Where are they now? Catching up with past EEPA winners

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2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA). In this new feature, we catch up with former EEPA honourees who’ve gone on to do great things since winning the award.

This week, Malgorzata Pliszka from the award-winning District Labour Office of Nysa in Poland reflects on the impact of winning an EEPA six years on…

Malgorzata Pliszka, District Labour Office of Nysa

Name Malgorzata Pliszka
Organisation District Labour Office of Nysa
Country Poland
Website http://www.pup.nysa.pl/
Award won Entrepreneurship/ Promoting the Entrepreneurial
Year 2010

What was it like to win the award?Malgorzata Pliszka

It was a great feeling to experience the joy and the appreciation of our efforts together with my colleagues. The award was a great surprise and a great honour.

Tell us about your project.

The project, “Construction of houses by means of a training system for unemployed persons” began in the period in which the labour market in the region of Nysa suffered a deficit of qualified construction workers. At the same time, at the District Labour Office in Nysa, we had over 2,000 people registered as unemployed, without professional qualifications, who were mostly unemployed for many years. Moreover, individual local governments in the Nysa region had problems with a lack of financial resources for construction of houses / social flats. The idea to build a real house during training seemed to be a great idea to create effective and socially responsible training programmes.

How did winning the award immediately impact your work?

It resulted in huge interest from both the media and other organisations. We presented our success story at many conferences and meetings. The project has been widely featured in both local and national media. Many organisations took up the challenge and duplicated our actions.

What response did you receive from your colleagues and peers?

Congratulations and words of appreciation.

What has been the long-term impact?

The long-term impact is a perception of our institution as a professional organisation working hard to help people at risk of social exclusion and unemployed families. Another long-term effect on the project is that we’ve built informal partnerships with institutions working to help the unemployed.

Why did you decide to enter the national competition?

We realised that the project was a kind of experiment, an innovative action that we wanted to share with others. We thought that our work was worth sharing and, ultimately, imitating, and it deserved to be showcased in a big forum.

How did you go about preparing your application and making it award winning?

Our project was described in a comprehensive way; we showed the benefits that were the result of its implementation, both the immaterial aspect of equipping participants with the skills and training that enabled them to take up employment, as well as the material result of the project, which was the creation of a residential building.

What advice would you give to others thinking of entering?

Don’t be afraid to shout about what you’re doing.

Find out more about The District Labour Office of Nysa