Social Capital concerns the institutions that help us maintain and develop human capital in partnership with others; e.g. families, communities, businesses, trade unions, schools, and voluntary organisations.
Human Capital consists of people’s health, knowledge, skills and motivation. All these things are needed for productive work.
Enhancing human capital through education and training is central to a flourishing economy.
In Scotland, the government is aware of the financial difficulties and changing policies to encourage community assets. This is evident in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Bill, the changes in the principles behind the health and social care integration and the move towards the 20:20 vision. All of these bills and strategic vision reflect the move towards empowering people. This movement also supports the increasingly popularity of social enterprises. The idea that there should be less of a gap from the highest paid earner to the lowest paid employee in a company, that businesses should have a social or environmental purpose and that the profits should be reinvested into the community they are serving is good. It is a move away from the rich profiting from the poor and hopefully one step further away from the feelings of despair, poverty and serious health inequalities.
Now, people need to answer the invitation. People need to realise their own potential, take healthy risks, try new things and become less dependant on other people giving them permission to be a certain way. Take ownership and pride in who you are and be open to new things. And I believe the likes of Trade School does it part towards harnessing the power of people through learning, teaching and sharing knowledge and skills which are individual. Classes are based on what the teacher has to offer so a wide variety is offered. No money exchanges hands and the barter items offer a real sense of gratitude on a human level.