Minister Lazarov: More than 170 000 employed and unemployed will acquire new skills under the HRDP (2021-2027)
Over 170,000 employed and unemployed people will be involved in training to acquire new skills under the Human Resources Development Programme (HRDP) (2021-2027) and over 160,000 people will be prepared for the digital transition of the economy. This is what Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor and Social Policy Lazar Lazarov said at the presentation of the priorities of the HRDP to the media. The briefing was attended by Jeroen Jutte, Head of Unit C/5 “Romania, Bulgaria” at the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion of the European Commission, Deputy Minister Natalia Efremova and the Head of the Managing Authority of the HRDP Tsvetan Spasov. During the event, the “Starting a job” procedure was presented, which is the first for Bulgaria in the new programming period 2021-2027. Its aim is to include 56,000 economically inactive people in identification and activation measures by the end of 2026.
Social inclusion and ensuring equal opportunities for people from vulnerable groups is also among the priorities of the HRDP. With its implementation, nearly 102,000 children and adults are expected to receive better and more effective social services, improve access to social assistance and health services. The projects to be funded under the HRDP will contribute to the implementation of the Child Guarantee and poverty reduction,” Minister Lazarov explained.
He stressed that more than BGN 735 million will be directed towards measures to promote the employment of 115,000 young people. The funds will be invested in projects to facilitate the transition from education to employment, inclusion in apprenticeships, in-service training, identification and motivation of young people who neither study nor work. “Our expectations are that the implementation of the Human Resources Development Programme will contribute to achieving the goals of 79% of the population aged 20-64 to be in employment and unemployment to decrease to 4%,” Minister Lazarov added.
The representative of the European Commission Jeroen Jutte praised the Human Resources Development Programme and underlined the fruitful cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy during its preparation. He focused on the need to invest in training, digital skills and activating the inactive on the labour market in order to overcome the decline of Bulgaria’s working age population.
Deputy Minister Natalia Efremova presented the procedure "Starting a job”, whose budget is BGN 300 million. It will be implemented by the Employment Agency in three components and aims to activate economically inactive people of working age. “The operation covers the whole process of guidance, acquisition of knowledge and skills through training so that the unemployed and inactive on the labour market meet the requirements of employers. These people are the reserve of the labour market. Depending on regional specificities, they will be included in various training measures as well as in employment,” explained Efremova.
The Head of the Managing Authority of the Human Resources Development Programme Tsvetan Spasov stressed that the aim of the procedure “Starting a job” is by the end of 2026 to include a total of 56,000 inactive people - at least 28,000 senior citizens and as many more young people - in identification and activation measures. At least half of them are expected to have started looking for work by the end of the labour market activation activities. Identified inactive people will be referred to training to acquire the necessary qualifications and then included in subsidised employment. For the unemployed and inactive the subsidized employment will be up to 6 months, for representatives of vulnerable groups it will be up to 12 months and for people with permanent disabilities - up to 24 months, explained Tsvetan Spasov.