In 2013, the Bulgarian parliament made changes to the Employment Promotion Law, bringing new measures to encourage employers to hire long-term unemployed, educated and qualified young people up to the age of 29, as well as those who have completed primary or lower education and have no qualification.
Specifically, the new measures include:
- employers may receive funding for every new part-time workplace they provide to unemployed persons up to the age of 29. The unemployed beneficiary should be registered for no less than 12 months and sent by the public employment service (PES). Employers then receive funding for the unemployed person's employment period, but for no longer than 12 months;
- employers may receive funding for every new workplace they provide to unemployed persons up to the age of 29. Unemployed beneficiaries should have completed secondary or higher education, have no work experience and be sent by the PES to take a job that corresponds to their acquired level of education and qualifications. Employers are then given funds for the unemployed person's employment period, for not less than six and not more than 18 months, including 50% for the period between the seventh and 12th month and 75% for the rest of the time;
- employers may receive funding for every new workplace they provide for an apprenticeship (part-time or full-time) to unemployed persons up to the age of 29. Unemployed beneficiaries should have completed primary or lower level of education, have no qualifications and be sent by the PES. Employers are given funds for the unemployed person's employment period, but for not more than 12 months. During the apprenticeship, apprentices should be trained by an instructor at the workplace. The instructor should be an employee in the same enterprise, and have a certified qualification and minimum three years’ work experience in the corresponding profession or craft. Employers who keep the unemployed person hired for apprenticeship employed for an additional period of time, equal to the subsidized period, receive funding for the instructor and the additional period, which should not last more than 24 months total.
Amounts of funding for implementing the measures are determined by the national employment action plan. The minimum wage and necessary insurance paid by the employer are subsidised.
Through this regulatory base, employers' as well as young people’s needs are catered for. This will help accomplish the 2014 European youth guarantee, which ensures that all young people under 25 will be offered a job, apprenticeship, traineeship or continued education within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. These recent developments are also in line with country-specific recommendations issued for Bulgaria that call for improving active labour-market policies and national employment schemes alongside the youth guarantee.