Petr Piskač (35) lived the usual life of his peer group until 2014. However, an ordinary routine check-up turned his life upside down. Although Peter did not have any problems, his doctor found a cardiac murmur. In several months, he underwent surgery at the IKEM in Prague and had an artificial heart valve implanted; thus his disability pension started.
Petr gradually recovered to a degree that the level of disability was reduced. So he started thinking about his further employment. He lives in Chotěboř, where there are few job opportunities compared to a large city. And on top of that, disabled persons have even fewer opportunities. Employers prefer healthy applicants - whether due to prejudice or concerns about possible complications - although there are only a few things to be done such as arranging the work environment, occupational category or working hours, and companies can win a reliable employee whose work performance will be comparable to the performance of a healthy colleague.
Petr ended up at the Employment Office. Luckily, only for a while, because he soon found out that the company TEKIS is working right in Chotěboř. The company operates in the regimen of a sheltered workshop and offers jobs to people similar to Petr. “We started as a family company with a few people only; there are thirty employees in our company today. More than half of the employees are disabled people,” says Jiří Kirchner, the company executive. The thought of giving jobs to people who are handicapped due to their injury or illness appeared when the company was founded - due to the fact that there are two such persons in Jiří Kirchner's family.
TEKIS operates in the area of production and distribution of packaging material, and also deals with small agricultural production and the creation of teaching aids for schools. The company is focused on seeking business opportunities so that even handicapped workers can deal with job content. Petr has been working here as a production operator for half a year and is happy. Even though the company expanded, it still maintains its family character. “We have a good bunch of people here. If somebody cannot keep up with something, he or she is not afraid to ask a colleague for help,” the company executive praises.
Recently, the company managed to obtain a subsidy for employee education from the Operational Programme Employment. “Education is beneficial not only to the company needs but also to the employees themselves. They can broaden their horizons and use obtained knowledge in the future,” says Jiří Kirchner. Increasing qualification is a key factor specifically for disabled people who belong to the groups of people at higher risk on the job market. Petr completed the course on hand trucks and also a welding course. “The hand truck operator course lasted about one week and the welding course about one month. I would like to complete the CO2 welding course as well,” Petr describes his plan.
When there are fewer orders, the employees do what is currently necessary. They maintain the company premises with production storage and offices or they look after the adjacent land with sheep. Soon, an orchard might be founded, and caring for it means further job opportunities for people who were not as lucky in their lives as others.
|Operational Programme||Operational Programme Employment|
|Project name||Systematic training of sheltered workshop staff in TEKIS|
|Beneficiary||TEKIS s. r. o.|
|Realization||15. 4. 2017 – 14. 4. 2019|
|Subsidy||815 826,60 Kč|