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EU money to prop up Bulgaria’s labour market

Date: 20.03.2009

The Bulgarian government is to allocate an additional 190 million euro on training and job creation to offset the risk of a more negative impact on the labour market, Social Minister Emilia Maslarova said.

The new funds, under the Human Resources Operational Programme will be available to make people more qualified, provide jobs for 7000 unemployed and train 40 000 individuals who were fired due to the global economic crisis.

The social ministry aims to secure jobs for 32 000 people for no less than nine months.

More than 150 000 people have joined the programme so far under 800 projects worth 255 million leva, Maslarova said, calling on businesses, unions, NGOs and local governments to waste no time and tap into the resources.

The Human Resources programme is supplemented by the 190 million leva national employment plan. Funding is currently available for the training and qualification of poorly educated and semi-literate people. 65 million leva was recently channelled to similar programmes targeting youths and permanently unemployed people over 50.

In the meantime, local independent economic policy think tank, the Institute for Market Economics (IME), calculated businesses will lose around 5.6 billion leva over the next decade from the rise of the bottom social security contribution rate to 26.6 per cent  in 2009.

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