Year 2016 – THE YEAR OF CRAFTS

Year 2016 – THE YEAR OF CRAFTS

The Association of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises and Crafts of the Czech Republic (AMSP CR) is continuing in its massive offensive effort in support of small sole traders and proclaims 2016 as the YEAR OF CRAFTS. By so doing, we continue on from our “We’re Rooting for Crafts!“ campaign, as part of which we are putting the spotlight on crafts guilds and associations, as well as specific crafts deeds. In this regard, 2016 will be entirely unique and we will present crafts at dozens of events as a key tool for maintaining the level of services accessible to people in the regions and rural areas as well as an interesting choice for the young generation. We will familiarize consumers with how to evaluate the quality of work performed by crafts people, will instigate a professional discussion about the educational system and link it to a discussion of the partial modification of the Trade Act. The primary objective is to bolster society’s perception of crafts, as well as membership in a crafts organisation within the professional community. The activities will be linked closely to AMSP CR’s long-term activity focused on family businesses and the support of business operations in small municipalities and economically weak regions. The word ”craft“ should become the most often used term in 2016.

The Year of Crafts will be co-ordinated by AMSP CR, with the participation of 23 crafts guilds and associations, covering 35 professions:

  • Guild of Upholsters and Decorators of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Stove Fitters of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Painters and Varnishers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Tilers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Tinsmiths, Roofers and Carpenters of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Heating Technicians and Plumbers of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Art of Glass Association
  • Blacksmith Association of the Czech Republic (blacksmiths, locksmiths, farriers)
  • Association of Chimney Sweepers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Floor Layers of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Electrotechnical Association
  • Guild of Dry Construction
  • Association of Stonecutters and Stone Sculptors of the Czech Republic
  • The Association of Florists of the Czech Republic
  • Business Association of Bakers and Confectioners
  • Association of Delicatessen Producers
  • Union of Winemakers of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Meat Processors Association
  • Association of Chefs and Pastry Cooks of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Association of Breweries and Malt Houses
  • Vegetable Growers’ Union
  • Fruit Growers’ Union
  • Fishermen’s Association of the Czech Republic

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Patronage: President of the Czech Republic, Government of the Czech Republic, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry and Trade

 

General partner: Komerční banka

General marketing partner: Mediatel

General media partner: Mafra


The main activities of the Year of Crafts – 9 pillars

1.     Introductory media campaign to present 30 crafts for 2015-2016

The preliminary round of the Year of Crafts will be a consumer oriented media campaign in October 2015 organised in co-operation with MF DNES, aimed at non-food crafts in the regions. A similar series, focused on food and agricultural crafts professions, will follow on from this initial campaign in spring of 2016, once again aimed at the consumer market. Each craft will be presented on one page of the nationwide issue of the DNES daily newspaper. We will communicate to readers how the featured profession is doing in the Czech Republic, what the price and qualitative trends are in comparison to other countries, what the safety and hygiene situation is like, how and where a consumer should choose a service or a product, how to deal with a complaint and what prospects this profession holds. We wish to inform the consumer about the prices of services and the most in-demand products. We will present specific crafts performed in the regions. In particular, we want to promote professional crafts organisations – guilds, associations, societies, including an interview with a guild president. Photos of personalities from the featured profession will be added for every region. We will publish the best regional businesses in the food and agricultural fields and introduce the uniqueness of their products.


2. Announcement of the Year of Crafts on the Entrepreneurs’ Day

The Year of Crafts will be announced on 3 November 2015, on the occasion of the 13th Entrepreneurs’ Day of the Czech Republic, which is held annually by AMSP CR and attended by leading representatives of the public sector and small and medium enterprises (600 attendees + public opinion-forming media). A traditional talk show featuring key ministers and the President of the Czech Republic shall be held in conjunction with this event, with the chief topic of discussion being business development in the regions and rural areas.


