EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Bulgaria: ERM Comparative Analytical Report on young people Not in Employment, Education and Training (NEET)

  • Observatory: EMCC
  • Topic:
  • Published on: 06 February 2012



About
Country:
Bulgaria
Author:
Nadezhda Daskalova
Institution:

Disclaimer: This information is made available as a service to the public but has not been edited by the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions. The content is the responsibility of the authors.

Bulgaria is among the EU countries with sharp problems concerning young people’s educational attainment and integration into the labour market. According to the EUROSTAT data the country is at the top position in EU with NEETs accounting for about 20% of the population aged 15-24. In the last decade there has been a growing concern in the country with the decreasing education level and low labour market participation of youth. However the concept of NEETs is still not popular in the country. The youth policy is combining both preventive and activation strategies with the latter taking a dominance. Despite the variety of strategies, programmes and measures focusing on early school leavers and unemployed youth the school-to-work transition and youth sustainable employment integration are still hindered. A significant flaw of the country model for assisting youth transitions is the lack of systematic monitoring and assessment of the strategies and the applied programmes and measures.

1. Introduction

1.1 What is the level of interest among the different stakeholders in your country (policy makers, the media, employers and trade unions) in the issue of NEETs? What are their reasons for having a high/ low level of interest in the topic? (Expected length 100 words)

The notion NEETs is not popular in the country. The concern of the policy makers is focused on two groups that are usually targeted separately – early school leavers and unemployed young people. The policies in support of disadvantaged youth follow several major axes: reform and increasing the quality of the education system, investment in human capital, active labour market policies, empowering the individual through VET, efforts to coordinate and integrate policies. While the media provide just information on events related to youth, the social partners are more concerned - the employers’ concern is mainly with the mismatch of education and training and the labour market needs and the lack of quality labour force, while the trade unions are more concerned with the waste of human capital and precariousness of youth employment conditions, namely high level of participation in the informal economy. The social partners’ interest is also related to their participation in tripartite bodies for social dialogue in education, VET and labour market.

1.2 Using the following table, please identify which sub-groups of NEETs are of particular concern to the different stakeholders in your country. Please indicate the relative importance of each group to the different stakeholders; for each group please state whether they are felt to be of ‘significant concern’, ‘some concern’, or ‘no concern’ to the different stakeholders.

Table 1 – NEETs sub-groups
 

Public/media debate

e.g. the extent to which the issue is discussed within the news media

Mainstream Policy

e.g. the range of policy documents tackling the issue, the amount of investment committed to tackling the problem

Employers

e.g. the extent to which this issue is raised as a concern, e.g. through lobbying / pressure on the government, involvement in the design and/or implementation of relevant policies

Trade unions

e.g. the extent to which this issue is raised as a concern, e.g. through lobbying / pressure on the government, involvement in the design and/or implementation of relevant policies

Young people who are unemployed

some concern

significant concern

some concern

some concern

Young people who are in ‘precarious’ or unsuitable employment (e.g. temporary contracts, forced self-employment, part-time work, or jobs which are not commensurate with their level of qualifications)

some concern

some concern

some concern

significant concern

Early school leavers – young people who have dropped out of education before obtaining an upper secondary level qualification

some concern

significant concern

some concern

significant concern

(namely for trade unions in education)

Young people with qualifications which do not meet labour market needs

some concern

some concern

significant concern

some concern

Teenage/ single parents

no concern

no concern

no concern

no concern

Migrants and minority groups

some concern

significant concern

(minorities)

some concern

some concern

Young people with disabilities

some concern

some concern

some concern

some concern

Young people from workless families

no concern

no concern

no concern

no concern

Young people from disadvantaged areas

some concern

some concern

some concern

some concern

Young people with tertiary education who have been unsuccessful in accessing the labour market

some concern

some concern

significant concern

some concern

Other (please specify):

.

       

1.3 Are there any policy measures in your country targeted at those NEETs with tertiary education? If yes please describe these briefly (expected length 100 words).

