Bulgaria Hungry for Skilled Labor despite High Unemployment

Business | November 17, 2009, Tuesday // 20:22|  views

Bulgaria's Labor Minister Mladenov at the CEIBG meeting sitting between two leading trade union leaders. Photo by BGNES

Bulgaria's cabinet of the GERB party has allocated BGN 300 M for various measures for improving the situation of the country’s labor market in 2010.

This was announced Tuesday by Labor Minister, Totyu Mladenov, who took part in the general assembly of the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria (CEIBG).

Some BGN 250 M for training and qualification of workers are expected to come from the EU operational program Human Resources, Mladenov said.

In his words, in October 2009, the private business sector had 5 120 job vacancies for skiller laborers in fields such as extracting and processing industry, health care, and education.

Mladenov stressed the discrepancy between the lack of highly qualified specialists and the rising unemployment, which affects some 300 000 people already, mostly unskilled laborers, and is mostly due to the fact that their low-skilled jobs had to be shed by employers because of the economic crisis.

The CEIBG Chair, Ivo Prokopiev, cited data from a survey saying that 22% of the employers in Bulgaria would be hiring in the coming months, whereas another 60% were going to keep all of their staff despite the crisis.

“However, until the international economic situation improves, we are not going to be able to overcome the crisis even if we “sit on our heads,” Prokopiev said, while also stressing the importance of infrastructure and energy efficiency investments.

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Tags: unemployment, Totyu Mladenov, Labor Minister, Ivo Prokopiev, CEIBG, skilled labor, qualified labor, unskilled labor


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