3. The main crafts portal

By the end of 2015, AMSP CR shall, in co-operation with Mediatel and Komerční banka, prepare a crafts portal (at the domains www.rokremesel.cz, www.fandimeremeslu.cz) designed to cater to the needs of the end consumer. It will be based on the interactive search for crafts people and businesses in 30 key professions, classified by micro-regions. Every customer will be able to specify his/her location and the crafts person or business he/she requires. The customer will then immediately receive information on the closest supplier in a simple graphical format. Customers will also be able to use this web application to settle any complaints via 20 crafts guilds or, should all avenues for complaint resolution fail, contact AMSP CR. This site shall be free of charge, and the list shall contain both crafts persons and businesses grouped as part of professional associations as well as independent suppliers, with both being classified according to an unambiguous system. This site will also include a crafts newsletter and links to all the participating societies/guilds. One of the key organisations spreading the word about the existence of this web platform among the nation’s households will be Komerční banka, which shall utilise its across-the-board distribution tools (ATMs, consumer account statements …). Guilds, in co-operation with AMSP CR, will be another key provider of information about this search platform, as well as Mediatel, which is the biggest domestic provider of on-line services for trades people.


4. Announcement of the most significant deeds in the field of crafts

As has become an established tradition, AMSP CR will announce the Award for the Crafts Deed of 2015 in January 2016, associated with the payment of a financial sum to those making long-term contributions to the development of skills in the field of crafts. The announcement shall be made in partnership with Komerční banka at the Prague Roofs/Prague Crafts trade fair (21 – 23 January 2016, held at Prague Letňany Exhibition Centre), at which AMSP CR shall also prepare an accompanying programme for the duration of the fair. The award recipients will be selected from among the professions represented by the following guilds and associations:

  • Guild of Upholsters and Decorators of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Stove Fitters of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Painters and Varnishers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Tilers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Tinsmiths, Roofers and Carpenters of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Art of Glass Association
  • Blacksmith Association of the Czech Republic
  • Association of Chimney Sweepers of the Czech Republic
  • Association of Florists of the Czech Republic

 

The same shall take place for 2016 in January 2017 (also still as part the Year of Crafts), with the additional inclusion of the best deeds in the fields of crafts represented by the following guilds and associations:

 

  • Czech Electrotechnical Association
  • Guild of Floor Layers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Dry Construction
  • Association of Stonecutters and Stone Sculptors of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Heating Technicians and Plumbers of the Czech Republic

A similar event will be held on 1 – 4 October 2016 at the ForGastro trade fair for the food and agricultural professions and crafts (Prague Letňany Exhibition Centre), when the most interesting deeds from the following guilds and associations will be awarded:

  • Business Association of Bakers and Confectioners
  • Association of Delicatessen Producers
  • Union of Winemakers of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Meat Processors Association
  • Association of Chefs and Pastry Cooks of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Association of Breweries and Malt Houses
  • Vegetable Growers’ Union
  • Fruit Growers’ Union
  • Fishermen’s Association of the Czech Republic

It is expected that the grand ceremonies will be attended by the Minister of Industry and Trade (Prague Crafts trade fair) and the Minister of Agriculture (ForGastro trade fair), both of them by the Minister of Education, Youth and Sports.

Both events will be promoted in the periodicals published by Mafra, in Czech Television and in Czech Radio.


5. Twenty regional events – the main pillars of the Year of Crafts

As part of the Year of Crafts, we are preparing, in co-operation with 20 professional guilds and crafts’ representatives, a total of 20 regional get-togethers. These will take the form of exhibitions, conferences, demonstrations of work in real time, competitions or events for the general public. Each of the following guilds and associations will be given the opportunity to implement one regional event with AMSP CR’s organisational and financial support:

  • Guild of Upholsters and Decorators of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Stove Fitters of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Painters and Varnishers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Tilers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Tinsmiths, Roofers and Carpenters of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Heating Technicians and Plumbers of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Art of Glass Association
  • Blacksmith Association of the Czech Republic (blacksmiths, locksmiths, farriers)
  • Association of Chimney Sweepers of the Czech Republic
  • Guild of Floor Layers of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Electrotechnical Association
  • Guild of Dry Construction
  • Association of Stonecutters and Stone Sculptors of the Czech Republic
  • The Association of Florists of the Czech Republic
  • Business Association of Bakers and Confectioners
  • Association of Delicatessen Producers
  • Union of Winemakers of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Meat Processors Association
  • Association of Chefs and Pastry Cooks of the Czech Republic
  • Czech Association of Breweries and Malt Houses
  • Vegetable Growers’ Union
  • Fruit Growers’ Union
  • Fishermen’s Association of the Czech Republic

