Bright future ahead for Speedpak’s workplace accreditation model

Speedpak 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund Awardee

Guinness invested in Ireland’s future by backing people with “a business head and a social heart” and Speedpak’s Workplace Accreditation Model (WAM) was officially announced as one of the ten Arthur Guinness Fund awardees 2010 at a special awards ceremony, which was held in Guinness Storehouse.

The Speedpak Workplace Accreditation Model (WAM) addresses the problem of Long Term unemployment by addressing a key barrier to workplace progression for those who are long term unemployed – a lack of formal education.

Speedpak, a social enterprise which provides employment and training for long term unemployed people, has developed in collaboration with Coláiste Dhúlaigh a model of workplace accreditation, where staff receive a qualification that is the equivalent of the Leaving Certificate through working in the organisation.

The WAM provides real commercial work experience focusing on positive work behaviours; accredited group and individual training courses; and specialist one to one support. Having developed and piloted this model locally, Speedpak are now ready to bring this idea nationwide. The WAM approach is centred on capturing current workplace learning, which can be converted to a recognised educational qualification in the form of a full FETAC Award.

The Arthur Guinness Fund

The Arthur Guinness Fund

The Arthur Guinness Fund is an innovative investment vehicle set up to further the legacy of Arthur Guinness and support social entrepreneurs around the world. In April 2010, the Arthur Guinness Fund distributed €1 million amongst ten social entrepreneurs from across Ireland.

The 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund Awardees cover a diverse range of interests, each making a significant difference to local communities, primarily in Ireland and also abroad. One of the most progressive aspects of the Arthur Guinness Fund is that it is not only about providing a financial commitment to the emerging social entrepreneurship sector in Ireland; the Awardees also benefit from access to practical support and expertise through Diageo Ireland support and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s alumni network.

The Arthur Guinness Fund is designed as a springboard to enable social entrepreneurs to take their initiatives to the next level, and further expand their vision for making a real difference to the people around them.

Over €100,000 invested in Speedpak to level employment playing field

Speedpak 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund Awardee

John P Murphy of Speedpak commented “In providing formal education opportunities through the workplace for those that have low educational attainment, WAM can help level the playing field and in so doing, will play an important role in creating a more just society. With funding from the Arthur Guinness Fund, we are aiming to drive the development of this model throughout Ireland and to have the programme running in 50 organisations by 2012.

In addition to the funding, we welcome the access to additional expertise through Diageo Ireland support and Social Entrepreneurs Ireland’s alumni network, helping us to deliver real and lasting social change.”

John Kennedy, Managing Director, Diageo Ireland said, “The Arthur Guinness Fund proactively seeks to identify Ireland’s leading social entrepreneurs and is designed as a springboard to enable them to take their initiatives to the next level. Today, we are backing people with a business head and a social heart. This is what we mean by social entrepreneurship.

Over the past year, we have come across a host of inspirational people who are very passionate about what they do. They are resourceful, committed and have the drive, energy and ambition to help deliver transformational social change. In the midst of the economic recession, we have been really struck by their positivity and optimism about Ireland’s future and we are delighted that the Arthur Guinness Fund will further their advancement”.

Guinness backs emerging social entrepreneurship sector

€1 million was distributed among ten social entrepreneurs with diverse projects from across the country, with each project receiving €100,000. In total, the Arthur Guinness Fund is investing €2.5 million over the next two years.

Guinness worked in partnership with Social Entrepreneurs Ireland, (SEI) in developing the Arthur Guinness Fund awards programme. Sean Coughlan, Chief Executive Officer, SEI said, “We believe that new and innovative solutions exist to the myriad social and environmental challenges we face today. These solutions are most effective when driven by individuals who adopt a highly entrepreneurial approach to their activities. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Diageo in supporting the successful awardees and their projects in reaching the next level of their development and in making a real difference to communities across Ireland”.

Widely regarded as the original social entrepreneur of his day, Arthur Guinness provided the inspiration for The Arthur Guinness Fund, which was born out of Guinness’ 250th celebrations last year, when up to 1 million people across Ireland put their signature next to Arthur’s in pubs across Ireland, which ultimately helped to create the Arthur Guinness Fund.

Arthur Guinness and the Guinness Family earned a substantial reputation for philanthropy and enterprise and this legacy is something Diageo Ireland continues to champion. The next application phase for the Arthur Guinness Fund will re-open in October 2010, when the next round of Arthur Guinness Fund awardees will be chosen, completing the €2.5 million investment by Guinness.

The 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund Awardees

  • Anam Cara
    Bereavement support service focusing on the needs of parents and siblings
  • Camara
    Re-using technology to tackle global waste and education in disadvantaged areas
  • Clar IRD
    Training people on low incomes to grow their own produce and improve their diet and exercise
  • Fáilte Isteach
    Supporting older people to make a difference especially within migrant communities
  • Grow It Yourself
    Promoting and encouraging food growing skills and the sharing of knowledge
  • Kanchi
    Driving best practice in the inclusion of people with disabilities within society
  • Pieta House
    Service focused on suicide prevention and intervention in a supportive environment
  • ReDiscover Fashion
    Recycling textiles establishing a new generation of eco-conscious socially aware consumers
  • Speedpak WAM
    A social enterprise providing employment and up-skilling for the long term unemployed
  • Suas
    A Service Learning Programme for young Irish people to help them become the leaders of the future

Social Entrepreneurs Ireland

Speedpak 2010 Arthur Guinness Fund Awardee
Social Entrepreneurs Ireland directly supports the early stage development of social entrepreneurs by providing a range of supports. These supports consist of financial investment in social entrepreneurs, technical training, peer networking, mentoring and links to other social entrepreneur networks.

A social entrepreneur is someone with a business head and a social heart, and someone who has the spirit, energy and drive of successful business entrepreneurs, but rather than building profitable businesses, their core purpose is to improve and enhance society, changing communities for the better.