The RISE-project aims to investigate the integration of unemployed adults and young people into the labour market through the mechanism of Social Enterprise.
Each of the partners in the RISE-project has substantial experience in the provision of vocational/adult education and training for vulnerable and socio-economically disadvantaged learners, most of whom are e.g. migrants, early school leavers... .
The partners from Austria, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Greece, Ireland and Romania also have previous experience of collaboration through the ERASMUS+ framework, delivering innovative activation solutions in order to increase the employment focus of provision (EU 2020). Between our countries, the rates of unemployment span from 4% (Germany) to 23% (Greece) and an analysis of the conditions which have given rise to such variance will provide very useful information for the advancement of the project.
The Action Plan for the Integration of Third Country Nationals (European Commission 2016) emphasises the need to promote early integration into the labour market of migrants as they continue to face barriers in accessing employment and who are at risk of poverty and social exclusion compared to host country nationals.
The Commission recommends:
1) encouraging entrepreneurship through tailored business training and mentoring;
2) the identification of best practices to promote and support migrant entrepreneurship and the funding of pilot projects for their dissemination and
3) the production of handbooks and toolboxes for practitioners (p.19).
According to SESBA (2016), the development of the social economy and social entrepreneurship is an important part of EU policy to tackle the social exclusion of vulnerable people (p.129). For the RISE Project, the particular appeal of the Social Enterprise model relates to its strong social purpose while also operating as a sustainable commercial entity. It is a model that is particularly relevant in the VET sphere as it facilitates learners to gain autonomy through creativity, co-operation, innovation and risk-taking all of which are necessary for the implementation of a successful Social Enterprise.