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Mellon Skills Accelerator is an innovative social action that develops and accelerates professional skills in a unique, personalized and holistic approach, setting the foundation for professional careers, getting people to enter and stay in the labor market, and as such helping them to better their lives.

The program is offered at zero cost for beneficiaries and addresses the urgent needs of those suffering from unemployment, marginalisation and poverty, reporting already valid measurable results towards increasing their competitive advantage in the job market.

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Mellon-Skills Accelerator is an innovative professional skills development and empowerment program with a focus and priority to unemployed that proves to increase their employability and entrepreneurial potential. So far, Mellon focuses on the largest region of Greece (Attica region) and is offered to beneficiaries at zero cost by the Collective Social enterprise ‘knowl’ for Education and Lifelong Learning. Click HERE to see knowl's company profile.

The program adopts a personalised approach, using state-of-the-art techniques and tools that strengthen each person individually, in a tailor-made way, on the basis of their own professional profile, their own needs and aspirations, serving their own professional choices, transferring directly applicable skills knowledge and facilitating the matching of professional profiles with market needs and employment positions. At the same time, Mellon supports and promotes entrepreneurship both as a form of self-employment and a source for job creation.

The program is structured in intensive personalised skills acceleration cycles, min. 65 hours per person / per cycle (including group sessions) and in open thematic seminars for the wider public (150 - 350 people per seminar) in various market-oriented skills themes i.e. digital skills, mobile working, job search and requirements, entrepreneurial skills, sales, costing/pricing, branding, digital marketing, soft-skills, etc.). All skills training is provided by experienced consultants & trainers selected on the basis of strict qualitative criteria, ensuring the provision of high quality learning experience and effective knowledge transmission by renowned and highly-qualified professionals and "knowledge carriers".

Our team, consisting on VET experts and scientists (mostly economists, political scientists, sociologists and psychologists), has taken on profound research and created the necessary and mature conditions for the successful implementation of this innovative, integrated skills acceleration program, combining and capitalising, among others: the business / professional practice and theoretical knowledge (content constantly being produced), knowl’s extensive and constantly expanding international network involved in professional skills training and related initiatives. 


Since its launch in Sept. 2015, Mellon has boosted the employability potential of 3.716 job seekers and career up-skillers via 34 skills open seminars that we have organized with total success (full house, top speakers). Furthermore, 8 intensive skills acceleration cycles (offering 16.915 training hours) have been carried out in seven Municipalities i.e. Acharnon, Aspropyrgos, Markopoulo, Galatsi, Kallithea, Vrilissia and Papagou Cholargos and one cycle with the support of MYTILINEOS with staggering results, as 53% of the attendants have found a job which corresponds to their professional goals and aspirations.

So far, we have achieved to mobilize an active and committed network of 170+ volunteers {i.e. 33 Ambassadors (Mellon Angels), 102 Trainers/Mentors (Mellon Experts), 24+ Grass-rooters/Spokespersons} with valuable influence and exceptional standing in their field of action, sharing their knowledge and knowhow while helping us significantly in the social initiative awareness.

The effectiveness, methodology and social impact of Mellon have been acknowledged by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, leading to the financial support of four more intensive cycles in four municipalities in the Region of Attica. Currently, an intensive skills empowerment cycle is implemented in collaboration with Hfaistos Educational Association of Athens with the SNF financial support. Upon its completion, one more intensive cycle (reaching a total of 9) and 4 open skills seminars (reaching a total of 337) are scheduled to be carried out.

In 2016, the program was awarded with the Special Education Business Award and has been reported as a BEST PRACTICE in European VET fora and skills platforms.
Click HERE to see a short presentation of our social initiative Mellon.

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Mellon is inspired by and based on our educational philosophy where the learning process is not confined to the transfer of knowledge and skills between trainers and trainees, but is approached as a common social mission, aiming at the collective benefit that the development of a society of knowledge entails for the community as a whole.

Problem statement 

Unemployment rates in Greece have reached unprecedented levels, mainly due to the impact of the economic crisis and the spill-over effects on the provision of social services and social cohesion, reaching 23% in Nov. 2016, compared to the EU28 average of 8,1% (Eurostat), bringing Greece in the first place among EU28. 

At the same time, 45% of enterprises are facing problems due to the lack of skills of newcomers to the labour market (Mc Kinsey, 2014) while 80% of businesses in the last three years needed to replace staff due to skills shortage and 50% of companies are planning to do the same within the next three years (People for Business, 2014). Europe lacks digitally skilled persons to fill job vacancies, despite high unemployment rates. The European Commission estimates that there will be 756.000 unfilled vacancies for ICT professionals by 2020, due to lack of digital skills (Digital Economy & Society). In parallel, from 2012 onwards, there is a registered growth of the participation of age group 18-34 to early stage entrepreneurship (IOBE March 2015), often as a means for self-employment. Entrepreneurship education is also gradually becoming a strategic objective for increasing employability, growth, competitiveness and innovation.

Within this framework of skills shortages and employment opportunities, to date, skills development and empowerment in Greece is addressed in a fragmentary, inflexible and predetermined manner, without taking further into account neither the individual’s needs, ambitions and skills nor the market requirements, seriously lacking a holistic approach. Existing national support structures are unable to cope in a coordinated and integrated way with the current conditions and challenges and rapidly adapt intervention models and support mechanisms, especially when the country is under financial and budgetary control. 

To this end, a swift, versatile, holistic and sustainable model to occupational training and market (re)integration, namely the program Mellon (Greek word for ‘Future’) Skills Accelerator, is put forward as a response to the problem highlighted above.

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