From unemployment to work: the disabled and their success stories

The fact that this formula for integration of work is demonstrated by the example of a specialized course on the topic of bookkeeping and accounting: almost all the participants of the course, all well-known disabled civilians of different ages, are now back in the middle of working life. The course organiser, The Association for Unfit Civilians (ANMIC South Tyrol), reports on small but big success stories.

Learn a profession, start in the right profession and practice the same profession for decades until retirement age: for the thousands of handicapped civilians in South Tyrol, this is unfortunately a security. Getting into the world of work is not easy due to their motor, mental or emotional illness.

Sometimes their illness history leaves many people with no choice but to change jobs or give up the job they learned completely, for example if their life is torn apart by an accident or serious illness. The life-changing stroke of fate often affects young people, but sometimes only a few years pass after retirement. In any case, doubt and anxiety prevail.

What’s Next?

“First and foremost, it is important that affected people seek help and recognize themselves as invalid civilians,” explains Thomas Eichner, President of ANMIC South Tyrol. In this way, depending on the classification of the medical committee, they receive different types of assistance, ranging from granting free aid to paying financial benefits.

Registration in so-called “protected category lists” is particularly useful for civilians with disabilities who are looking for work. Thanks to this, the person concerned is taken care of by the relevant employment center through the search for a job with an intermediary compatible with the individual disease or disability.

For example, administrative work can be the answer for an unfit civilian who has worked in the brick industry for years and suffers from chronic asthma. However, if they never work with a computer, use certain software, or book payments, Target Business Integration is reaching its limits.”

Success stories

50-year-old Anya, a civilly disabled person from Finschgau, found herself in exactly the same precarious situation: “Because of my illness as well as Asperger’s syndrome, it became increasingly difficult for me to pursue my profession as a teacher. I had panic attacks, I felt weak and exhausted, and I was I am very ill. As a result, I can no longer exercise my previous job. As a result, I am forced to work for a farmer as a day laborer. But after those two months are up, I no longer know what to do.”

The fate of the heroic civilians

The same thing happened with 30-year-old Martin, a civil invalid from Unterland: “I graduated from high school and worked as a weigher in a fruit depot in Trammen until I fell ill. As my health continued to deteriorate, I had to give up this job. After that I tried several times to contact the owners Others work and find a new job. Unfortunately in vain.”

“As the largest lobby for South Tyrol civilians with disabilities and people with disabilities, we know that the stories of Anja and Martin are unfortunately not isolated cases. Thousands of disabled civilians wake up every day with great existential anxiety because they cannot find a suitable job or lack the necessary training.”

“For this reason, we organized and conducted an accounting course that took several months approximately a year ago. Since we are a voluntary organization with a limited budget, this would not have been possible without funding from the European Social Fund and the Autonomous Province of Bolzano.”

The course and time after that

10 disabled civilians looking for work from all over South Tyrol participated in the accounting course. With a lot of diligence, commitment and curiosity, they learned many skills in bookkeeping and accounting for 5 months. There were a total of 11 modules on various economic and legal topics, which prepared the participants for a future job in management and accounting. After more than 520 hours in the classroom, this is followed by an internship with a South Tyrol employer, where the acquired theoretical knowledge can be applied in practice.

“In light of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated guidance, it has not been easy to find suitable training for the participants,” remembers Verena Bonata, project manager and employee at ANMIC South Tyrol. “But due to the wide range of possible applications, companies from a variety of industries agreed and were happy with the well-trained staff. The training companies included local companies as well as general management and large international companies.”

Among them is the company Rittner Finstral. Lead window maker Thomas, 47, an invalid civilian from Kastelruth, took over as the new apprentice. “Thomas worked in control during his internship, handling transportation cost calculations,” says Klaus Tabiner, Finstral AG’s Director of Sales. As a result, there was a vacancy in the field of price calculation and we hired it. Since then he has been doing his job meticulously, correctly and conscientiously – we are very satisfied with him. ”

Thomas now works as a prime cost accountant at Finstral in Rittner. – Photo: © Unknown

Today, approximately 4 months after the end of the course, 8 out of 10 participants have found a job, thus taking an important step towards a life of self-reliance. So does Lucas from Schenna, who currently works in the accounting department at the Social Housing Institute (Wobi) in Meran. “Through the course, I not only got acquainted with the accountant’s field of activity, but also mastered it. As a result, I decided to do this job and then applied to Wobi in Meran. I really like the job of an accountant, and I am grateful that I found my place in the world of work, ”says the young man The 25-year-old.

Anja and Martin can also look back at the time they owe their current job: “I’m calmer and more balanced now, and my health is recovering too,” explains citizen Val Venusta. “The course was very fortunate for me, because I was able to implement my desire for change immediately. I might not have succeeded in it on my own. I was also very happy that I was allowed to continue working in the municipality of Mals after the internship. I would like to participate in the public competition soon So I can continue to be part of the community team.”

From teacher to accountant: Anja is excited to work in the Malles community. – Photo: © Unknown

On the other hand, Martin looks to the future full of expectations, as he is about to return to work for a long time: “On March 1st I will start as a payroll clerk at Raiffeisenverband Südtirol. I am looking forward to it!”

It’s almost time for Martin: Starting on March 1, he’ll start as a payroll clerk at Raiffeisenverband Südtirol. – Photo: © Unknown

Not only the participants are happy

Matthias Grünfelder, accountant, accounting expert and lecturer on the additional course, also knows that this important step back into work after a long period of unemployment was not only great for the participants: “Thanks to the great implementation by ANMIC South Tyrol, participants learned the accounting and accounting concepts that they had learned from Zero in just a few months. Now most of them are working in this sector. I’m proud of it!”

Who is ANMIC South Tyrol?

The main activity of ANMIC South Tyrol, in addition to further training, is to advise civilians and businesses with disabilities. This also includes aspects of labor law, support in the search for employees and jobs, advice on the mandatory employment rate and tax benefits, as well as assistance with the successful integration of disabled civilians and people with disabilities.

The Association for Unfit Civilians (ANMIC South Tyrol) is a voluntary, non-profit organization (EO) recognized at the state and county levels since 1965 and 1994, respectively. As the sole legal and legislative representation of disabled and disabled civilians, ANMIC South Tyrol represents them in public offices and private companies, so that disabled and disabled civilians in South Tyrol are fully integrated into everyday social and professional life. With over 6000 members, ANMIC South Tyrol is the largest advocacy group for civilians with disabilities and people with disabilities in South Tyrol.

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