Empowered and skilled – a young man's journey to employment

Ilya is a 22-year-old young man with big plans. "I want to buy a car and the flat in which I live. Then, I want to enlarge my flat." Ilya's planned investments call for responsibility, dedication and hard work - qualities that this driven young man today has in abundance.


Shaping a personality

Arriving in his new home in SOS Children's Village Pushkin back in 2007 is a vivid memory, albeit not a nice one. "Sergey, the village director, came to pick me up. I was grumpy on the way. I needed time to adjust at the beginning, like everyone," Ilya says.

Life with his SOS mother and siblings soon became a childhood filled with happy moments. When he moved to the SOS Youth Home, Ilya kept close contact with his SOS mother as he does to this day. She is his rock who taught him to rely on himself, but also to not shy away from asking for help when needed.

It is exactly asking for such help that honed Ilya's skills and qualities and shaped him into a responsible worker. While studying at the Geodesy & Cartography College, Ilya needed tutoring in some of the harder subjects. With the help of the SOS Children's Village, the young student received the extra lessons and managed to graduate. He was ready for the next big step – work!

Honing job market skills

"While studying, I had summer jobs in a bakery factory, a hotel and as a landscaper," Ilya explains. He then turned to refining his working skills by taking part in a teambuilding training provided by AkzoNobel Russia and delivered by the company's leading coach Olga Zaytseva. Next, Ilya won a three-month-long internship with a production company for personal care products.

The different jobs and training significantly improved Ilya's soft skills. "I started to communicate more openly with people. You have to have a dialogue with different teams," Ilya explains. He also became familiar with different working processes. "In production, the processes are similar. Raw material if processed in phases to a finished product. In the hotel, I liked the team and from this point of view I better understand the value of teamwork." He also gained important computer skills. “Before the training and the internship, I didn't like working with Excel and Word. Now I understand how these skills are useful for future jobs.”


How to earn for bread, and for a car, and for a flat

Presently, Ilya works in a bakery factory – the same one in which he had a summer job. "Two months shy of ending my army service, I decided to call the factory's HR department asked for an opening. They said they'd keep a spot for me until I finish the service." Ilya's present job is similar to his summer job, expect now he works longer hours. "The team is great, and we get to take bread home," he laughs.

The stable employment allows Ilya to realize his wishes – he wants to buy a car and the flat where he lives. He says the youth empowerment and employability initiatives he took part in are what led him to where he is today. "It's important that a young person's job fits their interests. Young people need to explore directions, develop their skills and find themselves. I think that such employability initiatives or projects are doing exactly that."

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