Within the Ernström Group, which includes Armatec Sweden, there is the Ulla and Gerhard Hobohm Foundation. Every year, the foundation provides grants for projects that are important to society, and for 2020 they have, among other things, donated money to Opportunity Day - an organization that helps people with a foreign background to gain a foothold in the labor market. Behind the application is Marika Fischer, E-commerce manager at Armatec Sweden.
Most people would probably say that a job can change your whole life situation. In addition to a salary, a job also provides for new contacts and opportunities to develop as a person.
"The idea with my application to the foundation was to highlight everything positive that a job entails," says Marika. “If a parent comes to work, the whole family feels better and get hope for a brighter future while at the same time gaining a natural foothold in Swedish society. Opportunity Day works with concrete initiatives that lead to jobs - that's why I chose them. ”
Opportunity Day started in Gothenburg in 2016. They create opinions as well as meetingplaces and direct contact between jobseekers and employers. According to the organization, companies that recruit people with a foreign background have a 35% increased chance of beating their competitors. An inclusive labor market benefits both individuals and the Swedish business climate and opportunities for growth.
Since the start, 3,000 people have visited Opportunity Days' meeting places. Around 200 people have got new jobs. Every year, the organization collaborates with about 50 actors in business and the public sector.
The grant from the Ulla and Gerhard Hobohm Foundation, an amount of SEK 50,000, will go to further develop a workshop for job seekers where they can share ideas and get tips. Everything from how to apply for a job and build a network to how to write an application and conduct an interview. Thanks to the grant, more job seekers can participate. The meetings are partly digital as a result of the corona pandemic.
The labor market is tough right now, not least in western Sweden, but despite the corona crisis, almost every tenth organization is looking for staff with lights and lanterns. Health and care, agriculture and forestry, transport and education are some examples of industries with a shortage of labor.
All initiatives that Opportunity Day offers job seekers are free - there should be no obstacles to participate. Financial support from, for example, foundations is therefore crucial to be able to run the business.
Another six companies within the Ernström Group have received funding from the foundation for 2020. Among others are CM Hammar for swimmingschool under the leadership of the Sea Rescue Society, DVC for vulnerable children in Greenland and Polyform for children's hospital clowns. Since 2005, grants have been provided for medical research, work with children and young people and initiatives for vulnerable groups.
"I am happy and proud that we at Armatec Sweden and the Ernström Group are involved and contribute to corporate responsibility in society where Opportunity Day is a fantastic initiative," says Marika. "A new job may not do to or from in labor market statistics, but at the individual level, that particular job can make a vital difference."