June 27, 2020

Vestergaard is an open and inclusive workplace with room for everyone who wants and has the skills to become part of the company. We have always been particularly interested in training and providing employment to vulnerable people. We do this by e.g. collaborating with the local jobcentre on the planning of flexible work solutions for persons who are not on the labour market. This has turned into a long-standing and productive collaboration, which has helped many people move into training and jobs – to the benefit of the individual, Vestergaard and society.

Since 2010, when the local municipal jobcentre started to document this specifically, there has been a total of 27 cases where residents have been in shorter or longer job placements with Vestergaard. They have spent time in production, in the warehouse and, at the office. So says Eva Klixbüll who has been a job placement consultant with the local jobcentre for the past ten years. The target group covers a wide field and may comprise both unemployed residents and those on sickness absence while working reduced hours, work test assessments and placements for the purposes of integration. A good match between the resident and the company along with the right assistance from the jobcentre may well lead to a more extended placement or even permanent employment.

Eva remembers the first time she collaborated with Vestergaard. That was in 2012 when she had a resident of ethnical minority background. He did not know a lot of Danish, and so he was given a language placement with Vestergaard to learn Danish. Subsequently, Vestergaard would like to offer him an apprenticeship if only he would learn to speak and understand English as this was a required competence in the job. This led to the jobcentre granting the resident a course in English, and he subsequently became an apprentice automatic control technician. He completed his apprenticeship and still works at Vestergaard today.

In her own words, Eva describes this as a success story that illustrates the possible outcome of good collaboration: ”Now that’s a success story! The resident would likely not be where he is today if it hadn’t been for the successful collaboration between the jobcentre and Vestergaard, where you offered him an apprenticeship, and we supported this by providing additional education”.

Eva is also able to tell another success story which arose from the collaboration between the resident, Vestergaard and the jobcentre. This was the case of a young man with a few challenges. He went from being able to work one day a week to receive a skills enhancement and has now started a fulltime apprenticeship at Vestergaard. Eva’s colleague has described it as ”Vestergaard took him (the resident, ed.) as he was and gave him the room to grow”.

This open and inclusive approach is what characterises Vestergaard as a workplace. Eva emphasises that it also requires an effort on part of the colleagues when you say yes to taking on a resident. You need to be willing to make room and maybe spend additional resources. Vestergaard is willing to do so.

Eva knows this based on her close collaboration with Vestergaard. Eva especially emphasises the good and trusting relationship she has developed with Vestergaard’s two production managers:

”The job of the job placement consultant is very much based on relationships. We know the companies and have built good and close relationships with certain contact persons within the companies. At Vestergaard, these are especially the two production managers.

I know them well, so I can just call them if I have a resident, and then we try to work something out – and then things fall into place. We believe in and trust each other. Our good collaboration is especially built on trust; that is the basis and the starting point of our collaboration”.

On a final note, Eva hopes that she and Vestergaard will be able to maintain this amazing relationship in future:

”I am really pleased about our collaboration. I know that you know where to turn if you need our help”.