£2.2 million project will explore how access to work could support migrant integration across Europe

Professor Simone Baglioni will lead the Sirius preoject

Professor Simone Baglioni will lead the Sirius project

GCU is to lead a £2.2million Europe-wide project exploring how joining the labour market could help migrants, refugees and asylum applicants integrate in their new host countries.

GCU will coordinate the research of 11 universities and migrant-support networks in nine countries in the EU Horizon 2020 Research Programme-supported SIRIUS project. It is hoped the project will help shape international policy on supporting access to quality work opportunities and working conditions.

SIRIUS – Skills and Integration of Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Applicants in European Labour markets – will explore how countries support or block integration through access to work and how joining the labour market could break down barriers, especially for women and young people.

The project will develop innovative tools such as a “serious game” to teach language skills and how to prepare for work – including job interviews, dress codes, gender and communication issues and workplace etiquette – as well as hosting a film festival and job fairs in Greece’s refugee centres.

The project is being led by GCU’s Professor Simone Baglioni. He said: “European countries need to devise a constructive, sustainable strategy to tackle migration and asylum issues. The SIRIUS project believes it is in all our interests to integrate and that the fastest way to achieve that is through work. If people are working they are not only contributing to the economy but they are free to become ordinary, if you like, so they are more willing and more able to become part of the community. We have to help people into work and also help employers and society make the most of the wealth of skills refugees can bring.

“We’d hope to build a framework for an inclusive integration agenda that European countries and the EU can use to ensure that migrant integration policies and workforce development, training and employment programmes support new arrivals’ access to decent work opportunities and working conditions. We’ll be focusing on seven countries that have a range of degrees of exposure to the recent migration and refugee crisis and different institutional and socio-economic contexts.”

GCU will lead the project with partners the University of Geneva, the University of Florence, Denmarks’ Roskilde University, Italy’s European University Institute, Charles University in Czech Republic, Solidar in Belgium, Greece’s Solidarity Now, Finland’s University of Jyväskylä, Technical University of Athens and Multikulturní centrum Praha in Czech Republic.

Q Conference Glasgow 2017

The 33rd annual Q methodology conference was hosted by GCU’s Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health last month (September 6 to 9).

The conference, held at Glasgow event venue 200SVS, was opened by Professor Cam Donaldson, Vice Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor (Research) and Yunus Chair in Social Business & Health, and Professor Rachel Baker, Director of the Yunus Centre for Social Business & Health.

The aim of the conference was to provide a multidisciplinary forum for students and professionals to explore the latest research, applications, and developments surrounding the use of Q Methodology.

The keynote speaker Job van Exel, Professor of Economics and Values at Erasmus University Rotterdam, raised challenges for those working with Q methodology in relation to publications, technology and software.

Also in attendance were members of the family of William Stephenson, the originator of Q methodology: Mary Ellen and Richard Stephenson, Averil Schreiber (Stephenson).

Q Methodology is a research method used in psychology and in social sciences to study people’s subjectivity.

More information and photos:

Welcome to Q conference Cam & Rachel-sfqst7
Post Q Conference Information-2hx0gei


Want to make positive impact in our world and connect with those who are already driving transformational change? The @SkollCentre is hosting its biggest social innovation conference, @EmergeConf, on 11-12 November at the Saïd Business School, Oxford.

Emerge is all about ‘what’s next’: the big ideas disrupting and challenging unjust systems and practices. It brings together a community of those who are driving transformational social change, and those who want to get involved. At Emerge, you can explore new ideas, dig deeper into issues alongside experts, build skills, and immerse yourself in the innovations which are redefining our world. Get your early bird tickets at www.emergeconference.co.uk.

From Charity to Social Enterprise: The Marketization of Social Care

A paper on ‘From Charity to Social Enterprise: The Marketization of Social Care’ by F Henderson, C Reilly, D Moyes and G Whittam has been accepted for publication in the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research


Please see abstract below:

Purpose: In Scotland, the Self-Directed Support (SDS) legislation is a catch-all payment system which brings challenges to local authorities, service delivery organisations, and the service users it is intended to empower. Set against a backdrop of cuts to local authorities and third sector funding, this policy presents third sector organisations with both the opportunities and challenges of commercialising their activities to become more sustainable. This paper provides evidence of the challenges faced one charity as engages in a process of hybridity to accommodate changes in its funding due to the introduction of SDS.

Design/methodology/approach: This qualitative case study of one charity presents the experiences of a purposive sample of managers, staff and parents advocating for their children. The challenges of gathering data and giving a voice to parents advocating for children with complex needs are discussed.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable): This study used a small purposive sample of individuals who were prepared to talk about the challenges of SDS in one national Scottish charity.

Practical implications (if applicable): Organically arising barriers to organisational transition from charity to social enterprise are presented, as staff and caregivers react to the prospect of SDS uptake affecting their organisation. Proactive attempts to embrace a hybrid approach by the organisation, are analysed.

Social implications (if applicable): Understanding how social care organisations and clients are reacting to the implementation of individual payments is crucial as the sector faces very real prospects of established organisations failing  and the market becoming dominated by fewer providers delivering cheaper, lower quality social care. Therefore a policy based on choice for the consumer risks removing choice through a loss of appropriate services in the marketplace, leaving vulnerable populations at risk.

Originality/value:  This paper makes a unique contribution to the fields of social enterprise and social care as no other research has been done exploring the transition to hybridity of charities serving children with complex needs in anticipation of SDS creating an open market. The paper further provides evidence of underlying issues which need to be addressed if SDS is to become a successful policy transforming vulnerable individuals’ lives. The paper further identifies that a specific challenge facing hybrid organisations, not articulated in the current literature, is the need to maintain the support of existing clients through the transformation of the organisation.

TransSOL Policy Report and Newsletter

TransSOL is a transnational research project dedicated to providing systematic and practice-related knowledge about European solidarity at times of crisis. It brings together researchers and civil society practitioners from eight European countries—Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Poland, Switzerland and the United Kingdom including a team at Glasgow Caledonian University.

The latest policy briefing and project newsletter are now available to view via the links below:

TransSOL Policy Brief 3-284ccp1

TransSOL_Newsletter_Issue 4-2arj2d6


International academics meet to discuss the future of social business and its role in combatting wealth concentration

From 28th-31st July, Pro Vice Chancellor and Yunus Chair, Cam Donaldson attended the Annual Social Business Day and Academia Pre-Meeting on ‘How Can Wealth Concentration be Stopped?’ in Dhaka, led by our Chancellor, Professor Muhammad Yunus. The Academia Pre-Meeting takes place in Bangladesh annually, prior to the annual Social Business Summit and associated Social Business Academia Conference which, this year, take place in Paris on 5th -7th and 8th-9th November respectively. Here, we see Cam, alongside Professor Yunus,  reporting to the international gathering of academics about progress with preparations for the Paris Conference. The meeting was also reported in the Bangladeshi national press:

Int’l academics exchange ideas on social business (Web)
Daily Observer Bangladesh – 31/07/2017
A pre-meeting, was held on Sunday at the Yunus Centre, Mirpur as the preparation of the Social Business Academia Conference (SBAC) scheduled to be held in Paris on November 8 and November 9, this year. The opening speech was delivered by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, Chair of the organizing committee of SBAC.

Academics discuss educational aspects of social business (Web)
The Daily Star Bangladesh – 31/07/2017
A group of national and international academics yesterday discussed educational aspects of social business in Dhaka as part of preparations for an upcoming social business academia conference. The meeting took place at Yunus Centre, which promotes works and philosophies of Nobel laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus.