Skip to main content
European Vocational Skills Week
News announcement20 November 2017Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion1 min read

Boosting personal and professional skills


Greater independence, improved self-confidence and stronger skills – just three of the life-changing benefits that Andreas discovered through an ESF employment scheme in Cyprus.
“It was the best thing that ever happened to me,” Andreas Apatzidis shares, when asked about his experience of taking part in an ESF employment scheme in Cyprus. “My life changed totally.”
Former army man Andreas was unemployed, frustrated and losing confidence in himself and his abilities when he decided to give an ESF-funded project a chance. The Vocational Training and Promotion of Public Assistance recipients in the Labour Market project consisted of two parts: two weeks of learning professional and problem-solving skills and two weeks of IT lessons. Andreas participated in the course in 2006 and it had an immediate impact.
“The course was about knowing yourself better, and managing different situations in the workplace,” Andreas says. “At that time, the whole family was really stressed and nervous. But thanks to the programme, I became much calmer.”
As well as boosting his personal and professional skills, the project maintained Andreas’s income while social workers helped him to apply for job. Even after Andreas landed a job as a delivery driver, the project continued to provide both financial and moral support. That support – and having someone to talk to when problems arose – was invaluable and it helped Andreas to create a brighter future for both him and his family.
Want to find out more? Check out the links below:
About the project
Employment and mobility (ESF website)


  • Adult learner/employee