BLESSING FOR THE ECONOMY
With 600 employees, Demival is the largest employer in the Deinze region. The sheltered employment company amalgamates financial motives with social motives by going in search of adjusted work for its employees. “I strongly believe in partnerships,” says Filip Walraeve, who joined the team as general manager two years ago. “There is still great potential for us among a considerable number of local entrepreneurs.”
STERCK. What distinguishes a sheltered employment company from a regular one?
Filip Walraeve: “We provide work to people who are distanced from the labour market. There may be various reasons for such distance: psychological, physical, mental, etc. As an npo, we must make ongoing efforts to harmonise financial motives with social motives. Making a profit is not our top primary goal, although profitability is essential to be able to keep going , of course. We do our best to employ as many sheltered employees as possible to provide them with a professional framework and adjusted infrastructure. In so doing, we maintain an atypical approach by actively going in search of specifically appropriate tasks for the people who send in applications for jobs. In actual fact, it is not always easy to find viable work for everyone. However, we are remarkably successful in doing so, thanks to our vast production range. During the last two years we have been going to great lengths to promote labour mobility between our six different departments. Some people from our technical departments can help out in the packing department if it is exceptionally busy there. Such flexibility is an enormous added value for Demival.”