The European Union is a strong promoter of the importance of Skills, which are especially relevant in today’s market. Through a number of initiatives, the EU supports young women and men across the Southern Neighbourhood to develop their competences and secure a promising future. In this Flashback series, we spoke to youth who benefited from these projects. Today, they reflect on the positive impact this support has had on their life.


Abdellah Aouf firmly believes that everyone deserves an equal chance at life. And that Algerian talent should not go to waste. With the support of the EU-funded programme THE NEXT SOCIETY, he established GO PLATFORM, a software company that helps bridge the gap between recruiters and local talents.


When you embarked on this journey, what were your dreams?

I always held the fundamental belief that recruitment should be based on merit, not connections. In many African countries like Algeria, hiring decisions are often influenced by personal relationships and nepotism. And that completely dismisses true talent or merit. 

I used to dream of a future where transparency and fairness would be present throughout the entire recruitment process. So my team and I worked on developing ‘Label E’, where E stands for Equality. This means that, if a company doesn’t have this label, it sends a clear message that it may not be as transparent as candidates deserve.

In the age of artificial intelligence, anyone can create an impressive resume, but we know that our pool of 250,000 vetted talents have much more essential skills like communication, leadership, and problem-solving. These are the qualities that we want to showcase to hiring companies in Europe and elsewhere.


What skills did you gain through the EU-funded programme and how did they help you advance your dreams?

Participating in THE NEXT SOCIETY gave us a vision. 

We had the ideas and the dreams, but we needed the skills to shape our trajectory. To be frank, we were a bit lost about how to navigate the challenges of a startup and the programme helped us not only to ideate but also to implement a comprehensive business model. This included a focus on sustainability, both financial and social.

That means that we learned how to create a business model that generates consistent revenue and ensure a lasting positive impact on our community. It’s not just about having an idea; it’s also about developing a robust structure that can weather challenges, adapt to changes, and continuously contribute to the community. 

The programme also opened our eyes to the potential of partnerships between our region and Europe, which is now central to our work. They helped us in starting to establish meaningful connections that are now contributing to our growth and sustainability.


Today, what is your proudest achievement?

One day, a man -much older than me- came to me in tears. They were tears of joy, because he had secured a job thanks to our platform. At that time, he had lost hope in a second chance but GO PLATFORM gave it to him and he succeeded. It was so powerful to see that he had regained faith in himself, and his ability to support his family, thanks to his own skills.

This sticks as a core memory for me and a constant reminder of the meaningful impact that our work can have on individuals and their families. We can make a real, tangible difference in people’s lives.

Flashback to: 

GO PLATFORM website 

Skills Campaign 2024 #EuropeanYearOfSkills

There are over 60 million young people in the Southern and Eastern Mediterranean region and the number is growing every year. Out of these, between 25 and 40% are either unemployed or employed in jobs that do not match their skills, qualifications or aspiration. While the large number of young employees and job seekers represents a significant opportunity for the job market, the mismatch and existing skills gaps are both major challenges that ...
Employment & Entrepreneurship Youth