Are and the Helsinki Deaconess Institute tackling unemployment together



Press release: 21 December 2017 at 10:00 AM

Are is the largest technical building services company in Finland, employing nearly 3,000 people. In addition to tasks related to building service contracting and property maintenance, Are’s personnel are also occupied with different expert and customer service commitments.


Social responsibility is an important value for both the Helsinki Deaconess Institute and Are. The cooperation with the Helsinki Deaconess Institute began in autumn 2016 with property maintenance tasks, which was quickly followed by the initiation of a joint employment effort program, designed to create individualised paths to working life. In the pilot, Are, in cooperation with the Deaconess Institute and Suomen Diakoniaopisto (SDO), will develop more efficient methods of introducing people struggling with unemployment to the working life. The objective is to increase employment opportunities for people in different phases of life, improve their well-being and promote social engagement.


Employment pilot brings results


The cooperation pilot directs people to Are for a work trial or on-the-job training. To ensure occupational safety, the selected people must have sufficient language skills, an approved background and a sufficient physical working condition. The objective of the pilot is that 35% of the people selected in it will be employed full-time by Are. In order to achieve this objective, SDO has trained Are’s supervisors in mentoring methods.


“The cooperation with Are has been excellent. At Are, the appropriate task for each applicant is carefully considered, and they are readily accepted as members of the work community and possible future colleagues. Work trials take both the trialist’s and the employer’s wishes and needs into account, enabling a path to employment. It is great to continue the cooperation next year as well,” says Jenni Oliveira, Project Coordinator at the Helsinki Deaconess Institute, who coordinates the employment cooperation.


The results of the pilot have been positive throughout its first year. The cooperation has resulted in the employment of several people in a year. One of the people employed full-time by Are, Pekka Rusakko, was selected as a unit’s employee of the month in November. The selection was made based on the enormous positive feedback from customers and Are’s personnel and excellent work performance.  


From a work trial to employee of the month 


Pekka had worked for 10 years at a warehouse before the company suddenly went bankrupt in 2013. Becoming unemployed was tough for him after having grown accustomed to being occupied by work. Pekka completed a two-year property manager training by the TTS Institute (Työtehoseura), and was actively seeking work via the TE services.

In spring 2017, the Deaconess Institute suggested that Pekka could begin a work trial at Are via the employment path. Pekka took the chance and started working as a part of the Helsinki Metropolitan Area service team. The positive feedback from customers and the team encouraged Pekka to apply for a permanent position at Are, and the three-month trial ended in a permanent employment as Are’s property manager.


“Becoming employed is largely dependent on your own attitude, as well. It’s worthwhile to consider the available opportunities and where can you gain the expertise required to perform various tasks. I have enjoyed doing my job very much,” Pekka says, and continues: “I’m glad that such projects exist, and I wish that my example encourages people to embrace the opportunities presented to them.”


More information: 


Are Oy


Janne Kokkonen,, +358 40 300 6828


Are is the largest technical building services company in Finland. Our technical building contracting and property maintenance services guarantee energy efficiency and a comfortable indoor climate throughout the entire life cycle of the building.


We focus on intelligent technical maintenance and our Are Sensus low-energy system in particular. Established more than 100 years ago, the Are Group employs approximately 2,900 people. We serve our customers in 25 locations in Finland as well as in St Petersburg, Russia. More information:



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