Thousands of young challenged Greeks are given a path into meaningful employment

In Greece today, youngsters who are not in education, employment or training are faced with the biggest crisis aftermath, unemployment. The statistics are appalling: the unemployment rate in people between 18-30 is 36.3%, the highest in the EU.


“Most of these people have qualifications, but are missing skills and opportunities that make them employable”, explains Manto Patsaoura, CEO of – Greece’s no1 jobsite and partner of Coca‑Cola HBC in Greece – who recently launched Youth Empowered, a programme designed to directly address youth employability.


YOUTH Empowered offers a combination of business and life skills considered critical for today’s job market, as well as mentoring & networking opportunities with companies who could be potential employers.


To date, more than 13 companies and institutions have come together under the programme. Besides and the team of HR consultants who guide and liaise with participants on employment opportunities, many senior executives and experienced managers from both Coca‑Cola HBC and employees and partners have registered as mentors, voluntarily offering their know-how, experience and guidance to young participants.


“This programme brings optimism back to the younger generations. I’m very proud to be part of this exceptional initiative and support young people who are starting today to build their tomorrow in the professional field”, says Panagiotis Retouniotis, Reigonal Sales Manager at Coca‑Cola HBC.


Among the 100 participants at the programme’s first 5-day physical training in Thessaloniki, Gerasimos was one of the first people to experience the journey. Youth Empowered welcomed him to a young and modern workspace, where each day he was trained on a different module, guided by different mentors in several workshops. He was even given the opportunity to meet special guests like the mayor of the city and inspirational speakers.


“The programme was so much better than I expected. Very interesting, holistic, experiential and well-designed. It really helped me boost my confidence, gain skills that are required in most job interviews and meet people who can guide and support me through the next steps”


And Gerasimos wasn’t the only one to feel this way – the training proved to be a success, with 91% of the participants finding it extremely interesting, and 100% stating that it offered them something new and meaningful to help them make their next professional step.

But that’s only the beginning. The programme will be both physical, with live training sessions all over Greece, and digital, with all the educational material and assigned mentors available for everyone through an e-learning platform. This gives the youth of Greece, no matter their location in the country, a chance to discover networking opportunities, develop skills and succeed.


Showing passion and commitment, all those involved in bringing this programme to life have one thing in common: a sense of pride and responsibility, and a thirst to empower young people and develop our country’s future.


The long-term goal? To empower 20, 000 young people in Greece and Cyprus, starting with Gerasimos!

A woman talking to people sittting around the table with youth branded notebooks
An audience of youth participants watching a woman on stage giving a speech.