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First challenge

I would not have been given the first chance so quickly had it not been for First challenge

‘’I embarked on a job search with lots of optimism and excitement right after I graduated both in law and marketing. I was certain this would increase my chances of getting a job and that I would soon land a job.’’

This is how Tina Fonovič begins her story. However, she was wrong. The path to her first job was not as smooth and easy as she had imagined. Finally, she landed her first job in public relations thanks to the programme First challenge, it was a PR job. ‘’Despite an academic degree I would most probably have to wait for the first opportunity quite some time, had it not been for the programme,’’ adds Tina. 

Tina is one of nearly 3,000 young people who got a job with the help of the programme ‘First challenge’. The programme provided wage subsidies to employers by subsidising the employment of young unemployed people under 30 from Eastern Slovenia for a period of 15 months, including a probation period of three months. The subsidy amounted to EUR 7,250. The purpose of the programme was to encourage employers to hire young people from the target group in order to facilitate their access to quality employment, thus improving possibilities for their future employment.

Beneficiary: Employment Service of Slovenia

Programme: Operational Programme for the Implementation of the EU Cohesion Policy in the Period 2014-2020

Fund: European Social Fund

Project funding: EUR 20,725,956.00

EU contribution: EUR 16,580,764.80


Photo credit: European Commission, photo exhibition marking 60 years of European Social Fund and featuring the First challenge programme as one of the selected projects