An effort in opening the access to the labour market for first job seekers is the program ‘Start of the career’ (Program for employment of university graduates up to 29 years old in the public administration, started in 2003).The program is co-funded by the ESF trough the Human Resource Development Operational Programme (HRD OP). It offers young graduates temporary subsidised jobs in ministries and agencies, in regional and municipal administrations where they can gain their first work experience. The young people enrol into the program for 9 months but if there is an opportunity in the respective administration they are allowed to stay on the job permanently. In 2011 the programme ‘New start’ provides for 6 months subsidised apprenticeship in private companies for youth up to 29 years old with tertiary education. The project ‘New employment – key competences for employment’ supports the labour market adaptation of university graduates through provision of training for entrepreneurial skills and support for starting own business.

2. NEET Policies and Measures

2.1 Measures to tackle early school leaving

Preventive Measures to tackle early school leaving

2.1.1 Please provide a short overview of your country’s approach to preventing early school leaving. Where does the focus of policies and measures to prevent early school leaving lie?

National programs for stimulating more young people to stay at school longer and achieve vocational qualifications started to develop in the framework of the overall strategy for education reform. Some attempts for introducing financial stimuli to elementary school children have been made in the last years, such as provision of free snacks at school and free textbooks, and provision of transport but these are not enough to reduce the impact of social inequality and prevent dropping out.

2.1.2 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to prevent early school leaving in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 2 - Early School Leaving: Preventive measures
Early School Leaving: Preventive measures
Name of measure

Description of the measure: aims and objectives

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

National programme for full coverage of children in obligatory school age

Provision of some social benefits at school - free snacks, free textbooks and transport for children from1 to 4 grades. Aims at preventing the early school leaving due to the material status of households and place of residence.

National

Ministry of Education, Youth and Science (MEYS)

State Budget

Yes (preventing NEETs status)

Yes

Measure 2: With care for each pupil

Aims at ensuring equal start for all children, namely for minorities, to increase the motivation for staying at school at the base of individual approach. Relates to introduction of obligatory pre-schooling from 5 years of age up to entering in the school

National

MEYS

State Budget

Yes (preventing NEETs status)

Yes

Measure 3:

National programme ‘Creating accessible architectural environment’

Aims at supporting integrated education of pupils with special educational needs (about 5000-6000 in the country) through providing accessible architectural environment for people with disabilities, thus preventing early school leaving

National

Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and its Regional directorates

State budget

No (general measure which also has an impact on NEETs)

Yes

2.1.3 Please provide a more detailed description of the preventive early school leaving measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

Development of mechanism for school and student practices

Aims at facilitation of the transition from school to employment through creation of practical skills and competences relevant to the new labour market challenges in the process of student and school practices in real work environment. The ‘practice’ is a kind of apprenticeship and is defined as a period of practical on the job vocational training in an enterprise for a thirty working days (240 working hours). It is expected to improve relations between education – science – business through stronger connections between education (schoo/universityl based programmes) and practice (work based training),

The pupils receive a daily stipend at BGN 10 (about EUR 5), while the university students receive BGN 15 (about EUR 7.5). The scheme provides also financing of travel and accommodation costs, and preventive working cloths, if necessary. (Presentation at: :http://sf.mon.bg/Student%20Practices%203.3.2.pdf)

  • Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

National

  • Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

tripartite

  • How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

ESF (+ national co-funding)

  • Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

General - aiming to prevent NEETs status

  • Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

No

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?
  • 2008-2010
  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?

Mainstream

  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?

3 911 660 BGN

  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?

Public

  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?

Pupils from secondary schools, students, teachers. A total number of 5 211 persons, 2 742 pupils, 2 044 university students, 263 teachers, 38 lecturers and 124 tutors.

  • What activities are involved?

Organisation of school and student practical or vocational training which is complimentary to the education in school or university in real work environment with tutors guidance

  • What are the success factors?

Well organised, engaged companies

  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

More than 5000 pupils and students successfully graduated from the school student practices.

Reintegration measures to tackle early school leaving

2.1.4 Please provide a short overview of your country’s approach to the reintegration of early school leavers. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

The reintegration of the early school leavers is considered in the framework of the overall reform of the education and providing opportunities for all children to acquire the necessary knowledge. A positive tendency is the strategy for integrating the children with special needs and children from ethnic minorities into the comprehensive school system in which assistant teachers are employed to help these children.

