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From hobby to business – Youth Guarantee helps young Greek woman achieve her dream
When Aristea Zachari left school, three months of unsuccessful job hunting followed, making her financially dependent on her parents and concerned about her future. So when the Youth Guarantee scheme was presented to her at her local careers office, she jumped at the chance to take part and train as a hairdresser.
‘Finding out about the scheme was great,’ she explains, ‘because I felt that it was a chance for me to learn and practice the profession that I liked.’ The Youth Guarantee scheme helped her to do a tailored two-year apprenticeship that mixed on-the-job training with theoretical classes.
‘If I was struggling to learn how to do something at work in the morning, I could ask my teachers about it at school in the afternoon and then put it into practice the next day,’ says Aristea.
Two years on and Aristea has not only learned a range of new skills, she has also gained confidence. ‘The apprenticeship offered me a new way of thinking. I learned about teamwork and how to look after clients.’ And she was able to lean less heavily on her parents. ‘I earned my own money for the first time in my life and I felt very proud,’ she adds. ‘I believe I’ve become more mature and responsible too.’
So what is Aristea’s next step? Now that her apprenticeship is over, one of the salons she worked for has offered her a job but she is thinking of going it alone and setting up her own little business.
‘I realize that in the present economic situation it will be difficult, but I have 2 year’s worth of work experience and I think I can manage it if I try hard.’
What is the Youth Guarantee?
The Youth Guarantee offers a new approach to reducing the level of youth unemployment by ensuring that all young people under 25 get a good quality, concrete offer of a job, apprenticeship, traineeship or continuing education within 4 months of leaving formal education or of becoming unemployed. Frequently asked questions on the Youth Guarantee can be found here.
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