From the research conducted during Work Package 2 (WP 2) – Building Scenarios and “Personas” for Sectoral Skills Strategy by the B-WISE project partners , a fragmented albeit rich picture of profiles of enablers, supporters and workers with support needs (WSNs), had emerged.
The profiles of Personas obtained (13) were identified and then briefly presented through an infographic and a summary, reporting the general characteristics of the profile, the area of values and skills, and the biographical aspect with which the personality of the profile develops over time, with an eye on future directions of development.
Five enabler profiles were identified:
- Founders are the leaders of a WISE for since their foundation, they embody its values and make the most important decisions. About them it is important to ensure that they can grasp the possibilities of developments.
- Social Enablers are leading the WISE with a social studies or humanities profile background. They represent the WISE’s social soul; however, they are constantly exposed to the risk of the incompetence principle (reach top positions and lack the skills to effectively and efficiently perform the activities required by the role). It is therefore necessary to develop their organisational and leadership competencies.
- Almost Retired have been leading a WISE for many years, but now they are close to retirement, a bit tired and sometimes disillusioned. It is fundamental to encourage them to transfer responsibilities to younger enablers.
- Tech Enablers come from technical professions and want to bring their expertise to a WISE, but sometimes the two worlds have difficulty meeting.
- Beginners are young, with a lot of enthusiasm and little experience, grappling with the challenge of running a WISE they have recently created. Due to this, they risk acting naively so they need to acquire knowledge of vulnerable groups to better manage burnout and other issues in the enterprise. Marketing and modern techniques are also part of their needs, particularly with the aim of developing the WISE in its sector of activity.
Five supporter profiles were identified:
- Social Oriented people have the prevailing trait to have come to the WISE driven by the desire to professionally help people in need and in (within) the WISE. They are now the foremen of a group of workers with support needs. About the future, they may need training that makes their innate willingness to help others more professional.
- Professionally Oriented are people who came to the WISE because of their technical competence in a profession: cooks, plumbers, electricians, tailors, etc., who at some point in their lives put their skills at the disposal of the WISE. Strengthening their skills – because they are eager to do so – is one of the aspects where it would be important to work on the strategic and organisational aspects of WISEs.
- Next Enabler are supporters that are taking on more and more responsibilities in the WISE and are preparing to become future enablers. As for social enablers the risk is falling into the incompetence principle.
Four WSNs (workers with support needs) profiles were identified:
- Safely Here are people with significant issues and limited possibilities for growth who found in the WISE a safe environment. Regarding the future, it is to be noted that without professional and social support provided by the WISE, they would have a minimal chance of overcoming the difficulties of working independently in the open labour market. They need social support.
- Soft-Unskilled are people whose most significant issue appears to be a lack of soft skills, since they have a disability or a disadvantage that prevents them from finding a job and from being socially included. The best thing is to teach them some soft skills that can help them even in daily life, for example, digitalisation.
- Growth-Oriented may have a lot of work experience, but they have difficulty finding a job in the open labour market because they either do not have the skills or professionalism to meet its needs or they are in a disadvantaged life situation (e.g., housewives, ethnic minorities, etc.). In other cases, they did not have any job before coming to the WISE. After many years of unsuccessful job hunting and negative experiences, they have found in the WISE a place to grow and aim to take on more responsibilities (e.g., to become supporters). They can be trained in different types of skills (e.g., soft, digital, professional).
- The Revenants are people who, also thanks to the WISE, have overcome difficult moments in their lives and now want to prove to themselves and others that they have become autonomous and can make their way in the world of work. This persona model is the typical client of Training WISEs or of Productive WISEs oriented towards external placement and they can learn different types of skills.
Read the full report on the Work Integration Social Enterprise sector
About the B-WISE project
B-WISE (Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Skills in Work Integration Social Enterprises) is an Erasmus+ project that aims to develop a European strategy (Blueprint) to address the skills needs, in particular regarding digital skills, in the Work Integration Social Enterprises (WISEs) sector.
The B-WISE project targets the skills needs of workers with support needs, their supporters (such as their job coaches, trainers) and their managers. The project also promotes the attractiveness of the WISE sector as a career choice and raises awareness on the importance of the use of digital technologies to support workers -who are more at risk to be excluded from the labour market- in work placement.
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