Our capacity to deliver social and economic impact in our community is dependent on the resources we secure from four primary stakeholder groups that we engage with:
- Our Commercial B2B and B2C customers whose contracts generate revenue and contribute to our sustainability are the means through which we provide industry-led work experience and build a pipeline for job opportunities for trainees.
- Government and Agency service contracts as the mechanism to engage long-term unemployed talent using labour market programmes like Community Employment; wage subsidy schemes that also support social enterprise such as the Community Services Programme (CSP) and capital expenditure grants to support job creation and sustainability like the Dormant Accounts Fund.
- Corporate and Philanthropic Investment and Social Finance providers to allow us innovate our work and training model and provide the necessary working capital and,
- the Community and the organisations we work with to access and provide support to long-term unemployed people.
Our Commercial Businesses
To the outside world we operate like any manufacturing SME business with similar functions including customer service, finance, sales and marketing, production and human resources. This is really important from a commercial perspective because it creates the operational structure required to deliver to our customers. It is also central to our work experience and training offering as it provides the opportunity to work in a real business with paying customers, quality standards to achieve and deadlines to meet.
To be effective, we need to have the expertise and skills at a strategic and operational level. Our Board of Directors have considerable experience across these lines, with particular expertise in commercial, finance, state sector, local development and further education. Their experience plays a key role in supporting the Company as it navigates the internal and external challenges of a social enterprise. We are also very fortunate to have a skilled and committed core and contracted staff of fifteen with a blend of professionally-qualified staff alongside those with the experience of previously being training staff. They deal with many challenges on a daily basis that includes:
- recruiting exclusively from people who are long-term unemployed – where there are higher rates of hidden behavioural, psychological and addiction-related barriers to employment that may only become evident after an extended period of employment
- managing ongoing training staff turnover as they progress to jobs or further training
- supervision demands required for commercial contracts in the context of up to 40% training staff turnover annually
- balancing commercial deadlines with training needs.
Equally important to what we do is how we do it. We are very proud of our organisational culture. Our key values remain central to our achievements and how we operate as a social enterprise.
INTEGRITY – We strive to be fair and transparent and to ensure that our products and services are of the highest quality.
HONESTY – We promote honesty, accountability and openness establishing relationships based on trust.
RESPECT – We treat people with respect, dignity and sensitivity. We recognise and respect diversity. We value the contribution of each individual.
COMMUNITY – We strive to help, support and improve the community in which we work.
INNOVATION – We embrace new ideas and encourage the kind of thinking that produces better products, processes and services.