Moving in

Severin and his family seized the opportunity to be part of the green industrial revolution

When Severin Hakizimana read in the newspaper about Northvolt's battery factory in Skellefteå, he jumped at the chance to be part of the green industrial revolution in northern Sweden. With the help of the Relocate program, he was matched to the VUX program for automation operators at Campus Skellefteå and six months later he did his first day of work at Northvolt. By then he, his wife Antoinette Habonimana and their four children had already left Stockholm and moved to the house on Köpmangatan in Burträsk a few months ago.

- "Everything has gone really well and we have received help with everything we need," says Severin.

Severin and Antoinette are originally from Burundi. After a long period as refugees in Zambia, they came to Sweden and Stockholm in 2019, where they lived with their four children in an apartment in the Kärrtorp district. It was here that Severin learned about Northvolt's huge investment in Skellefteå, a gigafactory that operates the world's greenest production of batteries. When all the factory's production lines are operational, 4 000 people are expected to work here.

Record low unemployment

The green transition and a strong business community mean that Skellefteå has the lowest unemployment rate in Sweden. At the same time, there is great competition for the workforce and the social transformation in Skellefteå is so great that employers need to recruit from other parts of the country. Therefore, the Swedish Public Employment Service, Region Västerbotten, Northvolt and Skellefteå Municipality sought support from the EU and the European Social Fund to develop new ways to make it easier for those without work to move to Skellefteå to live and work. They started the Relocate program, which in several ways supports those who want to move to Skellefteå and create a future there.

Likes the program

Severin contacted Relocate and was invited to an information meeting. He was then matched with the VUX education for automation operator, which Northvolt has helped initiate, and in April 2022 he began his studies.

- "It's a great program that is taught in English, which suits me. In October I graduated and then I could start working at Northvolt. It felt very exciting to get the chance at such a large company. I want to contribute to a better climate and Northvolt gives me the chance to do that," says Severin, who initially moved to Skellefteå himself.

- "I wanted to work alongside my education, and since I had experience of working in healthcare, Relocate was able to help me find a job in a nursing home," he says.

"Burträsk is our home now"

Antoinette also signed up to Relocate and, as she was studying to be an assistant nurse, she was also matched to jobs in health and social care. In the community of Burträsk, they arranged a job for her at the Burträskgårdarna home and accommodation for her family. Antoinette and her children Kish, 14, Keisha, 12, and Keilla and King, both 9, arrived in Skellefteå two months after Severin and the whole family moved into the house on Köpmangatan.

Relocate also helped the family to find leisure places for the children, so that Antoinette could start working as soon as possible, and also connected cultural and leisure guides to find activities for the children.

- "Everything has gone very well and all the pieces were in place even before we came here. My friends in Stockholm are wondering if we should move back, but this is our home now. Burträsk is a quiet and beautiful community, with kind and helpful people, the children enjoy school and we are close to everything we need - shops, schools, health centers and bus stops. And I can walk to work," says Antoinette.

Information meetings about Relocate

In November and December, Relocate organizes several information meetings in Stockholm, where everyone who is registered at the Swedish Public Employment Service as a job seeker, from newly registered to long-term unemployed, is welcome. At the meetings, Relocate explains what support the participants can get in terms of education, leisure activities, moving and housing and other important aspects. Participants will also meet employers who will tell them about job opportunities.

Sound interesting? Read more at Welcome house

Hela familjen har hittat rätt i Burträsk. ”Det är ett lugnt och jättefint samhälle, med snälla och hjälpsamma människor”, säger Antoinette.


Senast uppdaterad:
16 May 2024