In Bulgaria, the first models have been developed for improving the attractiveness of the most in-demand professions in the labour market. Models to increase the attractiveness of 16 professions in machine building, electrical engineering, transport and medicine sectors were developed by the Industrial Capital Association.

A study was first carried out to identify the main factors that determine a profession’s attractiveness: this was linked to the expectations of its possible benefits, on the one hand, and the relative difficulty and complexity of the training needed for its practice, on the other. A ‘multifactorial theory of the attractiveness of professions’ was elaborated and formed the basis for the development of attractiveness models. Two categories of factors with an implicit or explicit impact on the attractiveness of a given occupational sector, and occupations within it, were identified. Ways to make given professions attractive to learners were investigated.

Factors affecting attractiveness

A. Factors arising from education / training in the specific profession:

  • prestige of the profession;
  • effort needed to complete the education/training;
  • time spent in training;
  • cost of the training;
  • location of the VET school/ training centre;
  • reputation of the VET school/ training centre.

B. Factors arising from the position(s) in which the particular profession is exercised:

  • working environment;
  • remuneration;
  • intangible incentives;
  • stress associated with its practice;
  • possibilities for professional development.

Additional factors identified by the survey are:

  • flexible working time;
  • distance to workplace;
  • in-service training;
  • popularity of the profession;
  • working conditions;
  • stability and security of employment;
  • ways in which a profession is socially perceived.

This analysis was used in developing models to make 16 of the most in-demand professions on the Bulgarian labour market more attractive. Each model has two parts:

  •  key features of the specific profession: this part presents in detail each of the four professions identified in the relevant branch. Main routine and specialised occupational activities are specified;
  •  steps to increase the attractiveness of a particular profession:  these steps are specific for each sector, and present practical ideas on improving its profile and the working environment associated with it, considering each of above factors.

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