On 22 April 2013, the Council of the European Union adopted a Recommendation on establishing a Youth Guarantee. The Youth Guarantee is a new approach for combating youth unemploiyment which ensures that all young people under the age of 25 – whether registered in the employment services or not – receive a good quality offer within a period of four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. The offer is to be one of employment, apprenticeship, traineeship or getting back into education and has to be tailored to the needs and individual characteristics and abilities of every young person. The recommendation actually contains three messages – every young person under the age of 25 has a right of “access” to the Guarantee; the offers for work or education must be of good quality and, third, a period of four months has been set for making the offer.

The Youth Guarantee targets young people who:

  • are neither in employment, education or training,
  • have dropped out of education or have completed a level of education and have not continued their education or training,
  • are non-active persons, including discouraged or unemployed persons.

The new aspect that the Recommendation on Establishing a Youth Guarantee has added to the national policy is the need of having structural reforms and long-term efforts and investment undertaken among the institutions and organisations implementing the youth policies. Furthermore, the Youth Guarantee is not just individual assistance in the form of opportunities for inclusion in initiatives, programmes and measures for education and employment within the national policies targeting young people. It is also a commitment by all Member States.

Bulgaria joined the implementation of the European Youth Guarantee in early 2014 by starting to deliver on the National Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan 2014 – 2020. (NYGIP). The Bulgarian Plan reflects all key efforts for achieving results in the work with young people – it contains measures and initiatives to activate and outreach young people as well as for their successful employability.

According to the National Youth Guarantee of Bulgaria, every young person aged 15 to 24 years incl. will receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, apprenticeship or traineeship within a period of 4 months of becoming unemployed or leaving formal education.

The National Youth Guarantee of Bulgaria also extends to young people aged under 29. The initiatives and reforms included in NYGIP are structured into two main groups:

  1. Early interventions and activation;
  2. Supportive measures for integration into the labour market.

Towards the successful implementation of the Youth Guarantee and in accordance with Commission’s guidelines, the partnership-based approach is applied, bringing together the institutions, the social partners, the youth organisations that combine their efforts towards the attainment of common goals by entering into a National Framework Agreement signed on the basis of the profound work done by the Coordinating Council for implementation and monitoring of the National Youth Guarantee Implementation Plan.

The parties to the Agreement have undertaken the committed to implement NYGIP. Pursuant to NYGIP, the Agreement envisages that the institutions and the organisations are to join their efforts to develop and implement initiatives, measures and actions along two lines: (1) activation of young people aged 15 to 24 years inclusive, who are not in employment or in education and are not registered in the Labour Office Directorates, for integration into the labour market or for re-entering education and (2) integration of young persons into the labour market by ensuring opportunities for education and employment, including apprenticeship and traineeship.