Bulgarian labour market needs as a key to refugee employment

As a team, we are strongly committed to CSR initiatives that aim to support and empower different disadvantaged groups. Being persistent, creating opportunities and unleashing the potential of the people we work with is a driving value for us. During one of these projects – REST (Refugee Employment Support and Training), CATRO partnered with UNHCR in order to develop the capacity of enterprises and organisations willing to hire employees with refugee background. Impressed with the effectiveness of the cooperation, UNHCR chose CATRO Bulgaria to perform their Annual research of the current labour market situation in Bulgaria and the potential for refugee employment in 2018. As qualified HR professionals our CATRO team was able to review the latest tendencies on the job market, but also our close work with refugees allowed the research to be conducted through the lens of their needs and potential.

The research has examined and analysed on one hand the available sources in the form of political strategies, articles, reports and statistics about the socio-economic, demographic and labour market situation and on the other hand we have gathered key stakeholders’ feedback and opinion on the topic. 14 institutions ranging from government structures, through business associations, to research bodies, and 15 companies’ representative of dynamically developing economic sectors, took part in the study.

The study has shown that the skills shortage and skills mismatch on the Bulgarian labour market imply an obstacle for the further growth of the business and might prevent some future investments. Against this background, potential opportunities for refugee employment have been elaborated aiming to support both refugees and employers in their efforts for sustainable employment which is beneficial for the further growth of the business and for the successful integration of beneficiaries of international protection in Bulgaria.

Based on the findings of the research, the study concludes with 19 specific recommendations, directed at the relevant stakeholders. These suggestions offer manageable steps in areas such as facilitating the access to the job market, skills evaluation and matching and sustainable integration on the job market.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can download the report in English and Bulgarian from HERE.