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Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy (Voluntary Labour Corps)

van: Poland

The Voluntary Labour Corps (Polish Ochotnicze Hufce Pracy, OHP) is a state-run organisational unit working to prevent the social exclusion of young people. In line with the current Act on Employment Promotion and Labour Market Institutions, the Voluntary Labour Corps is a labour market institution supervised by the Minister of Labour and Social Policy that performs state tasks directed towards teenagers over 15 years of age, and the unemployed under 25 years of age, that include employment services, counteract social marginalization and social exclusion, as well as tasks related to education and upbringing.

Its activities take their inspiration from the legacy of the Youth Labour Brigades established by decree of the President of the Republic of Poland of 22 September 1936. During its long history, this organisation worked relentlessly for young generations of Poles who needed state support to start an independent life and meet the challenges of the modern labour market.

To reflect the changing social situation, the OHP continues to transform the format of its activities and organisational structure, enhancing its methods of youth training and education and labour market services. As a result, the OHP demonstrates a potential which makes it capable of undertaking new challenges in active social policy and its aspects relevant to young people. The OHP structures consists 750 organisational units and branches operating throughout Poland.
Depending on the type of activities delivered, these include:

  • 220 shelter and educational units, where young people can supplement their general and vocational education;
  • a network of 530 bodies implementing labour market initiatives, where young people may benefit from vocational counselling and guidance, job matching services, and vocational training and information.

All of these facilities are open institutions which implement the agenda for the local community in cooperation with local self-government authorities, employers, associations, and foundations operating in a given area.

The employees working for OHP are highly qualified; more than 50% of the staff members are young people with several years of work experience, who have received training (also as part of projects co-financed by the EU) at specialist courses in various forms of assistance provided to youth.


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