HOMEBUILDER-Creating new job opportunities in a major renewal project to the benefit of residents

Örebro, Sweden Local social sustainability
Responsible Housing Award
“Providing training and job opportunities while building one’s own house”



With high levels of unemployment, such labour market initiatives can create contacts with employers in sectors like the construction industry, thereby leading to employment. To ensure good contact, each Home builder has a mentor; a person closely connected with the project, either as a client or a contractor. While the practical, concrete participation in district development has positive effects on personal development, it is also good for the neighbourhood and the district to create active role models for other people there. ‘We estimate that the Home builders project will raise the employment rate from 53% to 65%.’

One important step towards making this venture possible was the public procurement ÖBO carried out in 2012, where by contractors were invited to quote a price to renovate the area in question. The process stipulated that the contractor who won the tender would also have to run a social project, namely the Homebuilder project. SKANSKA Sweden won the contract and presented a very ambitious proposal for the way in which they, along with ÖBO, would implement this project. SKANSKA also set out their goal of giving, during the four-year life of the contract, 50-80 long-term unemployed people in Vivalla access to trainee positions.

Issues tackled

In the district of Vivalla and the surrounding neighbourhood, the rate of employment and levels of education are low compared to Örebro as a whole. ÖBO wanted to be involved in the efforts to reduce this problem when the time came for a major renewal project in the area.

Instead of just having construction workers from other parts of the city rebuilding Vivalla, the objective was to find a way to allow the new job opportunities that come with a major renewal project to be of benefit to the residents of Vivalla itself.

The dream was that the children of local residents in the area who had previously been out of work would now be able to say with pride, “My dad, or my mum, has got a job renovating our house!” We chose to call this labour market initiative “Home builders” (“Boendebyggarna”).

The Municipality of Örebro, the Adult Education College, and the Labour Market Administration, together with the local Job Centre, collaborate and communicate with job seekers who might, in various ways, be included in the team during the project. The aim is to provide trainee positions or apply other labour market measures to job seekers in the area, thereby involving them in the renewal work.

Actors involved

  • SKANSKA Sweden
  • ÖrebroBostäder AB
  • Municipality of Örebro
  • Adult Education College
  • Labour Market Administration

Actions carried out

  • Social procurements - During the procurement process, they required the main contractor on the project to develop an organisation for the home builders. The subcontractor was in the next step obliged to be totally involved in this.
  • Mentorship - Each homebuilder has a mentor. The mentor is one of the employed persons working in the project. To make it work effectively, there is a combination of mentorship (employees followed training on ‘how to be a mentor’), follow-up calls and training depending on the need of each home builder. All homebuilders had the same training from start concerning safety and the special security on a construction work. Everyone followed the same sessions on social values to encourage the right attitude between participants.


After the start of construction, more than people have been given a trainee position in the project. 20 persons a job. The goal is that 50-80 people will get such a position over 4 years and, from where we are today, we estimate that we will indeed achieve this target. People who are actually working instead of taking part in social programmes have a tremendous effect on the overall economic output of society.
An evaluation of the social value of the Home builder project was made by the researchers Ingvar Nilsson and Eva Nilsson Lundmark. The long-term social value of this amounts to about 110 million SEK, of which approximately 22 million SEK goes to the municipality that is the single biggest winner in the project. The real impact of the project is the production values supplied to the community by people long going from unemployment and exclusion to work and support themselves.In the short term, ÖBO and its owner Örebro are the big winners. If one adopts a strict ÖBO / municipal perspective, one can say that ÖBO’s initial investment in the project of approximately SEK 200000 generates a profit for ÖBO’s owners, the municipality of eight years, which amounts to 12 million SEK or 60 times your money. The long-term rate of return on the project, 110 million SEK, equivalent to a return of about 36 times the money or different and very rough terms, about 100% return on an annualized basis.

Why it works

The way of working with the procurement process and the cooperation with stakeholders is innovative. Collaboration with the local job centre is an example of this.

Applications for the Home builder project are dealt with by the local Job Centre. Staff from the Job Centre are on-site at Visgatan one day each week. SKANSKA and their subcontractors create requirement profiles, based on the personal qualities, experience or education they expect successful applicants to have. These requirement profiles are then matched with applications and some people are selected. The company in question then meets with these applicants, together with a person from the Job Centre, for a short interview where it is explained what the trainee position entails.

The company that takes on a Homebuilder must as sign that person a mentor. Any person who is going to be a mentor must go on a mentor-training course, in order that he /she knows what is expected of a mentor, and so that we can be certain that all Home builders are being looked after properly



More information

Location: Drottninggatan 33, 700 08, Örebro, Sweden
Number of dwellings managed by the organization: 22.687