BAIT Joins Efforts with State Institutions, Universities and IT Companies for The Development of eSkills and Employment Creation
The campaign eSkills for Jobs 2015-2016 in Bulgaria has been launched today with a business breakfast entitled "E-skills for employment creation and economic growth".
The event brought together government and parliament representatives, as well as experts from higher education institutions and managers from the IT industry who are eSkills for Jobs 2015-2016 stakeholders and all of them united in the view that eSkills are a basic requirement for finding a job and receive it.
Training of the workforce is extremely important, said Vessela Kalacheva, BAIT CEO and project coordinator of eSkills for Jobs in Bulgaria. Data shows that a significant number of Bulgarian students complete their higher education and find themselves unemployed, while IT companies report shortage of professionals, she added.
"The development of the IT sector in Bulgaria leads to economic growth, increase competitiveness and create new jobs. In this sector young people are the potential of the labor market, " Galab Donev, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Policy said. In his opinion the problem of sustainable employment is the mismatch between the curricula of universities and employers' requirements.
Currently, the Education and Science Committee in the Bulgarian Parliament is having the second reading of the bill for pre-school and school education, which provides that IT programming will be set for the elective and optional training, said Milena Damyanova, chairperson of the committee. The idea is that secondary education should coordinate the entire process of basic skills necessary for business, Damyanova pointed out, adding that regulations are also particularly important.
There is a requirement to change the environment worldwide, , said Anna-Marie Vilamovska, the Secretary for Healthcare Policy and Innovation Policy to the President of the Republic of Bulgaria, H.E. Rosen Plevneliev. She added that the upcoming council of Education and Science in the presidency will put the focus on the topic of eSkills.
Bulgarian universities increasingly cooperate with employers to find work for their students, said Dobromir Dobrev, project coordinator of "Student Practice". Currently the project’s platform embraces more than 150,000 user-students and over 15,000 employers. According to Dobrev at the end of 2014 there will be about 16,500 IT students, while at the same time, it should be noted that over 50% of graduates do not get jobs that require such education, he added.
The lack of adequate practical skills is the main reason that we find it difficult to hire graduates, said the IT industry representatives of the IT sector, who shared their practices for free training of people who subsequently hired.
650 candidates appeared for 40 seats in our training program IT Talents, pointed Dobroslav Dimitrov, Imperia Online CEO. Our main criterion is that the person is willing to learn and work, as there were people who literally started from scratch. Dimitrov stressed that it is necessary that part-time work for students to be allowed because it will stimulate their activity.
We are currently conducting courses for unemployed people, aged between 18 and 25 years who receive basic digital skills, and also we have short mobile application development courses that are designed for students with basic IT skills, said Khristina Shtereva, Samsung Marketing Manager for Bulgaria. The company has built three smart classrooms in secondary schools and a special platform for teachers training in digital content creation and usage.
We need a change in attitudes towards the Internet use, said Ralitsa Vassileva from the Association "Parents". Parents and teachers need to be helped to see the benefits of digitization, which is not limited to games and social networks, she said.
So far we have met with 1,300 students and presented to them work of the IT professional, said Ivaylo Katsarkov, HR Manager in Musala Soft. The company has conducted the Programming Contest CodeIT for 14 years. Everyone can take part in the contest which aims to encourage young people to be more active.
"eSkills for jobs 2015-2016" campaign, which BAIT coordinates in Bulgaria, aims to raise citizens' awareness of the need to improve their skills in using information and communication technologies needed for finding a job. The project includes a series of initiatives and courses for training and acquisition of digital skills. The campaign is being implemented simultaneously in 21 EU countries, including Bulgaria.