June 14, 2019

Vestergaard Company undertakes to contribute to the best possible integration of refugees and people subject to family reunification into the Danish labour market. To this purpose, we are collaborating closely with the municipality on preparing a rewarding Basic Integration
Training (IGU), which is a 2-year scheme comprised by an employment in a paid internship at a company and a school education with education allowance. During the IGU training, refugees obtain knowledge of different work functions, thus achieving qualifications that are relevant in the Danish labour market.

Vestergaard Company assumes responsibility for ensuring a safe and educational framework in which the refugee can obtain good interpersonal and professional skills which will be valuable in the labour market. As one of Vestergaard’s production managers says: ”We are not preoccupied with the costs. We simply want to help the refugees obtain success in their job. This is a way for us to contribute to the integration”.

Since 2017, Vestergaard have had refugees attached under the IGU scheme. One of them is 32-year old Ebrahim who came to Denmark as a refugee from the Middle East 3½ years ago. Ebrahim brings has educational background within agriculture. The local municipal job consultant contacted Ebrahim, and after meeting with Vestergaard’s production managers, Ebrahim began an IGU training at Vestergaard in September 2018.

Now, Ebrahim has been following the IGU training for 9 months. He is working in the hose press department in production area A where he, together with a colleague, is responsible for preparing the hydraulic and fluid hoses for Vestergaard’s products. Ebrahim says: ”I have
learned a lot here, and now I know all the different hoses and connections. I have learned to work independently, and if my colleague has a day off or is absent, I can do the work on my own. I like that”. Ebrahim has a lot of contact to his Danish colleagues. This helps him improve his Danish day by day, and it makes him happy: ”My greatest wish is to become better at Danish, because it will help me understand the work tasks better and faster”.

The production manager, who is Ebrahim’s foreman, has also noticed Ebrahim’s progress in Danish, and his overall impression is that Ebrahim ”wants to be Danish”. He is very focused on learning new things and will go a far way to obtain success at Vestergaard. “He is already a success here. He is a permanent part of production area A; everybody likes him, he is a great person, forthcoming and reliable”, the foreman says proudly, pointing out that Ebrahim has not had one day absent yet.

Ebrahim will soon be transfering to the welding department to learn new things and find new challenges. This was Ebrahim’s choice, because he thinks it looks interesting. At the same time, the foreman has encouraged Ebrahim to acquire more skills. When the IGU training is completed, Ebrahim dreams of working at Vestergaard Company. He likes being part of the workplace culture. We have good managers who see the employees as equals, and every morning, the foremen greet all employees in Production by handshake. It feels good and shows mutual respect, Ebrahim explains. He likes working at Vestergaard and applies the well-known Danish word ”hygge” to describe why: ”It is ”hyggeligt” to work with kind, fun, and happy colleagues”.

Ebrahim’s foreman hopes that the IGU training inspires Ebrahim to upgrade his qualifications within a profession later, as a machinist, for instance, because Ebrahim is good at acquiring new skills. At the same time, Vestergaard takes pride in being able to contribute to the training of skilled workers for whom there will be a great request in the future job market.