Union of Bulgarian Black Sea Local Authorities (UBBSLA), as responsible project partner for the trainings in Bulgaria conducted the 1st Soft-skills training during the period 16-18.11.2019 in Sliven. The profile of selected young people that attended the training course absolutely fit to the main specific of the region: the minority community (mainly Roma) here represent about 20% of the population. They live manly in 21 of the surrounding villages, where they account between 1% to 60% of the population. Additional challenges for the minority community include a low level of education, a high number of early marriages, and a lack of access to adequate health services. Last but not least, minority community in Sliven is also faced with widespread discrimination and very high unemployment rate. The municipality of Sliven with a population of 125.300 is located 300 km away from Sofia in the South-Eastern region of Bulgaria. Viticulture is a priority sector for the region, which is favored by the soil and climatic conditions and the existence of big wineries and many wine-cellars.

14 NEETs between 18-29 years old living in rural areas around the city of Sliven attended the 1st Soft-skills training course. Most of them were very low educated (only four has a secondary education diploma, the rest are with primary education), 90% have identified themselves in the minority group, they do not use IT, except smart phones, some of young people have small working experience in agro-sector, but never been employed (no employment contract has been signed)

The training program included soft-skills lectures, such as CV preparation, tip and trick for attending interview, what to do and what not to do when we start new job, how to solve problems on working place, etc.  to enhance the skills and motivation of those young people to find a job, learning-by-doing exercise and games. After finishing the training units, the lector tried to involve the NEETs into discussion to share their opinion about the main topics presented, how they will be in practical use, their working experience, motivation to start a new job and their attitude to agricultural work. The main purpose was to give an opportunity to NEETs to improve their presentation and public speaking skills among other learners. The third day of the training was dedicated to individual consultations with the lector and expert from UBBSLA team in order to support and to inspire the young people to go to the labor market, to show them their weaknesses and strengths, etc.  All young people participating during the whole class training received eNEET Rural Certificates at the end.

UBBSLA intends to organized series of Soft-skills trainings in many rural areas of Bulgaria until it reaches the set project indicators till 09/2021. More information about the enrolment procedure, how to apply, could be found by the interested NEETs here:  http://www.ubbsla.org/eneet-cources/

Good luck to our already trained young people from the region of Sliven! We hope they have the knowledge to become more confident and motivated to find a job! “, UBBSLA team