The “Youth Employment+” project aims to support 15,200 inactive or unemployed young people in entering the labor market through activities under the Human Resources Development Program 2021-2027. The project, implemented by the Employment Agency, serves as a continuation of the “New Opportunity for Youth Employment” project from the previous program period (2014-2020).

Its main goal is to enhance the competitiveness of young people aged 16 to 29 by providing opportunities for internships, on-the-job training, employment, or participation in training to acquire “soft” skills with employers. This will facilitate the transition of young people from education to employment, allowing them to gain valuable professional experience necessary for filling job vacancies.

The “Youth Employment+” project, executed by the Employment Agency as the specific beneficiary, is now accepting applications from employers for participation in the project (starting from October 2, 2023, Monday). Applications should be submitted using the Secure Electronic Delivery System (SEDS) template.

Under the project, young people who were part of the “New Opportunity for Youth Employment” project, funded under the Operational Program Human Resources 2014-2020, can be supported if they have not reached the maximum duration of employment under the concluded employment contracts. Funding for these individuals will cover the remaining period until reaching the maximum support duration, provided it is at least three or more months. Employers must apply for inclusion in the “Youth Employment+” project with a current request for the remaining period. Existing employment contracts with individuals hired under the previous project should not be terminated.

The “Youth Employment+” project will provide support to inactive and unemployed young people through:

1. Training for acquiring portable and “soft” skills through key competencies such as “Personal and social competence and learning skills” and “Initiative and entrepreneurship.”

2. Internships with employers for a period of 6 to 9 months.

3. On-the-job training lasting no more than 6 months.

4. Hiring of unemployed and inactive young people for a period of up to 9 months.

5. Providing incentives to employers in cases of concluding an indefinite employment contract with an intern for a position corresponding to the intern’s qualification, offering the same or more favorable remuneration.

6. Providing funds for public transport to and from the workplace for young people for the first month of the internship/on-the-job training/subsidized employment period.

The project’s non-repayable financial aid is worth BGN 188 million. It is expected that 15,200 inactive or unemployed young people will participate in the project, with 9,120 remaining employed with the same employer after the completion of the project activities. The project is set to run until December 31, 2027.

Additional information for employers and inactive or unemployed individuals can be found at labor bureaus nationwide and on the official website of the Employment Agency under the banner “Human Resources Development Program 2021-2027.”

Translation: Simona Veleva