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An analysis of employment opportunities creation for people with disabilities in social enterprises - Taking Taipei City as an example
Employment services for people with disabilities
The People With Disabilities Rights Protection Act has been implemented for nearly ten years now and though it has been heading towards deepening development of specialization occupational reconstruction services but in the face of fierce competition from the globalization of the labor market, the job insecurity, low pay or overwork situation faced by labor, persons with disabilities are found in the vulnerable group. Hence, the degree of difficulty in searching for jobs and the eventual stability of their employment is also increased relatively. Persons with disabilities cannot access supported employment services to secure a stable job at the workplace since his/her capacity does not match the employer's expectation and his/her work capacity does not his/her individual employment wishes. Nor does his/her capacity to work match sheltered employment criteria, so cannot be introduced to the sheltered workshop for employment. Furthermore, salaries in a sheltered workshop are paid as per the worker's capacity to produce, his/her salaries will hardly be able to exceed the basic minimum wage's glass ceiling effect. Sheltered workshops have also faced many operational difficulties and challenges for quite a long time. Given that the Taipei City Foreign and Disabled Labor Office has promoted the innovative model of social enterprises for the employment of persons with disabilities, since 2010, based on the principle of decreasing its budget supplements every year to provide for the employment of persons with disabilities and the payment of a basic minimum wage. This policy has been promoted and operated practically for seven years. Therefore, this study uses the EMES Triple Bottom Line (Society, Economy, Governance) indicators as an analytical framework and through in-depth interviews to explore the public sector in combination with enterprises and non-profit organizations, and develop social enterprise models in order to create the process, effect and change for employment opportunities. This study found that the social dimension includes: (1) social enterprises that help solve the employment problems of persons with disabilities, (2) social enterprises can create employment and a supply chain to show employment aspects outlook and impact of persons with disabilities, (3) a certain proportion of proceeds feedback to initial public welfare purposes, (4) social enterprise's talent does have recruiting and fostering, difficult situation. The economic dimension includes: (1) establishing a fund, through subsidies, to build a sustainable business model, (2) to lead towards financial autonomy in order to reduce dependence on subsidies and benefits, (3) to provide a better minimum wage protection for persons with disabilities, (4) the development of successful social enterprises management elements, the establishment of large-scale or exit evaluation mechanisms. The governance includes: (1) open and transparent social enterprise decision-making model, (2) establishment of accountability mechanisms to ensure that social enterprises and organizational missions are consistent, (3) show concern to the stakeholders and increase the dialogue and communication platform, (4) to set the direction and promotion of dual-track policy of social enterprise and sheltered workshops in order to reduce the concerns of whether the budget allocation or employment of persons with disabilities lead to crowding out effect. In summary, thisresearch suggests short-term goals as follows: (1) to promote and enhance the visibility of social enterprises employing persons with disabilities, (2) to expand education and training, encourage community and dialogue exchange platform, (3) to construct the ecosphere of social enterprises catering for persons with disabilities, (4) to intensify the social enterprises' financial operations capacity and diversified capital, (5 ) to build Taipei City social enterprise highlights benchmark and promote the Taipei City Social Enterprise Certification Mark, (6) to award additional prizes and subsidy measures to encourage companies to invest in social enterprises employing persons with disabilities, thus increasing the employment opportunities of these persons. The long-term goals are: (1) to promote the social benefits or social impact of reporting, (2) animating the social enterprise talent database and organizing large-scale seminars, (3) to develop the Taipei City Social Enterprise Action Plan, integrating relevant entrepreneurial guidance and incubation resources, (4) to research on social enterprises tax credit or relevant preferential measures, (5) to conduct social enterprise action research and effectiveness tracking in response to ageing of persons with disabilities employed or degeneration issues and design relevant supporting measures, (6) to continue research on other countries' legislations on social enterprise, their experiences in planning and implementation, as a reference for future policy application. Social enterprises, as part of the public sector, enterprises and non-profit organizations, are to create innovative models of employment services to cater for people with disabilities. Only by jumping out the economic benefits and production index will highlight the labor value of the persons with disabilities employed and its social impact and play the three effective dimensions of social, economic and governance benefits.
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