Not only will active promotion be given to a professional event of the relevant guild as part of these regional activities (the list of which is in the process of being negotiated with the guilds concerned and will be finalised by the end of October 2015), but also to the entire Year of Crafts project, including the supporters. AMSP CR shall arrange for a mobile stand by way of which it shall not only promote the relevant guild at a specific event but at the same time also showcase the other guilds and associations. This will constitute a targeted campaign, supporting the activities of the individual professional associations. The stand will be equipped with professional publications, and a unified Year of Crafts catalogue. The patrons (Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of Agriculture) and partners will be promoted in a targeted manner. The events will be supported by the MF Dnes newspaper and by local radio stations. We are currently negotiating exclusive co-operation with Czech Television as part of its Wandering Camera (Toulavá kamera) TV programme.

These regional meetings will be supplemented by the two aforementioned bigger events with a big stand promoting the Year of Crafts as well as with a whole series of accompanying programmes, including the announcement of the Awards for the Best Crafts Deeds (January 2015 – Prague Crafts trade fair, October 2015 – ForGastro trade fair).

6. Crafts in order – a history of the process of the professional association of crafts persons from the middle ages to the present day

AMSP CR will build on the activities of 2014, when it actively supported the launch of a permanent exhibition by the Prague City Museum at the Ctěnice Chateau – Řemesla v pořádku (Crafts in Order), representing the biggest collection of guild artefacts in the world. This is a specific collection documenting the history and the methods of presenting crafts associations.

The exhibition presents the social phenomenon of the professional association of crafts people into groups of so-called orders. The term order, used in this country in modern times, expresses the confidence that crafts people had thanks to the strength of their association, and it also expressed that everything is being done in accordance with certain rules. The same meaning was also expressed by the word guild, derived from the old German word geld, which historians have used to denote crafts associations since the end of the 19th century. Exhibition visitors will see world-unique objects, such as the torso of the festive banner of the Prague butchers’ guild, which reaches a height of almost three meters and a width of two meters. The banner itself had dimensions of five by three meters. The preserved section depicts a portrait of emperor Charles VI, painted by his court painter Johann Gottfried Auerbach, with the other side bearing a figure of a lion with the date of 1730. It is one of the few surviving paintings from this artist preserved in our collections, which was only discovered in connection with the preparation of this exhibition. Also included in this exhibition is a variety of elaborately decorated cash boxes, some of which will be on display in an open state. This will allow the visitor to penetrate the secrets of secret drawers which these chests often had. It will also be possible to admire ceremonial pewter tableware decorated with engravings of guild characters. On display will be unique masterpieces created by apprentices when they wanted to become master craftsmen. The most notable is the master work of girdler Isaac, from Prague’s Old Town, dated 1820, which depicts Christ’s last supper.

AMSP CR, in co-operation with the Prague City Museum, shall prepare a year-round exclusive partnership for the Year of Crafts project and the permanent exhibition Crafts in Order at the Ctěnice Chateau. Part of this partnership shall also be the biggest domestic meeting of the representatives and selected members of twenty-two guilds in a total of thirty crafts, including a presentation of their activities, attended by the Prime Minister, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Industry and the Mayor of the City of Prague. This meeting will be part of the main conference of the Year of Crafts, which will be held at the Ctěnice Chateau during the permanent exhibition Crafts in Order.

This event will be promoted on an ongoing basis in the Dnes daily and on Czech Television.

7. Surveys on crafts

In 2016, as part of the Year of Crafts, AMSP CR shall conduct, in co-operation with the Ipsos agency and KB, a total of three unique and independent surveys, with the results of each being assessed after four months. These surveys will be conducted in accordance with the CATI method as well as the on-line CASI survey on the Ipsos panel – a questionnaire completed by the respondent him/herself according to the accompanying instructions. All the surveys shall be presented regularly at press conferences jointly with project partners and representatives of the Ministry of Industry and Trade and the Ministry of Agriculture, with the prearranged participation of Czech Television, Czech Radio and the DNES daily, and will be a part of the national Report on SMEs.

