State statistics report a decline, but the reasons for these data are not sufficiently researched, experts point out
Photo: Dimitar Kyosemarliev, Investor Media Group
We continuously report over 100 thousand young people over the age of 25 who neither study nor work. At the time, the number reached 180 thousand, and at the moment there are 124 thousand people. This was pointed out by Denitsa Sacheva, deputy from GERB and chairman of the parliamentary Committee on Labor, Social and Demographic Policy. She participated in the forum “Policies and initiatives for youth employment in Bulgaria: challenges and directions”, organized by the Center for the Study of Democracy, reports BTA.
According to her, the reasons for these data have not been sufficiently investigated. The possible reasons may be rooted in low education, illiteracy, be related to not having the necessary skills that employers are looking for. “Are the reasons in the modern forms of work and employment that are not regulated by law and from there a significant part of young people are not visible to the state statistics, the mistrust of young people towards institutions or are there other reasons that we cannot see” Sacheva commented. And he added that the topic is periodically raised in the public space, but still fails to become the center of political decisions and cannot enter the political agenda.
Forum organizers from the Center for the Study of Democracy point out that young people aged 25-29 who are neither working nor in education or training (the so-called 25+ NEETs group) are an often neglected group in the social policy of Bulgaria. This generation started their professional career immediately after the economic crisis of 2008. Faced with uncertainty and uncertainty regarding their work and social well-being, these young people are much more likely to be economically inactive or occupy precarious jobs.
“There are gaps in the career guidance of young people in Bulgaria and the relationship between education and the labor market is broken,” commented Alexander Gerganov, director of the Sociological Program at the Center for the Study of Democracy (CID).
“One of the problems that exists with some NEETs is their unrealistic assessment of what it means to work, an unrealistic assessment of the level of pay,” pointed out Lilia Yakova, a research associate in the Sociology Program of the Center for the Study of Democracy. Some young people expect a much higher level of pay than what can be offered to a young person just starting out in the labor market, Yakova explained.
“The relative share of NEETs is decreasing,” said Iskren Angelov, director of the Labor Market Policy Directorate at the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. In 2009, it was 20.8%, 2013 – 25.8%, and 2022 – 15.1%. About 25% of the persons are supported by relatives and friends,” Angelov pointed out.
Tonka Karaivanova, Deputy Chief Director of the Main Directorate of Employment Services at the Employment Agency, would like the agency’s services to reach inactive young people who have never shown interest before. “We need a bridge to jobs because this is about the transition between the two stages of young people’s lives. This is the finale of education and the successful beginning of inclusion in society. The goal is for young people to be more confident when stepping into the next stage of their lives,” said Karaivanova.
“A large part of our members have their own programs for youth employment,” pointed out Georgi Ruichev, executive director of the Bulgarian Forum of Business Leaders. Ruichev pointed out that business is also thinking about attracting Bulgarian youth abroad. “This is a potential that employers in Bulgaria are interested in and are taking initiatives themselves to bring back our young people,” he added.