Corinna Bergmann / Diana Krüger
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"People are happiest when they can develop their abilities!" This realisation by Aristotle has not lost any of its topicality - quite the contrary, found the 260 participants of the symposium "zusammen.arbeiten.gestalten - Zukunft der Arbeit für Menschen mit Behinderung" (Collaborating - Shaping the Future of Work for People with Disabilities), which took place at the Assapheum in Bielefeld-Bethel on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Bethel.
"It is very important that everyone can work where they want. The goal must be to realise this," emphasised Laureen Gäde, president of Bethel proWerk's overall workshop council, at the conference. Bethel proWerk had organized the conference together with the Andreas Mohn Foundation, the Initiative for Employment Ostwestfalen-Lippe and the Betheler Fachausschuss Arbeit. Many people with disabilities would want to work in the first labour market. But there are also many who feel most comfortable in their workshop for handicapped people - and that is okay, according to Laureen Gäde.
The workshop councils presented their 2016 "Bethel Declaration". In it, they formulated demands for the future of the work for people with disabilities. Some of the demands include more recognition for their services and products, better pay and more jobs that correspond to the abilities of the individual. The Managing Director of the Bielefeld Employment Agency, Thomas Richter, is convinced that this can be accomplished: "You can design the right workplace for everyone, because everyone can do something!"
A strengthened affection of the workshop carriers to modern forms of the work demanded the president of the board of the v. Bodelschwinghschen Stiftungen Bethel, Pastor Ulrich Pohl. Efforts to expand integration companies and outsourced jobs in the primary labor market, for example, must be intensified. There was still a lot to be done in implementing inclusion in the area of work. A small success story is that in the meantime about ten percent of people with disabilities from the workshop area of proWerk are working in integrated jobs in the first labour market.
The managing director of the Initiative for Employment OWL e.V., Volker Wilde, is also optimistic that the opportunities for disabled people on the first labour market will increase as a result of demographic change. It leads not only to an enormous loss at specialists, but also at auxiliary forces. "People with disabilities can close this gap," states Volker Wilde.
Martin Henke, Managing Director of proWerk, does not want to wait for the economy to realise more inclusion on the first labour market. Bethel and other sponsors would have to work even harder, approach more companies and inform the public about the high quality of the work done in the workshops.
Employees with disabilities, specialist employees of social services and representatives of regional companies were invited to discuss the topic at the conference - to the disappointment of the organisers and participants, however, the business community was hardly represented. Therefore Thomas judge wants to realize a follow-up meeting with at least 20 per cent employers. The meeting was moderated by Alexander Haupt as well as the television journalist Brigitte Büscher (lawyer for spectators in the program "Hard aber fair").