2.1.5 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to reintegrate early school leavers in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 2 - Early School Leaving: reintegration measures
Early School Leaving: Reintegration measures
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

Integration of school children from ethnic minorities into the educational system

National

Ministry of Education, Youth and Science

ESF (HRD OP)

Yes

Yes

National

Tripartite

ESF (HRD OP)

Yes

Yes

2.1.6 Please provide a more detailed description of the reintegration early school leaving measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

National programme ‘Project for early school leavers’

  • Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

National

  • Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

Tripartite

  • How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

State budget (NAPs)

  • Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Yes

  • Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Yes

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?

2005 -2010

  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?

Mainstream

  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?

Not available

  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?

Public – Ministry of Labour and Social policy, NEA and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Science and its Regional directorates.

  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?

Young unemployed up to 29 who dropped out from basic or secondary education, no data available how many people benefit from it (at the start of the project the participants were 400)

  • What activities are involved?

Identification of the target group representatives

Information, counselling and vocational guidance

Training in professional qualification or key competences, 6 months apprenticeship or traineeship.

  • What are the success factors?

Tailored to the specific needs of the participants, possibilities to plan annually the number of participants (in the NAP) depending on the needs

  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Not available

2.2 Measures to facilitate access to employment

Facilitating the transition from school to work

2.2.1 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to facilitating school to work transitions. Where does the focus of policies and measures to facilitate transitions lie?

The focus is on improving the services the National Employment Agency and its branches provided to unemployed and employed registered. The NEA enlarged the services provided to young people and improved its quality.

A range of measures and programmes for training with clear focus on young people are planed in the NAEPs 2009, 2010 and 2011with the financial support of the government or in the framework of projects carried out under the HRDOP. Motivating the unemployed remains a problem and here the focus is on the individual approach with job clubs and access to services available in local employment offices. Traineeships, internships with mentor or mediator are other option for facilitating the school to work transition.

2.2.2 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to facilitate school to work transitions in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 4 - Access to employment: Measures to facilitate school to work transitions

Measure 2:

Supporting the education of pupils with special training needs

Measure 3: ‘This is my chance to find my self’, 2010 – traineeship for acquisition of craft skills by early school leavers with the support of mentors (carried out by CITUB cooperation with the National Craftsmen Chamber )

National

Tripartite

State budget (NAP 2010)

Yes

Yes

Access to employment: Measures to facilitate school to work transitions
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

‘From school to employment in tourism’ - project jointly implemented in 2010 by the NEA, CITUB and the seaside resort ‘Albena’

  • LocalTripartite
  • budget (NAP 2010)
  • (the target group includes students with vocational education in tourism) NoNo
  • project provides for motivational training and 3 months internship for 300 young people in the seaside resort ‘Albena’

Measure 2:

Development’ (2009–2012)

Vouchers for vocational training or training in key competencies (ICT and foreign languages training) and employment for unemployed

National

Tripartite

ESF (under HRD OP)

No (but, one of the main priority group are young people up to 29)

No (indirectly)

No ( indirectly as one of the target groups is youth)

Measure 3:

Increasing youth employment through sustainable inclusion in the labour market in Bulgaria (2008-2010)

  • (10 districts of the country).Aimed at increasing access to employment of unemployed young people up to 29 years old with at least basic education through motivational training and training in key competencies – foreign languages and ICT competencies, mediation services , including elaboration of individual plan and support for work placement. Tripartite
  • budget (NAPs)NoYes
  • – more than 15 000)

2.2.3 Please provide a more detailed description of the school-to-work transition measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

Modernisation of the system of service providing by NEA (2007 -2013)

  • Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

National

  • Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

Unilateral (NEA)

  • How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

ESF (under the HRD OP)

  • Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

More general with important impact on NEETs

  • Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

No

  • Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

No (but very important taking into account the features of these groups)

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?

2007-2013

  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?

Mainstream

  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?

National. The activities are designed for the NEA and its regional and local branches, The total value of the project is BGN 7 400 000

  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?

Public - NEA

  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?

NEA, all clients of the NEA will benefit from the improved services

  • What activities are involved?

