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European Year of Skills

Elke's empowerment journey: Navigating Career Growth with the 'Good Perspectives' Project in Germany

Meet Elke Silva, a hardworking canteen staff member in Hamburg, Germany. With millions of adults in the country facing challenges due to a lack of basic skills, Elke's journey with the 'Good Perspectives' project stands out. This initiative is helping people like Elke by providing personalised training, boosting confidence, and paving the way for better career opportunities. 

Elke's empowerment journey: Navigating Career Growth with the 'Good Perspectives' Project in Germany

Nearly six million adults in Germany lack basic skills, such as using common computer software or performing simple arithmetic, necessary for success in today’s labour market. This can impede their ability to secure and retain employment. 

The 'Good Perspectives' project, supported by the European Social Fund (ESF), offers training specifically designed for entry-level employees in the trade, care, services, and logistics sectors. These sessions aim to equip participants with the fundamental skills required to advance their careers. 

Elke Silva emphasises the positive impact of the support she received: "Improving my basic writing and digital skills was the perfect step to advance in my job in the staff canteen. Now I have a clear perspective on my career. It was so helpful." 

Originally from Portugal, Elke moved to Hamburg, Germany in the nineties. She felt insecure about basic skills. Consequently, she enrolled in an individual training programme to enhance her skills in writing, reading, and using digital tools. This endeavour resulted in increased self-confidence, enabling her to continue learning while working in the canteen. Elke acquired new skills that qualify her for additional responsibilities in her role. 

The project tailors education and training to employees' specific developmental needs. This may involve sessions focused on improving workplace communication, workshops to enhance numeracy skills, or support in using digital devices competently and safely. 

Upon completion of the training, participants receive a certificate and guidance to support their ongoing learning. Thanks to this ESF-supported initiative, more than 400 individuals will enhance their basic literacy, numeracy, and digital skills, creating tangible opportunities for job acquisition and retention. 

The non-profit education and training provider Arbeit und Leben Hamburg e.V. implemented the project in collaboration with the public enterprise "Hamburg Wasser," Elke's employer. The employer is highly motivated to train other employees to strengthen their basic skills, and Elke is eager to attend an upcoming training program that will prepare her for new digital tasks. 

As Elke continues her successful journey with newfound skills and confidence, her story exemplifies the transformative impact of initiatives like the 'Good Perspectives' project. As we reflect on such empowering narratives, it aligns with the broader vision of the European Year of Skills, emphasising the importance of skill development in unlocking opportunities and shaping resilient, dynamic careers.