m!M at the round table “Benefits of employment of persons with disabilities”

A round table entitled “Benefits of Employment of Persons with Disabilities” was held on June 22 in the Hotel Centre Ville in Podgorica, attended by representatives of NGO Mladiinfo Montenegro.

At this round table, the project “From Pen to Work” was presented, as well as the results, exchanged experiences in the field of employment of persons with disabilities, the significance of projects for employment of persons with disabilities in Montenegro and benefits for employers and society were discussed, project partnerships and significance were presented for the private sector.
The Round Table was organized by the Association for the Assistance to Persons with Disabilities in Psychophysical Development Nikšić, and for the very beginning the coordinator of the project, Miluša Žugić introduced the present to the project.
“The project “From pen to work” in cooperation with the Employment Bureau of Montenegro and in partnership with Alfa Ton Lekić from Podgorica began on July 7 last year and now we are near the end of the project,” said Žugić in an introductory address.
Two years ago in Niksic they opened a hairdresser’s salon where persons with disabilities work as beauticians and hairdressers, and this year they expanded the scope of services and this salon turned into a hairdressing and beauty salon.
“In the salon we provide all kinds of services, pedicure, manicure, various kinds of hairstyles from basic to those for ceremonies, hair upgrades, eyelashes, depilation and so on. We are pleased that our participants in the project have mastered all the trainings that were also the practical work that is most important for us,” said Žugić.
Labor contracts were concluded with all the participants, which lasted until the end of the project. However, according to Žugić, after the project expires, these people will remain in the salon because they are extremely important for the sustainability of the project and that their users will be satisfied at their workplace.
The value of the project is 64,252.14 euros, while the partners of the project are Alfa Ton Lekić from Podgorica and hairdresser cosmetics academy “Ljilja” from Nikšić.
“In this hairdressing cosmetic academy, one of our users was trained in a specific workplace, and all trainings for our hairdressers and beauticians were done in Alfa Ton Lekić, where we also procured equipment and consumables and we have very nice cooperation with them,” added Žugić.
She put special emphasis in her speech on successful cooperation with the Employment Bureau of Montenegro, without whose support she thinks that she would not be able to do something like this.
“This is already the second project that relates to our “Status” hairdresser’s salon, which is supported by the Employment Service of Montenegro,” said Žugić.
This is the first hair salon of its kind in Montenegro, and the other in the Balkans. Seven people with disabilities are involved in this project, of which five are currently working in the mentioned salon. The rest were in training.
At the round table, a video for the “Status” salon was also shown, and it was said that all the time was worked on the element of marketing, and besides broadcasting videos on the local TV station, activity on social networks was also present.
Stanko Laković in front of the Fund for Professional Rehabilitation of the Employment Bureau of Montenegro addressed the participants and emphasized the importance of projects for the employment of persons with disabilities in Montenegro.
“I hope that this project will provide long-term employment of the persons who participated and who have gone through these trainings,” said Laković.
He reminded the present that the Law on Vocational Rehabilitation allows persons with disabilities to use the Fund resources as grant, or the possibility that these funds will be used by awarding a grant scheme. The Employment Bureau of Montenegro has so far announced six public calls of a total value of nine million euros, and the main goal of all these public calls was the advancement of professional rehabilitation and the employment of persons with disabilities.
“What we want to achieve through the implementation of all these projects is to create new jobs for persons with disabilities, increase their professional and working capacities so that they are as competitive as possible on the labor market,” Laković pointed out.
Also, as one of the goals, he also draws attention to the employers that they can benefit from the employment of persons with disabilities. These benefits are reflected in subsidies, namely four types of subsidies: wage subsidy, grants for adjusting workplace and working conditions, participation in financing personal expenses of an assistant in work and lending under favorable conditions for the procurement of equipment and tools for the purpose of employment of persons with disabilities .
In front of private institution Alpha Ton Lekić, who are partners in the project “From Pen to Work”, Vukica Todorović addressed the audience.
“Our private institution is meeting this type of training for the first time in its business, and this was a very good experience for all employees in the institution,” she said.
Prior to this, this institution did not have the opportunity to meet with this type of training, and it meant a lot to them that they realized that they could be involved and contributed, as well as work with trainees themselves, where they themselves acquired some new knowledge and skills through the work with persons with disabilities.
All present at this roundtable were addressed by Teodora Zorić and Biljana Vlahović, participants of this project who passed the training and shared their experience.
“Training in Alpha Tone was very interesting, I learned to do a manicure, permanent lacquer and depilation. I continued to improve this knowledge in the salon. As far as customers are concerned, I did not have any problems, I must say that I am very well received, “said Teodora Zorić.
A similar experience shares Biljana Vlahović.
“It was a great pleasure for me to work with Alpha Ton Lekić. I learned how to wash hair, hairdressing, hair styling, pressing, painting, but I like blow drying the most,” Biljana said.
It was also mentioned that by primary occupation they are in other professions, so this prequalification is a special undertaking for them.

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