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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki


3. Employment & Entrepreneurship

3.1 General context

The position of young people on the labour market is specific. After completing their education, they are entering the labour market, and in most cases they have no work experience in the acquired specialty. They often lack the necessary information and contacts for job placement. In a number of cases, employers refuse to hire them because they lack work experience and respectively appropriate professional competencies and necessary work habits. At the same time, they have mastered the newest skills in the field of their profession, but they cannot apply these. These two characteristics clearly stand out in the position of the graduating students.

A key point in creating opportunities for young people to find their place in society, to achieve economic independence and to develop is to find a suitable job. Society should offer opportunities for young people to work on the labour market, prevent long-term unemployment, marginalization and social exclusion. By implementing different opportunities for young people to enter the labour market, it contributes to the achievement of social cohesion. This in turn is a prerequisite for achieving economic growth.

The economic crisis and the resulting slow economic recovery led to a significant increase in youth unemployment in the country. The unemployment rate for the 15-24 age group grew more than the unemployment rate for other age groups, but the number of unemployed aged 25-34 and 35-44 grew much more significantly. Young people aged 15-29 are a target group for employment promotion policy under national law. Half of the unemployed youths registered in the labour offices are women. In the age group up to 24 years of age the share of women is 49.6%, and in the age group up to 29 years of age - the share of women is 52.9%. One of the key factors determining youth unemployment is the degree of education. Data show that unemployment among young people with higher education is lower. Low or inadequate education and lack of qualifications are among the main reasons for youth unemployment in Bulgaria. Apart from the listed structural factors, the reasons for youth unemployment and inactivity are also the lack of professional and/or work experience, the lack of key skills and work habits, early school leaving, and the loss of work motivation due to long-term absence. The rise in youth unemployment is also a result of the fact that, in conditions of uncertain economic situation, employers lay off mainly the most inexperienced workers and employees.

The national youth guarantee of Bulgaria provides that every young person aged 15 to 24 years inclusive will receive a good job offer, continuation of education, apprenticeship or internship within 4 months of being out of work or leaving the formal education system. The National Youth Guarantee of Bulgaria will be implemented step by step. For young people registered with the Labour Offices, a proposal will be submitted by the end of the 4th month of their registration. Young people who do not work and do not study and are not registered with the labour offices will be informed about the possible services they can use after registering with the labour offices within one month of receiving their individual data and address correspondence in the institution or organization that will activate these. Any individual unemployed youth registered with the labour offices will be given an individual action plan, which will also define his/her profile. According to this profile, the young person will receive a job offer (subsidized either on the primary labour market) or for training (vocational training, key competences, continuing education). Further professional guidance, career counselling and motivational training will be provided.

By 2020, the activities will be financed from the state budget and with European funds, according to the National Employment Action Plans for the respective year. The implementation of the National Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan 2014-2020) in the South-West Region is generally not funded by the Youth Employment Initiative, 10 but mostly by the state budget. It is envisaged that 10% of the Youth Guarantee funding under the Youth Employment Initiative will be used to finance lower-level NUTS 2 regions (planning region) within the unacceptable Southwest region.

A successful and effective implementation of the National Plan will work in partnership between institutions and organizations. The National Plan will be implemented by the responsible state institutions, social partners, local authorities, youth organizations.