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21 août 2007 2 21 /08 /août /2007 09:37
La ville d'Helsinki va expérimenter un nouveau service d'aide aux personnes âgées en utilisant des chômeurs       considérés comme "difficilement employables".

Article publié dans Helsingin sanomat.

Helsinki to set up social enterprise to care for elderly

Company to hire hard-to-employ jobless for support jobs


Helsinki to set up social enterprise to care for elderly
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By Raija Kaikkonen
     
      The City of Helsinki plans to set up a so-called social enterprise to supply labour for the city's own care institutions.
      The wholly city-owned company is to hire 20 to 25 people, at least 30 per cent of whom have health problems or are otherwise difficult to find jobs for, such as the long-term unemployed, or immigrants who have not yet mastered the Finnish language.
      The City of Helsinki will pay some of the personnel costs.
     
Proponents of the idea hope that the Helsinki City Council will give its approval to the establishment of the enterprise at its August meeting, at which time the company could be fully operational as of the beginning of next year.
      The enterprise is to be registered in the autumn, at which the staff are to be hired and trained for their new jobs.
      The new company is to offer high-quality support services to service homes and homes for the elderly run by the City of Helsinki
     
Nurses currently have to do support work in addition to their actual nursing tasks. This work includes cleaning, light washing of the patients, assisting them with eating, changing bed linen, taking patients out of doors, tidying up hards, collecting trash, gardening work, snow removal, and spreading grit on icy walkways.
      "Helsinki is setting up the company both to provide jobs and to free up nurses to do the work that they were trained for. Having trained nurses do support work makes no economic sense", says Nyrki Tuominen, Director of Business Services at the City of Helsinki.
     
Tuominen says that the company will help alleviate two problems facing the Finnish capital: employing people who are difficult to find work for, and reducing shortcomings in care for the elderly. "We do not imagine that the problems will go away, but believe that they might be eased somewhat." Tuominen reflects.
      In any case, Helsinki needs to organise support activities and rehabilitation for those who do not find jobs easily. Instead of constantly providing more rehabilitation and training with direct financial support, the new social enterprise is to offer them "real, genuine work", which is what many of the long-term jobless want themselves.
     
The purpose of the plan is not to compete with the private sector over markets, or to generate a profit. On the other hand, the aim is for the company to at least break even.
      Tuominen believes that the company would require an initial investment of EUR 150,000 to EUR 330,000. It expects to run at a loss for a couple of years, but state wage support is expected to keep it afloat during that time.
      Tuominen sees the plan as an investment, whose capital already exists, and which will be doing the task that it was set up to do within a few years.
     
Helsinki will watch the project closely to determine if the activities can be later expanded to other areas, and not just institutions run by the city's Department of Social Affairs.
      Helsinki has pondered the possibility of setting up its own social enterprise for about a year. The idea emerged from a project sponsored by National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health (STAKES) .
      Taking part in the project are the cities of Helsinki, Espoo, Turku, and Oulu. The aim of the project is to set up four or five social enterprises to help with residential services of the elderly.
     
Helsingin Sanomat / First published in print 9.8..2007

More on this subject:
 BACKGROUND: 100th social enterprise registered in May

RAIJA KAIKKONEN / Helsingin Sanomat
raija.kaikkonen@hs.fi

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