Integrating unemployed and excluded groups into the tourism sector

AuthorDirectorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion (European Commission)
Problem addressed
Despite a well-functioning labour market with high
employment rates, certain groups in Sweden face a number of
barriers to f‌inding a job. In particular, former prisoners, people
who have a disability or those with a migrant background
face stigmatisation when seeking employment. This, coupled
with a lack of skills and experience, makes it harder for these
groups to f‌ind and retain quality employment.
Innovative solution
Le Mat Sweden is a social cooperative hotel set up in 2010
in Göteborg City to employ people who have encountered
dif‌f‌iculties joining the labour market, specif‌ically prisoners,
people who have a disability and older people. Le Mat Sweden
is innovate in that it proposes a holistic way of integrating
unemployed and excluded people into the tourism sector. It
has developed a recruitment partnership with social referral
services, local authorities and employment services to of‌fer
relevant work-based training to people in need, ensuring that
they are provided with meaningful work.
Le Mat Sweden was initiated by a consortium partnership
between Vägen Ut! (VU) and Coompanion. VU developed
and implemented the primary Le Mat Sweden location
in Göteborg City and Coompanion expanded the brand to
additional locations.
Le Mat Sweden is part of a Europe-wide social franchising
cooperative, Le Mat Europe. The cooperative has roots
in Italy where, in Trieste in 1985, Hotel Tritone was
established to provide employment and work-based
training for people who had dif‌f‌iculties in securing work. In
2005, the social franchising cooperative Le Mat was set up
to expand the work of the hotel across Italy, supported by
the ESF’s EQUAL Community Initiative. Le Mat developed
a brand, a management model, a franchising model and a
quality management and training system. Le Mat Europe
was subsequently created to support social entrepreneurs
to replicate the Le Mat model in other countries. Le Mat
Europe was one of the f‌irst social franchises to operate
hostels, hotels and bed and breakfasts throughout Europe.
Integrating unemployed and excluded
groups into the tourism sector
Le Mat
© Le Mat Sweden, 2015
Le Mat Göteborg City, reception

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