Passing the ball for future wins

2/15/2016 12:30 PM CET

Dribble, pass and slam dunk. Many points were taken when a handful of Skanska colleagues teamed up with some 20 young girls and boys to play basketball and to network. A new program that will be launched in 2016 allows Skanska colleagues to engage in volunteering activities as part of their regular work hours.

Skanska colleagues joined students at Fryshuset in Stockholm for basketball and networking.

The basketball games took place at Fryshuset – a Stockholm activity and educational center that combines college studies with arts and sports. Fryshuset's activities are aimed at all young people, especially those who are marginalized or are at risk of being marginalized. The belief is that everybody can succeed and is worth a second chance.

The basketball was part of voluntary activity that included a lunch meeting with talks on careers and information about the variety of work options Skanska can offer young people. The students were also asked about what they thought Skanska could contribute to society.

Combine a career

"This is great fun," says Lydie a dedicated basketball player and student at the Fryshuset high school. "It would be great to be able to combine a career with basketball. Today, I also learnt more about what it takes to be successful in business."

Sam, also a student and a player on the Fryshuset team in the Swedish Superettan basketball league, says:

"Of course, my first wish is to become a pro. But it would also be quite OK to have a career in IT engineering."

Connect and play

Per Heinrup, from Skanska Investor Relations, was one of about 20 Skanska colleagues who enjoyed the game. "It is great fun to play with students, connect with them and to get to know what they expect from an employer."

"It is important for our kids to interact with people that share the passion for basketball and gain an impression of the business world," says Bruno Silva, a full-time basketball coach at Fryshuset.

Believe in meeting

This view is shared by Kicki Öman, organizational developer and teacher at Fryshuset. "Activities such as this day are essential for our students. We believe in meeting people and mentoring to promote positive personal development."

The activities were very popular and a visit to one of Skanska's projects is planned for the future to further strengthen the partnership between the young people at Fryshuset and Skanska.

Introducing a volunteer program

Many young people are involved in tackling the major challenges of modern-day life and for this reason Skanska Sweden has decided to introduce a volunteer program and an internal fund for social initiatives that are in line with the company's values. Starting this spring, colleagues can choose to participate in voluntary activities similar to the one at Fryshuset.

Under the volunteer program, all employees can work for one day, at full pay, at a voluntary organization. We will have guidelines on suitable and approved organizations and instruction for how to apply. Such participation is to be discussed with, planned and approved by an immediate manager, together with the employee.

Projects and other operations can apply for grants from the internal fund for social initiatives and innovations that develop our work on social sustainability. For example, these could be efforts to prevent social isolation and promote an inclusive culture. It must be possible to follow up on these initiative and evaluate them from both a financial and social perspective.