Companies Flee Bulgaria Over Shortage of Skilled Laborers - Report

Business | August 12, 2011, Friday // 15:21|  views

BIA Chair Bozhidar Danev presented proposals of the association for reforms in education. Photo by BGNES

The state finances education which is useless for the society and the economy, the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) announced Friday.

While presenting proposals for reforms in the sphere of education, BIA representatives cautioned that a number of companies in the electronics, machine building and chemical industries were considering leaving the country due to the shortage of skilled workers.

BIA said that the majority of companies looking to relocate had set eyes mostly on neighboring countries and on Turkey in particular.

According to statistics presented by the employers' association, over 32 000 currently unemployed have a university degree, with 30% of them with an economic or legal background, given that 42.5% of the students in 2010 were enrolled in economic sciences and administration studies.

The share of university graduates who have enjoyed state-funded studies and are currently serving as low-skilled labor force remains unclear.

At the same time, as little as 20% of the students are part of the most sought-after technical and engineering degree programs.

The health care system is also increasingly suffering from the lack of a sufficient number of highly qualified personnel, according to BIA.

The non - governmental organization cited two reasons for the trend- the mass migration of young medical specialists abroad and the fact that the number of youths willing to study medicine had halved over the past five years.

To remedy the situation, BIA recommended that the should state finance only programs which the economy needs and coordinate the process with employers.

Apart from that, the NGO suggested introducing financial incentives encouraging the business sector to invest in education.

The employers association also warned of two other huge problems, the aging and feminization of the teaching

BIA implied that a part of the long summer vacation could be used for boosting teacher qualifications and for internships at companies with activities related to the subjects they teach.

To solve the problem with early school dropouts, BIA suggested cutting off all social benefits for parents who refuse to send their children to school.

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Tags: Bozhidar Danev, Bulgarian Industrial Association, education, skilled labor, health care, medical students, students, economic sciences, Law, engineering


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