Page 26


Partnership – Social Enterprise

Speedpak focus on

people facing mostbarriers

Speedpak worker Monica Kelleher.


n recent years, Speedpak in Coolock in north Dublin has concentrated on taking on people who are “facing the most barriers to getting a job.” The company was set up by the Northside Partnership and representatives of the local business community in Coolock, Dublin and is a social enterprise which provides short periods of employment and FETAC-accredited training for longterm unemployed people. “Even during the ‘Celtic Tiger’ years, the people we were working with were competing with a very

educated labour force,” said manager John Murphy. He acknowledged it’s going to be very difficult now to find people jobs, but he remains optimistic. “We’ve a double bottom line; we’ve a commercial remit and a social remit. It means we produce rosettes and pack things to employ people, not the other way around.” “We organise tailor-made training for individual employees through our links to the Northside Partnership,” continued John. “Our philosophy is we don’t send someone for training, they have to

65,000 social enterprise jobs possible

Warmer Homes Scheme


ommunity and social enterprise projects could provide up to 65,000 jobs nationally, according to a report published in June by the Task Force on Social Enterprise. There are currently around 30,000 people employed through social and/ or community enterprises in Ireland, representing 3% of national economic output. To download the full 16-page report, visit our blog: www.

Funding for the LCDP in 2010 is €67.5m

earn the right to the training, because otherwise without for example good time-keeping, the skills you learn are no good.” In recent years, the company developed a new way of measuring an employee’s progress. They call it the “distance travelled approach”. Every four months, each employee is accessed on 80 indicators, covering their skills, education, behaviour and performance. So Speedpak can demonstrate even if the person hasn’t got another job, that they’ve progressed. The company is planning to sell its ‘Workplace Accreditation Model’ as a commercial product to other social enterprises. So impressed was the Arthur Guinness Fund with the company that it picked Speedpak out as one of ten national winners this year and awarded the company €100,000. Only 10% of people employed in Speedpak have the Leaving Cert when they join. The ‘Leaving’ is considered a basic by most employers and the company is working towards providing people with a Leaving Cert standard of education by the time they finish in Speedpak. The company employs an occupational therapist to assist in providing the training. Trainee Monica Kelleher from Darndale said she was “nervous” at the start, but loves her work in Speedpak now, while her colleague Christine Kenny also from Darndale said she left school early and had been unemployed for a few years when she started with the company. She listed the courses she is now doing, talked of her five-year plan and said: “I’d want to get a full-time job like this where everyone gets on well.”

Joe Reynolds from Darndale said the employees look out for each other and Phyllis Duffy from Coolock remarked on the positive approach by the bosses made everyone work harder.

John Murphy, social enterprise manager

A model social enterprise S

peedpak Ltd in Coolock is

“a bridge to employment” for local people, says manager John Murphy. The company has 800 customers and runs two businesses - rosette manufacturing and contract packing and 40% of its income comes from sales. It receives support from local businesses, FAS, the Community Services Programme and the Arthur Guinness Fund, among others. For more information, contact John Murphy. T: 01-8671707. E: HYPERLINK “mailto:info@”

Common Ground Credit Unions


ommon Ground is a not-forprofit arts agency in the Canal Partnership area of Dublin. It is 12 years old and believes that arts can play an important role in the social regeneration of communities. Common Ground has received support from Accenture, a company with offices in Dublin, including in-kind benefits, representation on the board and a donation of €75,000 spread over three years.


he Warmer Homes Scheme delivers energy efficiency through a network of 21 regional community-based organisations. One of these is the Clondalkin Home Improvements Project (CHIP) in Dublin. It was formed in 1997, employs 25 people and last year it insulated over 1500 homes for people at risk of fuel poverty.



number of credit unions have assisted with social enterprise formation. r"WPONPSF$SFEJU6OJPOJO Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, provided €100,000 for a community crèche employing six people. r.POBHIBO$SFEJU6OJPOXBT involved in the creation of a community centre with a childcare facility and educational programmes for residents.



Hot in Issue 33: Community Activists, shutting down hate, creating jobs/ Facebook hate sites shut down/ Minister Carey Interview/ Community...


Hot in Issue 33: Community Activists, shutting down hate, creating jobs/ Facebook hate sites shut down/ Minister Carey Interview/ Community...