CSR AT BO-VEST BO-VEST’s vision to become the leading social housing administration in its region includes CSR as a strategic focus area, with special attention to environment and sustainability, community development and healthy homes. As a consequence, BO-VEST participates in several local urban development and community development projects. And in a broader perspective, it supports the development of new solutions for climate and environment, for example in the areas of energy renovation and climate change adaptation. The BO-VEST action program for 2013-2014 relates specifically (but not exclusively) to recruitment of trainees, social partnering to achieve greater effect, contribution to sustainable development both locally and globally, prevention of tenants evictions. OBJECTIVE: To support apprenticeship opportunities for youth through partnerships with suppliers. CONTEXT Located just outside Copenhagen, the Danish capital, the city of Albertslund faces a need to physically improve its social housing. At the same time, Albertslund needs to improve economic growth and address a relatively high level of unemployment (8.7 percent compared to national average of 6.2 percent, hence being one of the highest in the country). Tenants in social housing in Denmark in general are characterized by lower income and higher unemployment rate; but this challenge is even greater in Albertslund - and thus in BO-VEST. This also contributes to a national goal: Denmark received three Country Specific Recommendations, one of which specifically mentioned the need to improve inclusion of people in the labour market, especially by increasing the number of apprenticeships. In its consultation paper for the National Reform Program 2014 BL, the Danish Social Housing Federation, has emphasized the role that the sector can play in this. DESCRIPTION OF THE GOOD PRACTICE For BO-VEST, there are obvious gains in combining the need for employment or vocational training with the physical renovation as this will create long-term social infrastructure that will support local growth and community well-being. It is particularly challenging to establish apprenticeships for young people from the neighbourhoods where the renovation projects take place. The advantage of choosing local apprentices is that the young people tend to feel more responsible for a renovation project when they become part of it, and they might even act as ambassadors for the renovation projects to their neighbours. On the companies’ side, contractors at BO-VEST’s building sites are positive towards creating apprenticeships. But to push them to act in this way, a specific effort was made to establish a closer partnership between relevant partners such as the Albertslund Social Work Center (ABC). On behalf of BO-VEST, ABC initiated a forum with the intent of bringing together all relevant partners: representatives from contractors, local employment unit in the municipality of Albertslund, EUC Zealand (Practical Training Center), The Federation of Social Housing organisations in Denmark, BL and BO-VEST. The main objective of this forum was to jointly identify solutions. It resulted in a workshop held for more than 20 sub-contractors during the construction project. During the workshop, various presentations from stakeholders emphasized the importance of apprenticeships, advantages of local youth and the various apprenticeships opportunities offered by the local employment unit and EUC Zealand. It gave also subcontractors the opportunity to ask questions and contribute with possible solutions. The workshop was also a platform for creating direct contact between subcontractors on the one hand and the local employment unit and EUC Zealand on the other. During this workshop, short “video applications” were presented to sub-contractors: young people had been invited to produce a short video to present themselves – an application process which was much easier for them than having to express themselves in writing. All subcontractors were also provided with a folder containing all relevant contact information, practical details and CV’s. To encourage contractors to create more training places, ABC staff then followed up bilaterally with sub- contractors, to provide customized solutions. Only through this persevering effort could actual results be achieved. Key results and benefits
- 1 full apprenticeship
- 1 temporary placement
- 1 conditional apprenticeship offer (after completion of the basic training program)
- 2 young people were engaged as ‘working men’ giving them practical experience for future applications
- The partnership and supporting approach towards contractors are likely to establish lasting changes and ties between all stakeholders. It also contributes to remove the structural separation between social and physical efforts of BO-VEST in communities.
European Responsible Housing Awards 2014
Modalidad Economic responsibility and sustainability