Survey methodology:

  • n=800/1000 general population
  • n=200/300 crafts people
  • Locality: entire Czech Republic
  • Segments:

a) General population of the Czech Republic from 18 to 65 years of age

In addition to the standard questionnaire, young people (students or people who have recently completed their studies) will also be surveyed about their interest in learning a craft

b) Crafts people

 

Survey objectives and areas:

1. Current perception of crafts by the Czech population

  • What do Czechs associate with the various crafts, and what do they imagine in connection therewith?
  • To what degree are crafts people available? Does this degree of availability vary on a regional basis?
  • What is important for Czechs when choosing a crafts person?
  • What degree of interest in studying crafts is there among young people?
  • In addition, we will ask our respondents to compile a visual collage on the topic of ”Czech Crafts”.

 2. The situation as it applies to Czech crafts people

  • How do crafts people perceive their situation?
  • How, in their own opinion, do other people perceive them?
  • What are their attitudes toward membership in a guild/association?
  • What worries do they have? What do they have to contend with? What is making their work more difficult?

3. A qualitative insight into the problems of contemporary crafts persons

  • Moreover, we know from the previous survey conducted that in 2014 Czech crafts people faced a number of systematic barriers.
  • We shall therefore organise a round table debate featuring AMSP CR and selected representatives of crafts people, crafts guilds and associations in regards to the question of how to assist crafts people in their daily struggle against legislative and other barriers.


8. Crafts education

We will also devote a great deal of systematic effort throughout 2016 to the issues of vocational schools and their quality. We wish to present crafts in a modern form to young people, for example in connection with the use of new technologies, so as to motivate them to select a craft as their future profession. We must cease using the universal phrases about “crafts having a golden bottom” when talking to young people, but must instead present these professions as modern, practical activities, that today are also closely linked with information technologies and give dexterous individuals the opportunity to not only find their vocation in life, but also respect within the community, which is based on the creation of something tangible rather than on virtual speculation.

It is better to be a good crafts person than a bad engineer is the motto we intend to discuss as part of the debate over vocational as well as secondary schooling, namely with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. We are counting on the involvement of the Czech Chamber of Commerce as part of the master exams and the Confederation of Industry and Transportation of the Czech Republic as part of the concept of the so-called dual education.

The objective of AMSP CR in the education and crafts area will be to participate in the national debate concerning the organisation of vocational and secondary technical education in order to create conditions not only for crafts of an industrial nature, but namely for sole trader professions.

Media coverage will be provided namely in the specialised periodicals published by Mafra, as part of which we are preparing a breakdown of all vocational and secondary schools and their assessment. This shall be followed by recommendations aimed at parents and students of secondary schools, presented as part of a national edition of DNES.


9. Legislation of crafts

As part of the Year of Crafts, AMSP CR shall follow up on the legislative activities of the Association’s We’re Rooting for Crafts project, the long-term goal of which is to draft the partial amendments of the Trade Act. In co-operation with ten guilds and associations, work began in 2015 on drafting the amendments to the Trade Act, which were discussed on an ongoing basis with the Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade and other competent staff of the Ministry of Industry and Trade. The negotiations regarding the amendments were closely co-ordinated with the law firm of CHSH Kališ & Partners. The partial conclusions of these negotiations, which were mainly in the area of certain amendments in the classification of unregulated trades, crafts and regulated trades as well as the inclusion of a specified length of work experience, were aimed primarily at increasing quality and safety. As agreed with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the implementation of these amendments has been put on hold so far, with these changes to be included as part of the more extensive amendments resulting from broad discussions across the professional communities conducted as part of the Year of Crafts 2016.

 


AMSP CR press release:

Karel Havlíček, chairman of AMSP CR, adds: ”We intend to convince the government that discussions on sole traders and crafts must not be restricted solely to the areas of lump-sum tax and health or social security contributions, but that their role is mainly in the provision of services in the regions and that they form the basis for the sustainability of suitable conditions allowing for living and functioning municipalities. We intend to convince young people that crafts are not just a nostalgic memory of the past, but that they represent professions associated with new technologies. We intend to convince schools that mere proclamations about golden Czech hands and the future prospects in store for crafts people will do little these days to get anyone on our side, and that it is necessary to launch a completely different system in the technical fields of the vocational and secondary areas. And finally, we intend to convince consumers that a crafts person is not someone who has come to cheat them, but a person who is able to provide them with a good service. We will convince society that crafts deserves greater respect.“




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