-based violence, the young long-term unemployed and also collectives with special needs such as children and the elderly.
This year, Clece’s strong social commitment has meant that on its 25th anniversary, 9.6% of its workforce comes from these collectives. Of Clece’s 71,982 employees at national level, 6,926 workers are integrated from these collectives. In the case of Aragon, Clece has a total of 1,712 employees, of which, 14% are from vulnerable collectives.