Czech Labor Ministry taking social criteria into account during tenders
The Czech Labor and Social Affairs Ministry (MPSV) signed on several months ago to a concept for responsible public procurement that views it as a tool to enhance employment, social cohesion and sustainability. Now maintenance work in the ministry's Prague headquarters is being performed by people from the Sociální podnik Černý most, s. r. o. (Černý most Social Enterprise).
The company won a tender for cleaning and painting the building's window grilles and exterior window sills worth approximately CZK 60 000. "We recently pledged that in our public tenders we would analyze the opportunities for supporting the unemployed and taking social criteria into account. The collaboration with the Černý most Social Enterprise, which helps those who have a difficult time finding a place on the labor market, is just the beginning, we want to continue this trend," said Labor and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksová Tominová.
This approach to public procurement, which functions in many other European countries and is supported by a new EU Directive on Public Procurement, is only slowly developing in the Czech Republic. According to its website, the Černý most Social Enterprise, a shareholder of which is the Prague 14 Municipality, strives to give socially excluded people the opportunity to succeed in their own neighborhood.
The main aim of the company is to find people work. The firm administers a residential hotel in the Broumarská locality of Prague 14, employs residents of the Prague 14 Municipal Department, and oversees the operation of a community center for children and their families in the Broumarská locality.
"Our aim is to offer work to everyone who is de facto unemployable because they have been out of work too long. It's important to be aware that this social enterprise does not just help Romani people - of our current 20 employees, one-third are from the majority society, and everyone is learning a lot about one another at work, learning to respect each other's differences, which is another positive aspect of the project," explained director Jozef Baláž.
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