The Governments of Portugal and Spain held, in Guarda, in the auditorium of the Social Services of the Polytechnic Institute, the launch ceremony of Centre for the Economy and Social Innovation (CEIS), which will be the first professional training protocol for the Social Economy sector.

The Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, considered that the CEIS, launched in Guarda, is a “powerful instrument” for Social Economy.

The objective is to train Social Economy entities, by promoting professional training and the recognition, validation and skills certification, in order to qualify and re-qualify workers and their respective directors and managers.

According to Ana Mendes Godinho, CEIS “is also a powerful instrument of union between organizations, between people, between the two countries”.

Ana Mendes Godinho recalled that in Portugal and Spain “the Social Economy represents more than 6% of employment”, which “shows well the importance and pointed out that in low-density territories, the Social Economy “is indeed one of the main drivers of the ability to attract and retain people”.

At the ceremony also spoke Yolanda Díaz, second vice-president of the Government of Spain and Minister of Labour and Social Economy in that country. Yolanda Díaz highlighted the importance of the project involving the two countries and admitted that CEIS “will be a reference in Europe and also in the world”.

In her opinion, the project will serve to share good practices, training and experiences within the Social Economy and improve the lives of citizens.

CEIS is the result of a partnership between the Institute of Employment and Professional Training (IEFP), the António Sérgio Cooperative for the Social Economy (CASES), the Portuguese Confederation of Social Economy (CPES), and the Centre for Iberian Studies (CEI) and the Social Security Institute (ISS).

On the Spanish side, the direct or indirect partners are the Spanish Business Confederation of the Social Economy (CEPES), the International Centre for Research and Information in Public, Social and Cooperative Economy (CIRIEC), the General Directorate of Independent Work, Social Economy and Corporate Social Responsibility (DGTAESRSE), the State Public Employment Service (SEPE) and the State Foundation for Employment Training (FUNDAE).