Secondary Vocational School's Protection Workshop Nominated for European prize

By 7 March 2022

7 March 2022 - The Varaždin Secondary Vocational School's Protection Workshop is one of 34 projects in Central Europe nominated for the SozialMarie 2022 best social innovation prize, Varaždin County said on Monday.

The Protection Workshop is among 275 shortlisted projects. It is competing with projects from Austria, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia for the €15,000 first prize, the €10,000 second prize, the €5,000 third prize, or €2,000 for the next 12 places.

The Protection Workshop is a joint project of the school, the county, and the Croatian Employment Service that was launched in 2006 to enable the employment of persons with disabilities or reduced work capacity, the first such project in Croatia.

The workshop makes work uniforms, protective clothing, chair covers, bedding, bags, backpacks, textile and leather accessories. In 15 years it has employed 58 persons, including 30 with disabilities.

Each year SozialMarie awards successful and innovative projects, representing a sign of quality in effective social innovation. The winners will be announced on 1 May.

This is the first European prize for social innovation that has been given since 2004 for 15 of the best projects. SozialMarie is also a public platform for making connections, cooperating and exchanging experiences between Central European projects.