Minister for Employability visits TipherethType: News
Topic: Policy and legislation
Published on: 21st July 2017
Camphill Scotland aims to put our members in touch with significant decision makers so that their perspectives and interests can influence political thinking and enable them to participate directly in the discussions that will affect the future of Camphill communities.
The Minister for Employability and Training, Jamie Hepburn visited Tiphereth recently, along with the local MSP, Gordon MacDonald and a key civil servant, Janette Hagerstrom.
Camphill and social enterprise
Camphill Scotland set the scene by describing the various ways in which Camphill communities engage in social enterprise. In a way, all Camphill communities are social enterprises because they exist to create social good rather than make profit. Some also run commercial enterprises, such as cafes and shops, to sell their produce more widely. Tiphereth were able to share their experience of setting up a separate enterprise where people with learning disabilities were employed to make jam. The Minister asked questions to get a clearer idea about how things worked and the wider lessons that could be learned. We stressed the decades of rich experience held in Camphill about enabling people with learning disabilities to engage in meaningful work. We talked about the great expansion of commercial activity in some communities, such as Loch Arthur. We spoke about the pioneering efforts of Tiphereth to create opportunities for paid employment for people with learning disabilities.
Camphill and Scottish Government
Following the visit, the Minister wrote to us and Tiphereth to stress that the work going on at Tiphereth ”˜certainly goes hand in hand with the commitments and ambitions of the Scottish Government’. Further, he recognised our wish to be closely involved in the Government’s work to close the disability employment gap and participate in the forthcoming Congress on disability and work. He undertook to keep us informed of these initiatives and encouraged us to get involved.
Our work certainly does not end there. We believe Camphill has a lot to say about employability, meaningful work and social enterprise and a lot to offer in terms of expertise and knowledge.