On May 28th, the 1st National Info-Day of EDIBO project was held in the Graffit Gallery Hotel in Varna (Bulgaria). During the event, organized by the Institute for Youth Initiatives and Innovations (IYII) as a national project partner, the idea of the project focused on the dramatic problem of youth unemployment in Europe was shared.
The information meeting aimed not only to present the objectives and activities of EDIBO, but also to provide a basis for the establishment of cooperation between the participating institutions involved, as well as to raise awareness among the target group (NEETs) and private enterprises operating at local and regional level.
The event was officially opened by Mrs. Polina Antonova, Chairperson of the IYII Management Board, who briefly presented the activities of the institute up to date and presented the project EDIBO and the role of the IYII in its implementation at the national level.
The meeting ended with a discussion between the participating representatives of local business associations, Varna University of Economics, Varna District Administration, Municipality of Varna and Municipality of Devnya, Territorial Statistical Office – Northeast, Regional agency for entrepreneurship and innovations – Varna (RAPIV), Varna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Scientific and Technical Union of Varna and graduates from the Varna Commercial High School.
The most important from discussion can be summarized as follows:
It will be a real challenge for the Institute for Youth Initiatives and Innovations (IYII) in selecting NEETs especially for the 1st EDIBO Bootcamp. This comes from the fact that at the beginning of June 2019, 28 regional employment programs will be launched in all areas of Bulgaria. As shared by local government representatives during the discussion, the regional employment programs will provide work for 3 – 6 months for 2400 unemployed, including NEETs. The funds are from the active labor market policy budget of the National Employment Action Plan for 2019 of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy. Priority will be given to people from vulnerable groups on the labor market, including unemployed young people under 29, people over 50 and long-term unemployed. The implementation of the regional employment programs will continue until the end of 2019, which will significantly hinder the selection of targets (NEETs) for inclusion in EDIBO Bootcamps.
In this case the EDIBO project should emphasize the very strong side that once the training period has ended, the collaborating companies will offer the students a practical period, after which they will be able to hire the students that cover their needs, not only for 3-6 months as the regional employment programs offer.
Another challenge for EDIBO in Bulgaria, eventually could be the highly dependent tourist seasonal employment in Varna region and the rural municipalities around. Many young people are employed for 2-3 months in the tourist sector, and then they fall into the group of NEETs due to 9-10 months they are completely unemployed, they are not currently studying or working. Here the IYII experts have specified that these youngsters can also be a project target group if they have an affinity for ICT.
The event was officially closed by Mrs. Antonova, who thanked the interest of all attendees who filled the Galleria Graffiti hall and wished for new fruitful meetings when the project was in a more advanced phase and would offer an opportunity for innovative digital training of young people 25-29 years old NEETs. All attendance received a certificate for participation.