Representatives from various youth organizations in Bulgaria met at the first Youth Panel meeting on the 21st of July 2017 at the Institute for the Study of Societies and Knowledge (ISSK-BAS) in Sofia, Bulgaria.
In the first part of the meeting, the participants were introduced to the aims and expected outcomes of the ENLIVEN Project by Pepka Boyadjieva (National coordinator of ENLIVEN at ISSK-BAS), Rumiana Stoilova, Petya Ilieva-Trichkova and Diana Nenkova (Members of the Bulgarian team of ENLIVEN). Then, some basic statistics, which demonstrate the place of Bulgaria in a comparative perspective in three main aspects, were presented to the participants. First, the general educational structure of the Bulgarian population was outlined. It was followed by a description of the labour market situation of the youth. Lastly, there was a discussion of the state of the lifelong learning with a special focus on the young adults. The presented information served as a certain background against which the discussion between the Youth Panel participants and the Bulgarian team of the ENLIVEN Project took place afterwards.
In the second part of the meeting, the participants were encouraged to share their views and to engage in a dialogue with the researchers about the topic of the ENLIVEN project and the problems of the youth in Bulgaria related to lifelong learning. They were asked to think about any joint activities/initiatives and to give ideas how they could be helpful to the ENLIVEN project and respectively how the Bulgarian team with its work on the project could be of any help for their work. The participants provided very interesting insights and explanations of the presented statistics from the perspective of their own experience as representatives of Youth organizations and as youth themselves. Among the main issues raised by them were the access to internships in Bulgaria, the quality of these internships and the need of its regulation; the lack of dialogue between the educational institutions and the business; the necessity of a change in the secondary education before the introduction of the dual system; the potential role of volunteering among the young people which seems to be very limited in Bulgaria so far, and the need of complementarity between the formal and non-formal education.
Figures in the handouts of the meeting can be downloaded HERE.