Stranraer social enterprise builds case for Fair Work employment
A Stranraer-based social enterprise is working alongside South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) to encourage organisations to implement the principles of Fair Work in their organisations.
The Furniture Project (Stranraer) Ltd. (TFP) offers fulfilling work to long-term unemployed people within the local community across all of its outlets - by encouraging them to volunteer, learn new skills and share their existing skills with others.
Earlier this year, SOSE provided TFP with a grant for £16,500 - part of which is being used to support the ongoing Fair Work journey.
TFP began in 1997 by collecting, repairing, restoring and selling furniture to throughout Wigtownshire - but in the years since has expanded its services.
The social enterprise now operates the Community Reuse Shop, The Re:Loved Shop, Fed Up Community Café and Rhins Active and works closely with Dumfries and Galloway Council.
Paul Smith, CEO at The Furniture Project, said: “One of the most important aspects of our Fair Work journey is giving everyone, no matter who they are, the opportunity to engage in employment.
“Often, people who have been unemployed for a long period have an appetite to work, but they don’t have the opportunity to do so – that’s where we come in.
“We understand that sometimes the best skilled workers are the ones that come with more baggage, but we believe in turning past mistakes into learning opportunities.”
Employees are offered opportunities for progression, and those who join as volunteers are often given the chance to move into paid roles once they have acquired skills and experience .
Paul added: “Everyone is different, so treating people as the individuals and offering bespoke courses is the most effective way to increase efficiency and drive up the standards.
“We have definitely seen Fair Work as being a mutually beneficial thing for us and our employees – and so we would encourage other businesses to begin their Fair Work journey, too.”
To find out more about Fair Work visit www.southofscotlandenterprise.com/fairwork