Last day – Visiting Semafor and Summary of the first meeting

The Association deals with activation of people at risk of social exclusion and help to develop economy.

Semafor co-organized conferences on the development of social economy in the county Drawsko, training people who want to set up social economy entities, managers of NGOs, accounting organizations, local partnership. Semafor supports groups wishing to set up social cooperatives. For a year or eighteen months, the unemployed get economic finance, about 400 zl.

Julia Maslowska

Definition of the concept unemployment

We talk about unemployment when a person who is actively searching for employment is unable to find work. The most frequently measure of unemployment is the unemployment rate, which is the number of unemployed people divided by the number of people in the labor force.

Economists divide unemployment into different categories:

Voluntary: When a person has left his job willingly in search of other employment

Involuntary: When a person has been fired or laid off and must look for another job.

Economists divides further both forms of unemployment in three categories:

Frictional unemployment: when a person is in-between jobs

Cyclical Unemployment: when the business cycle itself is the cause of unemployment, such as the tourism industry during the low season.

Structural Unemployment:  when people lose their jobs because their skills are outdated, due to technological advances.

Our meeting started on 23rd October 2016. i lasted until 27th October. During the first day the exchange students and host families had the chance to get to know each by visiting the town and its vicinity, the students prepared the presentations and the teachers had an organization meeting.  That was the very first meeting of school project coordinators. The teachers also worked on the tasks suggested by the Polish school and the way of achieving the project goals. There was also the discussion on the project schedule for the next months and duties connected with it.On Monday Mistress of Gimnazjum nr 1 in Złocieniec Małgorzata Głodek welcomed all the participants. Then there was a short tour of the school building, its facilities and the guests could learn some information of the educating system. After a short break the students and teachers started the workshops on entrepreneurship, unemployment, economics and Polish language.The visit at the Town Hall started at 12 o’clock. The participants met the Mayor of Złocieniec Krzysztof Zacharzewski who presented the specific functioning of the community which is closely connected with its geographical location. Topics like unemployment and job opportunities were touched as well. All the participants were given brochures presenting our region and town. At the end of the meeting the foreign guest gave souvenirs and presents to the Mayor. After that all the participants had lunch together.The Project Conference started at 4 o’clock. Apart from all the participants there were invited many special guests: the Mayor of Złocieniec, the Chairman of Town Council, representatives of other Złocieniec school, the representatives of local media, the parents and all interested students. Each partner school had an opportunity to present their country, region, town and school. All presentations focused especially on the problem of unemployment in the place of living and country in general. The students also presented their artistic talents: singing, dancing and playing instruments. During the break everyone had a chance to try local and national specialties and dishes brought by the foreign guests and hosts. The evening was ended by joint singing of “Frere Jaques” in French, English and all national languages of partner schools. The next- day  of the project meeting, 25th October, started with a short meeting at school. Then we went to meet the owner of local bakery Z. Kiełbasa. All participants visited the workplace and learned the principals of functioning of it as the example of a small business. A long-time employee gave the information on its history and every day work. The participants asked about its profitability and ways of dealing with the completion. The next event was the visit at Local Job Centre and Municipal Housing Company in Złocieniec. After greeting all the participants, the officials headed by the deputy of the Director of Local Job Centre presented information on the functioning of the Centre, unemployment rate in the region, registration procedure of unemployed people and strategies of fighting unemployment. The participants also learned what kind of jobs are needed and how to find out what one’s professional predispositions are. Then there was a lunch for all the participants. The visit in Jabłonowo- the department of National Forest Service was the next event of the day. The participants could make themselves acquainted with the European bisons habitat and its functioning as the organisation based on the proper use of natural conditions. Everyone could feed the bisons by themselves, observe other wild animals: does and lynxes. The foresters talked about their job and the caring of these wonderful animals. After visiting the educational place all the participants took part in the campfire. In the evening there was a meeting of the teachers and coordinator of the project in order to establish the rules of cooperation and management of the project. The objectives, dates and project activities were discussed. The next day of the meeting, 26th October was devoted to educational trip. Kołobrzeg was chosen as its destination.  This seaside resort was chosen as the example of a different job market from a small town. The visit started with the meeting of the President of Kołobrzeg Janusz Gromek and presenting the information on the resort and its vicinity in the respect of the job opportunities, needed professions and the requirements of possible future employers. Young participants were especially interested in information on job offers for young people mainly during the summer season. Then all the participants went to the centre to check what kind of jobs are offered by a very popular touristic town. After the lunch, they continued their research in the beach areas and seafront boulevard. On the fifth day of the meeting, 27th October we visited the Flow Technics company, which produces the fuel machines and systems. The participants learned about the functioning of a medium size production company and ways of cooperating with foreign contractors. The owner J. Kilian showed all the participants around the production hall and offices. He also talked about the beginnings of the company. The students were given information on what kind of employees are needed there and what qualities are necessary. The next event of the day were workshops with M. Lorenc, who is in charge of the project called “Lake District Vagabonds” created by 5 local groups and which is co-financed by European Union as a part of 4 LEADER Rural Development Programme 2014-2017. The participants learned how the touristic application works and were given information on the touristic advantages of the region. The last event of the day four was the visit and workshops at the agro-touristic farm in the village of Stawno run by Z. Sikora. The participants had opportunity to learn how such business functions, self-employment and how to turn one’s passion into a profitable business. After the lunch everyone started to make different handicrafts under the supervision of the owner.

In the evening there was the evaluation of  the project meeting, list of tasks for next 6 months,

Summarizing the project  and fillin in the evaluation surveys discussing. Due to the organization reasons 28th October, was devoted to presenting the participants the example of a cooperative and its aims. The visit at the SEMAFOR Association was aimed at giving the information on what can be done in order to activate socially and professionally people who are threatened by social exclusion. The president B. Głowacka presented the way of functioning of the association and how to activate the long-term unemployed. The participants had a chance to talk to the cooperative members and see their products. After coming back to school Mistress of Gimnazjum nr 1 in Złocieniec Małgorzata Głodek handed in the certificates and finally saying goodbye took place. Departures of the participants.

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