In 2013, Olga Trukhanova came to Germany from Ukraine. Today, thanks to recognition as a master hairdresser, she runs her own hair salon in Mannheim.
“Thanks to recognition, I’m my own boss. I have my own salon. I cannot recommend this pathway more highly.”
“I actually always wanted to return to my home country, but then the conflict started in eastern Ukraine. The economic situation was not great,” recalls Olga Trukhanova. So she decided to fulfil her dream in Germany. She wanted to open her own hairdressing salon and train other hairdressers. To help with this, Olga Trukhanova wanted to have her title of master hairdresser recognised.
However, first she looked for a job. Olga Trukhanova began working as a top stylist in a large hairdressing salon in Mannheim in 2015. “I really enjoyed working there. I really felt at home for the first time,” recalls Olga Trukhanova. Meanwhile, she set about fulfilling her dream. On the internet she found the “Recognition in Germany” portal and this led her to the competent authority. Olga Trukhanova contacted the Chamber of Crafts and Trades in March 2015 and received useful advice. She was told precisely which documents she had to submit for recognition, e.g. her certificate of completion and evidence of advanced training courses. In July 2015, Olga Trukhanova applied for recognition of her Ukrainian professional qualification as a master hairdresser.
Her documents, however, contained no information about the content of her training in Ukraine. Olga Trukhanova therefore completed a skills analysis in January 2016. The purpose of the skills analysis was for her to demonstrate her theoretical and practical knowledge of the hairdressing trade. She performed practical work in a hair salon to a level which satisfied the master hairdresser who was also present. Olga Trukhanova therefore only received partial recognition to begin with. This was because she was still missing part 3 and 4 of the German master craftsperson examination. Part 3 of the master craftsman examination covers business and legal knowledge. Part 4 is about trainer aptitude. This checks whether an individual is able to train other people. For both of these parts, Olga Trukhanova completed refresher training at the Mannheim Chamber of Crafts and Trades.
In January 2017, Olga Trukhanova successfully completed her trainer aptitude examination. To prepare for this, she attended a one-week course at the Education and Training Centre in Mannheim, and in May she passed part 3 of the master craftsperson examination. She then received full recognition as a master hairdresser in July 2017. Olga Trukhanova is pleased: “I don't just feel like I have professional recognition. This is also recognition of me personally. I have recognition of my creativity. I can develop professionally. I felt like a winner.”
This meant Olga Trukhanova had taken a big step towards fulfilling her dream. She was able to start thinking about her salon. The business start-up advice service at the Mannheim Chamber of Crafts and Trades helped her with this. In November 2018 everything was finally ready. Olga Trukhanova opened her hair salon “ELEMENT Hair Studio” in Mannheim. “That was the second time I felt I was really at home in Germany.”
The interview with Olga Trukhanova took place in October 2022. The Mannheim Chamber of Crafts and Trades advised and supported her during the recognition procedure. The skills analysis took place in the Hoffner hair salon in Schwetzingen.
My name is Olga Trukhanova. I am 45 years old.
I came to Germany nine years ago. I came from eastern Ukraine.
I am a master craftswoman hairdresser.
I now have my own hair studio. I'm self-employed.
I came for personal reasons to start a family here.
At first I wanted to return to Ukraine all the time. That was in the first year.
But then this conflict began. In eastern Ukraine. The economic situation wasn't great.
I therefore decided to integrate myself as quickly as possible here in Germany and to officially get going with my profession.
The first time I felt like I had properly arrived in Germany was when I was working in a large salon here in Mannheim, as a salaried employee.
I really enjoyed that.
And the second time I had this feeling was when I opened my own hair studio.
In Baden-Württemberg, I found out about the right to have your foreign professional qualification checked for equivalence.
Step number 1, and this is very important, is good advice.
For me, that was mainly the Chamber of Crafts and Trades.
Step number 2 involved me showing them all my documents.
They then checked whether my documents were recognised by the state.
I feel like I not only have my professional recognition.
This is also recognition of me personally, recognition of my creativity.
I can develop here professionally.
I felt like a winner.
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