Wednesday, 15 August 2012


Wales is littered with the remnants of failed models of economic development, most of them have failed to deliver any long term economic benefits and more than a few long term jobs to our people and our communities. We desperately need some fresh economic thinking, we need to think differently and to find economic models that can deliver sustainable long term jobs that can deliver real and lasting material benefits to our communities and our country.

The Mondragon co-operative which is a collective of around 250 companies and organisations based in the Basque Country may be one of those economic success stories in recession-hit Spain. Mondragon, which may be the world's largest worker co-operative, is helping the Basque economy try to resist the worst ravages of the recession in Spain. Mondragon which was established in 1956, in the province of Gipuzkoa; employs around 83,569 people with a business philosophy built around co-operation, participation, social responsibility and innovation.

Jobs with Mondragon
The Cooperative competes on international markets using democratic methods within its business organisation, helps to create jobs, and is committed to the human and professional development of its workers and pledges to development with its social environment. The unemployment rate in the Basque Country is 15%, and lower in the province of Gipuzkoa, (where Mondragon is based), the unemployment rate in Spain as a whole is now 25%. We in Wales could learn a great deals from the example Mondragon and its methods when it comes generating and retaining sustainable jobs.

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