Setga and the Spanish Red Cross join forces to create and promote “Light and talent”, the first transversal training and social employment programme carried out in the European public and technical lighting industry. This coalition will focus its efforts on recovering the generation of indigenous industrial value through the training and hiring of long-term unemployed talent aged over 45. For SETGA, this programme involves the consolidation and acceleration of a hiring policy initiated in 2015, which has sinec achieved an 8% representation of these profiles across the total production workforce today. During this time, this group has stood out for its high potential to providing commitment, cooperation and continuous improvement within a national production model based on total quality and permanent innovation in any operational role.
One of the challenges of “Light and Talent”, however, is to ensure that the incorporation of this long-term unemployed talent aged over 45 exceeds the 30% level in two years, with special focus on unemployed women and profiles of functional diversity. In the case of these two groups, the minimum quotas established for the selection of the participants in the programme have been at least 20% profiles with functional diversity and 50% women. In this way, the programme will attempt to balance the level of parity within a highly male-biased production workforce.
The programme is based on the idea of creating a permanent employment exchange in which people with difficulties in accessing the labour market integrated in the employment plan of the Red Cross in Pontevedra can improve their employability and future expectations. This Red Cross employment plan is an initiative that has been in place since 2001 and is funded by the Ministry of Employment and Social Security and the European Social Fund. The first phase of 8 people on the “Light and Talent” programme will begin the theoretical and practical training programme on Tuesday 16th May , which will last three weeks and will be taught by R&D engineers and managers of each assembly line at SETGA as well as Red Cross experts in occupational risk prevention. Over three weeks, participants will receive multidisciplinary training in mechanical, electrical and electronic assembly processes in order to obtain accreditation as a specialist in the integration and manufacturing of LED systems necessary to take up a permanent role at the company.
A way to rescue social value in the native industry.
This training and employment initiative will be an oasis in an industry where employment in Spain and the rest of Europe has been corroded by the multiplication of hundreds of importers of products manufactured in countries with industrial models where international labour standards are violated, along with human and environmental rights, and the relocation of large multinationals to these locations.
According to industry press, Europe has become the gateway for products made in these regions, as the EU imports 50% of global exports from areas characterised by dumping .
In this adverse context, the SETGA factory in Pontevedra represents the natural partner for the Spanish Red Cross employment programme in the lighting industry, as it was, and remains, the only Galician street lighting manufacturer. 98% of the added value of its components are produced in Spain, with 81% coming from Galician ancillary industries. It acts as the spearhead of over 57 native industries generating an annual average of 60 direct and 250 indirect jobs in Galicia. This is an anomalous phenomenon in Spain as it is one of the only two manufacturers that continue to manufacture absolutely all their components within the country. Through Light and Talent, SETGA will work to expand the training and employment programme of the Spanish Red Cross throughout its entire indigenous value chain, adding all its Spanish Tier I and Tier II suppliers to the Light and Talent programme, companies whose labour, quality and environmental standards are not comparable with the lax requirements in the Asian continent. It has already been possible to incorporate four new talented individuals from the Red Cross employment plan into a strategic supplier of technical glass for lighting such as Pontevedresa Group.
According to data from a study conducted at the ESADE business school the potential is still very high; if all street lighting was manufactured in Spain, 5 jobs could be generated for every 1000 luminaries, which would be equivalent to 3000 jobs in Galicia and 38,500 throughout the whole of Spain.