Improving the services the National Employment Agency and its branches provided to unemployed and employed registered. The NEA enlarged the services provided to young people and improved its quality, e.g., outreach services for NEETs – one stop shop, individual plans of unemployed, jobs fairs, tailoring the ALMP to the jobseekers needs based on need assessment, improved contact with employers, obligatory vacancy notification by employers and electronic catalogue of job vacancies in local labour offices, electronic terminal providing access to the data bases, internet services for employers and job seekers at the NEA web-site, including EURES, etc.

  • What are the success factors?

Committed staff

  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

According to the report on NEA activities in 2010 attached to the NAP 2011, the implementation of this programme increased job placement and capacity building of the staff. According to the NEA information in 2010 to 25 042 unemployed young people up to 29 years old (18,5% of the total registered young people) has been proposed ‘new start’ up to 4 months after the registration (employment at the primary labour market, subsidysed employmentq training or motivational courseNot yet assessed as a whole. (http://www.mlsp.government.bg/bg/docs/NPDZ-2011.pdf, in Bulgarian)

Measures to foster employability

2.2.4 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to fostering employability among NEETs. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

The main focus in fostering employability of NEETs in the last few years is on training and providing apprenticeships, internships and traineeships. A large part of the measures and programmes are targeted at those who have dropped out from school and do not have any vocational specialization or focus on disadvantaged youth in order to increase their employability and better integration into the labour market.

2.2.5 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to foster employability of NEETs in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 5 - Access to employment: Measures to foster employability (to include apprenticeships)

Access to employment: Measures to foster employability (to include apprenticeships).

Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

‘New employment - Key competences for new employment’ (project jointly implemented by the PES and Podkrepa Confederation of Labour in 2010

Regional (7 districts of the country).

Tripartite

ESF (under the OP HRD)

Yes

No

Yes

The project includes professional guidance for 1000 young people, motivational training for 1000 young people and training of 1000 people in two key competences: entrepreneurship and public and civic competences.

Measure 2:

’New start - from education towards employment’ (2010-2013)

Provides 6 – months subsidized apprenticeship for registered unemployed youth up to 29 with secondary and university education under the request of employer (planed 13 500 participants)

National

Tripartite

ESF (under the OP HRD)

Yes

Yes

No implicitly

Measure 3:

Start of the career

Component 1-

apprenticeships for unemployed university graduates up to 29 years old in the central and local public administration

Component 2 – apprenticeships for unemployed young people up to 24 years old with vocational education in the private companies

National

Tripartite

ESF (under the OP HRD)

Yes

Yes

No implicitly

Aims at acquiring length of service and work experience required for starting work and easing transition from school to work

2.2.6 Please provide a more detailed description of the measure which you think is the most effective measure in your country to foster the employability of NEETs (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

Project Ch@nce for realisation of young people in Bulgaria

  • Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Regional (in 10 districts)

  • Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

Tripartite

  • How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

ESF (under the HRD OP, priority axis ‘Promotion of economic activity and development of inclusive labour market’)

  • Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Yes

  • Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

No

  • Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Yes

  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?

In 2009, will run 21 months

  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?

Mainstream

  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?

Will run in 10 districts, total value: BGN 15 000 000.

  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?

Public - National Employment Office

  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?

Registered unemployed people aged 16- 29 with minimum basic education (7th grade) willing to participate in training, the planed number of participants is 10 400 unemployed young people.

  • What activities are involved?

Survey of the employers’ needs for labour force with specific foreign language and ICT training

Survey of unemployed from the target group for their desire to participate in training

Training – Information and Communication Technologies (3 100 young people included); Training in foreign languages (7 300 young people included)

Motivational training and vocational guidance.

  • What are the success factors?

Committed unemployed and employers, well organised tenders for training, committed staff of the local branches of the NEA

  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

According to the NEA information in 2010, under the scheme ‘Increasing youth employment through sustainable inclusion in the labour market in Bulgaria’ part of which is this project 6 225 unemployed young people have been included in motivational training,  5574 unemployed are trained in ICT and foreign language competencies, thus increasing employability, more than 1000 of the participants concluded labour contracts with employers upon competition of the training. The interviewed 4263 employers are ready to open 5000 jobs for young people trained in ICT and foreign languages. (Source: National action plan for employment 2011, Annex 6, available at: (http://www.mlsp.government.bg/bg/docs/NPDZ-2011.pdf, in Bulgarian)

Removing practical and logistical barriers

2.2.7 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to removing practical and logistical barriers for NEETs. Where does the focus of policies and measures lie?

