On November 20, 2018 the Center for the Study of Democracy participated in a one-day workshop on the topic of youth employment policy and its effects on youth from vulnerable groups (mainly Roma youth) in the regions of Sliven and Yambol. The workshop aimed to gather local stakeholders in youth employment and inspire dialogue among them on the topic of youth employment and the impacts of the EU Youth Guarantee scheme in the regions of Sliven and Yambol. Present at the workshop were representatives of local Public Employment Service offices, municipal and regional government representatives, representatives of non-governmental organizations and local business, and youth from vulnerable groups. During the workshop, the Center for the Study of Democracy presented results from a study that it and a partner organization, the World Without Borders Association, conducted on the outreach of the EU Youth Guarantee to Roma youth in the regions of Sliven and Yambol. The workshop participants raised the following points concerning the dynamics of the Youth Guarantee outreach in the two regions:
- The limited interest of local businesses in participating in the scheme and hiring youth through the Youth Guarantee;
- The limited interest among targeted youth in Youth Guarantee participation due to the low monetary motivation of positions offered through the scheme;
- The divergence between employers and youth on their expectations concerning working environment, conditions and payment;
- The trend among Roma youth, and youth more generally, to look for work abroad and not consider possibilities offered through interventions such as the Youth Guarantee in Bulgaria;
- The need for closer collaboration between business and education institutions in supporting youth from vulnerable groups so that these youth can offer business high-quality labor.
The workshop was one of a series of similar events organized by World Without Borders with the support of CSD as part of the project “Mind the Gap: Facilitating Access to and Take Up of Youth Guarantee Measures by Roma Youth in Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.” In September and October 2018, CSD took part in two similar workshops organized in the City of Stara Zagora and the City of Vidin, respectively.