Career Day for Disabled People in Bulgaria Held for 7th Year in a RowSociety | September 27, 2011, Tuesday // 17:44| views
The seventh annual Career Day for Disabled People was held on September 27 at the Radisson hotel in Sofia. Photo by BGNES
This year's Career Day for Disabled People in Bulgaria brought together a wide variety of employers, among which call centers, IT companies, fast-food restaurants, accounting firms, translation agencies and a dental laboratory.
The initiative, held for a seventh year in a row, drew participants from 20 companies and from the career centers of the biggest Bulgarian universities.
At the opening of the event, Labor Minister Totyu Mladenov announced that a total of 4300 people with disabilities had been hired since the beginning of the year.
He went on to praise the efficiency of the incentive program of the Employment Agency envisaging the disbursement of six months' worth of minimum wage (BGN 270) plus employer social security contributions to companies which hire disabled people provided that they stay on the job for at least another six months.
In her address at the opening of the forum, Deputy Labor Minister Valentina Simeonova insisted that all institutions were working towards creating an accessible environment and equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
Employment Agency head Kamelia Lozanova claimed that over 2700 disabled people would be given education and training and employment opportunities under a subsidized employment scheme.
She also noted that a large percentage of the people thusly employed went on to become permanent staff of the companies.
Responding to criticism from the Bulgarian Industrial Association (BIA) that the Employment Agency was training "street sweepers and drivers" rather than sought after skilled workers, Lozanova shifted the focus, saying that a large percentage of the unemployed were low-educated and all that could be done in such cases was to provide training courses so as to boost their skills and improve their career prospects.