The measures aiming to removing practical and logistical barriers for NEETs are not well developed and popular. Despite the strategies and measures for integrating people with disabilities the work environment does not provide special services and facilities for disabled people. In the last years were introduced measures for reimbursement of the transport or/and allocation costs related to geographic mobility of unemployed which participate in training or for employed people who live in other settlement. These measures are of the benefit both for the employer and the young people.

2.2.8 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to remove practical and logistical barriers to employment for NEETs in your country. Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Table 6 - Access to employment: Measures to remove practical and logistical barriers
Access to employment: Measures to remove practical and logistical barriers
Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

Support to geographical mobility Close to work’ (2011-2013)

National (procedure under the Operational Programme HRD) Aims at supporting the labour force mobility. The support covers a total travel costs for 12 months for newly employed people when the place of residence and the work place are at a distance no more than 80 km. The planned number of people under this measure is 9 200.

Tripartite

ESF

More general measure which also has an impact on NEETs

No

No (however with big impact on disadvantaged youth as a large part of NEETs live in rural and remote regions with high unemployment level)

Reference: http://www.az.government.bg/EFunds/OPHRD/AP2201/Pokana2201.pdf

Measure 2:

Transport and accommodation subsidies for participating in training

National

Tripartite

State budget (NAPs)

General with impact on youth beneficiaries

No

No (but referred to)

Measure 3:

National programme for literacy and qualification of Roma

National

Tripartite

State budget (NAPs)

General, but young Roma up to 29 are priority target group

No

Yes

Employer incentives

2.2.9 Please provide an overview of your country’s approach to incentivising employers to recruit young people (who are NEET). Where does the focus of policies and measures to incentivise employers lie? Where possible you should use only one word or Yes/No (e.g. how is the measure funded? answer: regional; is this measure a NEET specific measure? answer: Yes).

Job subsidies are widely used to ease young people's entry into labour market and transition from unemployment to employment or to gain work experience. The Employment Promotion Act provides for measures aiming to encourage employers to hire and/or train young registered unemployed people up to 29 years old. The number of subsidised jobs and funding are set in the annual National action plans for employment. Subsidies are also envisaged for apprenticeships. The different measures provide for subsidy of the wages and/or social security contributions and other social benefits. More popular among the young people and employers are however measures, which include vocational training and internships as they ensure an opportunity both to increase the competitiveness of businesses and to improve employees’ career prospects.

2.2.10 Please complete the table below with a brief description of up to three policies/ measures to incentivise employers in your country.

Table 7 - Access to employment: Employer incentives

Access to employment: Employer incentives

Name of measure

Scale of measure (i.e. national, regional or local)

Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?

Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?

Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?

Measure 1:

Encouragement of employers to create new jobs for training for professional qualification (apprenticeship) and/or internships for unemployed young people up to 29 years old with low education

National /according to the Employment promotion Act (EPA, art. 41 and art. 55) Provision of subsidy for apprenticeship under conclusion of labour contract for 9 months. The subsidy includes monthly wage at the level f the statutory minimum wage, complimentary payments according to the legislation, social security contributions paid by employer. The subsidy for internships is for six months

Tripartite (approved by the Social partnership council at local branches of PES)

State budget (NAPs)

Yes

No

No

National (according to EPA, art.36,2) Provision of subsidy for employer for 6 months (wage at the level of the statutory minimum wage, social contributions paid by the employer, complimentary payments according to the legislation) under conclusion of labour contract for 12 months

Tripartite

State budget (NAPs)

Yes

No

Yes

National (according to EPA, art.36,1) Provision of subsidy for 6 months (social security contributions paid by employer) with requirement to conclude labour contract with the unemployed for 12 months

Tripartite

State budget (NAPs)

Yes

No

No

Source: Employment Promotion Act. Available at: http://www.one-stop-shop.bg/bg/component/attachments/download/55.html

2.2.11 Please provide a more detailed description of the employer incentive which you think is the most effective measure in your country (this measure should be additional to those included in the table above). In addition to the questions raised in the table above, your description should include the details outlined below:

The National programme From Social Assistance to Employment

  • Is the measure tripartite, bipartite or unilateral?

