Social economy as an important means of VET focussing the network experience of Repair and Service Center RUSZ

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Author: Eisenriegler, Sepp

Abstract:

‘R.U.S.Z. [Reparatur-und Service-Zentrum] provides an impressive international model of how economic projects can be of environmental benefit and also socially beneficial.’ Repair and Service Centre R.U.S.Z was set up in 1998 as part of the Viennese European Union [EU] Community Initiative project URBAN Gurtel-Plus. Its aims are to: provide vocational training for long-term unemployed over 45 and to assist them to find work through contacts, personal support and career development; reuse and recycle electrical and electronic waste that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration. It combines social, economic and environmental objectives, and has proved to be highly successful. Repair and Service Centre R.U.S.Z started in 1998 with dissembling old household appliances from Vienna’s waste sorting centres and quickly turned into the first stop for repair services. It has unleashed a massive demand for repair services since then, and its services have changed considerably. It has expanded into other areas of electrical goods repair, to include Hi Fi’s, TVs, videos, and more recently computers. This gives their trainees a better education, which improves their chances in the labour market. Overwhelming demand for repair services has seeded the implementation of the local Repair Network Vienna, which meanwhile consists of 43 members, most of them private enterprises, which offer repair services following the example of R.U.S.Z and are promoted by the Repair and Service Center. The positive Viennese model has seeded the growth of the federal repair network RepaNet, Reparaturnetzwerk Osterreich. The repair network is part of an EQUAL project with 8 European partners. R.U.S.Z is founding member of RREUSE [Reuse and Recycling European Union Social Enterprises], the EU network of national and regional social economy federations and enterprises with activities in re-use and recycling. Repair and Service Centre R.U.S.Z now has 36 trainee placements, with an additional 17 staff. The number of employees will grow up to 150 as Vienna prepares for national WEEE [Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment] legislation in 2004/5. The Repair and Service Centre avoids approximately 2000 tonnes of waste per year. The vocational training center R.U.S.Z works with people who are long term unemployed, aged 45 or above - an activity that is urgently needed by the labour market. It develops their electrical repair skills, and participants gain qualifications that help them back into work. Trainees complete their training in a year. The Repair and Service Centre has a 71% success rate at finding work for its trainees in the first labour market. R.U.S.Z has a contract with the Public Employment Service of Vienna, which pays for vocational training services empowering people at risk. The training and social support is something that trainees value highly, and is key in changing people’s perceptions about themselves. Repair and Service Centre R.U.S.Z works in partnership with a Viennese adult education centre offering repair courses for household appliances. This teaches people how to carry out do-it-yourself repairs. As the activities of the Repair and Service Centre expand, for example into refurbishment of computers, so do the courses that are offered.

Published abstract reprinted by permission of the copyright owner.

Collections of papers presented under each theme are indexed from TD/TNC 81.453 to TD/TNC 81.457; selected papers from this theme are indexed from TD/TNC 81.458 to TD/TNC 81.467.

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‘R.U.S.Z. [Reparatur-und Service-Zentrum] provides an impressive international model of how economic projects can be of environmental benefit and also socially beneficial.’ Repair and Service Centre R.U.S.Z was set up in 1998 as part of the Viennese European Union [EU] Community Initiative project URBAN Gurtel-Plus. Its aims are to: provide vocational training for long-term unemployed over 45 and to assist them to find work through contacts, personal support and career development; reuse and recycle electrical and electronic waste that would otherwise go to landfill or incineration. It ...  [+] Show more

Subjects: Vocational education and training; Employment

Keywords: Employability; Unemployed; Unemployment; Older worker; Employees

Geographic subjects: Europe; Austria

Published: Denkendorf, Germany: Fest Didactic, 2004

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Book Title: IVETA: Vienna 2004 [Challenges for TVET in a greater Europe] / International Vocational Education and Training Association.

Pages: 11 pp.+ 15 PowerPoint slides

Conference name: International Vocational Education and Training Association (IVETA) Conference

Number: 14th

Date: 2004

Place: Vienna, Austria

Statement of responsibility: Sepp Eisenriegler

Resource type: Conference

Call Number:
TD/TNC 81.460



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