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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Find a job despite obstacles. Where to start the search

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Jennifer (not her real name), a 40-year-old victim of gender-based violence from Honduras, didn’t calm down until she got a permanent job as a cleaner. The same happened to her compatriot Claudia, 44, who lost her job due to the pandemic and today has a permanent contract as a geriatrician in a nursing home. The stability of both women and their children hung by a thread until their working conditions settled down. Both are among the vulnerable groups in Spain: people with disabilities, women victims of gender-based violence, or citizens at risk of social exclusion who face an obstacle course when looking for work, among others.

Jennifer and Claudia did it. Experts agree that a steady job is the most important factor in finding security and avoiding scares. But it’s not just about finding a job. In terms of quality, there are still many differences to be ironed out. Daniel-Aníbal García, Financial Secretary of the Spanish Confederation of People with Physical and Organic Disabilities (Cocemfe), denounces the comparative ills between people with disabilities, one of the most numerous vulnerable groups in Spain, and the rest of the population: “ Besides having higher unemployment we also have a lower average salary in all occupational groups. There is an element of discrimination, both in access and in remuneration,” he asserts.

What to do and where to go

To find employment and fill this gap, García points out that the starting point is in the bodies that these groups represent. They usually have dedicated job boards, recruitment agencies and a large amount of information and accumulated experience. They also facilitate registration with the SEPE (State Public Employment Service). Cocemfe, without going further, has registered around 60,000 people on its job board, which has resulted in nearly 6,000 hires in 2021.

When you register with a job exchange, you don’t just wait for a call. On many occasions, García emphasizes, a personal assessment or retraining courses are included, something indispensable, such as in the case of sudden disability, such as after an accident or eviction. This training opens up opportunities in well-known territories, such as the classic professions in the service sector, but also in emerging fields: “People with disabilities must be included in areas such as the green economy. If not, we will always be left behind. change self-perception. We like the phrase, “I want to be your partner or your boss,” he continues.

The expert highlights two other niches to explore: self-employment, with bonuses and support measures for the self-employed and entrepreneurs, and public sector employment: “We can help and guide anyone who wants it. There is also a certain number of reserved places,” he explains.

Another way of accessing the labor market to consider is the job fairs organized by some companies. Clece, which indirectly manages important public services, is one of them. This is done by Clece Emplea, which in its first edition, which took place from June 14th to 15th, offered 2,800 jobs across Spain with the participation of 139 public bodies and the third sector. The event brought together 44 selection technicians to telematically interview 3,500 candidates in vulnerable situations. “We are looking for people who want to work and have an attitude. We want to close the loop of integration with a job offer,” explains Íñigo Camilleri, Director of Selection, Development and Equality at Clece.

Camilleri highlights the customization of jobs to the applicant’s circumstances. For example, in a case of gender-based violence, the victim has a very specific time availability, limited by appointments with the lawyer or the different procedures related to their situation: “You have to prepare the social worker. The integration must be gradual, with an increasing number of hours to give him time to assimilate the dynamics while combining his private life,” he summarizes.

Silvia Bielsa, one of Clece Emplea’s selection technicians, who interviewed dozens of candidates during the fair, explains that people who have been harmed apply. “They are usually at the limit. We need to change the look and provide places where they can contribute and get back on the social wheel,” he explains.

learn to access

Carolina Lozano, Head of Brokerage and Prospecting for Companies at Pinardi, an association of social platforms helping young people at risk of exclusion and one of Clece Emplea’s 139 collaborating organizations, says this event is “the perfect setting to bring the explore job market. Candidates develop a routine, engage with superiors, develop a habit. We prepare young people who are at the crucial moment of their first work experience.”

This preparation is based on the development of fundamental skills in these young people, such as the ability to work in a team, punctuality, tolerance for frustration, solving conflicts with colleagues: “Things as simple as knowing how to talk to the boss if one day you are late for work,” adds Lozano added. They should be placed on the market in such a way that they gradually acquire the technical and practical part: “The motivation comes from them. We need to raise awareness so companies see these benefits,” he adds.

Several recruitment technicians conduct online interviews with candidates at the Clece Emplea event in Madrid.

The candidates are not only young. Older people also apply, such as a long-term unemployed father or mother who has long been out of the market, or workers who see their businesses closing and are forced to reinvent themselves. “The goal is for them to reactivate and lose their fears, the dreaded ‘I don’t know if I know.’ With this return to the world of work, even if the positions are simple, the consequences are more bearable,” Lozano continued.

A guided dive

Daniel-Aníbal García from Cocemfe complains that there is often a lack of support when it comes to integration: “These people need follow-up care as soon as they are introduced to the new company, integration cannot only take place on the day they start. For example, the regulations provide for physical adaptations to the workplace, but these are not always complied with.”

This integration support is mandatory for special employment centers, companies with the task of promoting the professional integration of people with disabilities. They do this through support units, a multidisciplinary body made up of psychologists and social workers, among others, that accompanies new workers in their immersion in the business and seeks to ensure their full adjustment to the labor market. A kind of helpdesk that is always on call.

However, normal companies do not need to have this resource. Olga Giner is a psychologist and heads the Clece support unit in Catalonia, a company that decided to set up this unit itself to help its workers with disabilities, victims of gender violence or social exclusion: “It’s a trusting environment , which they greatly appreciate. You can open up and tell us how you are doing. They are people who have been looking for a job for a long time and that creates insecurity.”

These units assess several critical conditions of each employee, such as: B. housing, leisure time, family, health or economic situation. “Then we identify where we can improve through regular and confidential monitoring,” says Giner. The purpose is for them to know that the company wanted them to be here. “We are proud of the experiences we have had. We want them to work and stay,” he concludes.

Source elpais.com

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