National

  • How is the measure funded (national state funding, European funding, private funding)?

Tripartite - State budget (NAPs)

  • Is this a NEET-specific measure, or is it a more general measure which also has an impact on NEETs?
  • – (main target of the programme are unemployed people who are subject to social assistance. However it has impact on NEETs as a significant part of the target population is young people)
  • Is the measure specifically targeted at NEETs who already have a tertiary education?
  • Is the measure specifically targeted at young people from a disadvantaged background or a minority group?
  • , one of the main targets of the programme are unemployed people from minorities, including youth
  • When was it introduced and why? How long will it run for?

Started in 2003 and still is one of the largest and successful national programmes aiming at encouraging employers to create subsidised jobs in social works thus providing employment for the most vulnerable groups.

  • Is it a mainstream or pilot project?

Mainstream

  • What is the scale of the initiative and how much funding has been allocated to it?

At the beginning the initiative aimed at creating 100 000 jobs, the funding provided was about BGN 270 million. In 2010 the programme included 39 125 unemployed people.

  • Who runs the initiative (is it a public, private or third sector initiative)?

The government in line with annual targets and budget allocated in the corresponding annual National Action Plan for Employment. The beneficiaries and the projects of employers have to be adopted by the Social partnership committees at local branches of the PES comprising also social partner’s representatives.

  • What is the target group? How many young people benefit from it?

Unemployed receiving monthly social assistance, priority is given to: long term unemployed and youth up to 29 years old. The largest part of beneficiaries under this programme is from the Roma population. The proportion of young people included is about 20-25% in different periods.

  • What activities are involved?

Subsidised employment in social works and in improving working environment of companies for 12 months. There is a possibility for a combination of part - time work and literacy training course.

  • What are the success factors?

Social integration and motivation to engage with work.

Prevents social exclusion and marginalisation of the most vulnerable groups in the labour market.

  • Is there any formal evidence of its success (both quantitative and qualitative)?

Recently the funding decreased, however the unemployed included in this programme represent between 60 to 70% of the total unemployed included in programmes through the years. In the last years participated annually between 35 000 to 40 000 people.

3. Conclusion

The issue of NEETs is not sufficiently recognised in the country. There is still separation of issues related to education, including decreasing educational level of Bulgarian youth, low participation in education and early dropping out from the educational system and on the other hand the unemployed youths. The strategies and programmes related education and labour market also follow to high degree this line of not coherent youth policy.

The latest policy documents in the country follow the main ideas of the strategy Europe - 2020, however the problem is its implementation in the practice. The low share of investment in education at a time of increasing numbers of school drop-outs, the lack of correspondence between vocational training and economy and underdeveloped system for life-long learning indicates that the state has not fully addressed these issues. Active labour market programmes – such as job matching, labour market training, and employment subsidies – have had a relatively limited impact on the youth employment situation. A significant part of the most vulnerable still is excluded. Evidence based on various data sources suggests that the number of participants is low and decreasing due to the crisis and the most disadvantaged segments of the young population (illiterate young people, early school leavers, long term unemployed, most of them from ethnic minorities) are not actively targeted. However the issue is not the lack of initiatives and measures but the challenge of significant financial and institutional constraints.

There is a need of understanding the notion of NEETs and shared commitment and engagement of all stakeholders, especially of the government representatives and social partners to enhance human capital and employability through improving quality of and access to education and better skills anticipation, upgrading and matching of skills with labour market demand.

An appropriate response requires action at the level of the education system as well as a more extensive and more effective active labour market policy and coordination of policies. The reform has started with the adoption of the Youth Strategy 2010 – 2020 and with some amendments in legislation in conformity with the Europe 2020 programme. A comprehensive policy aiming to enhance the social integration of young people should address the problems which young people face in a holistic way, integrating approaches across different sectors. However, youth policies, including those related to NEETs can be effective only when built upon the active participation of young people.

Nadezhada Daskalova, ISTUR

References

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