The bridge to business is through education
12 June 2019
Unemployment among young Roma with university education is below 3% and is comparable to the level of unemployment among mainstream university graduates all over the country (approximately 2.5% in 2018). The risk of poverty, which affects one in five Bulgarian, is practically non-existing for the highly educated Roma. Their income is comparable to that of all university graduates: the average monthly income of BA degree graduates is BGN 820, while that of MA degree graduates is BGN 1100. These data show that by graduating university education, representatives of Roma community become an integral part of the highly skilled workforce and contribute to overcoming the existing inequalities on the labour market.
The share of the university graduates among the Roma, however, is under 1%, whereas the average for the country is 28%. The inclusion of more Roma people in university education can be enhanced through a series of career orientation measures. 30% of the young Roma people with university education, who took part in the Bridge to Business Programme and the practical trainings for CV development and job interview skills or have visited leading companies that offer jobs to experts with university education, have enrolled in a university or declared their willingness to receive a university education. This share is more than twice higher in comparison with a similar group of young Roma people who have not been exposed to similar measures.
These are some of the findings presented by the team of the Bridge to Business Programme on June 13, 2019 during the conference Diversity and Inclusion at the Labour Market. The Programme, carried out by Open Society Institute – Sofia in partnership with Autonomia Foundation, Hungary, and the Central European University in Budapest, facilitates the access of young Roma (aged 18-35, who have at least secondary education and passed their matriculation exams), to highly qualified positions at the private sector.