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Bridging Education and the Labour Market

Evaluating the Career Start Programme in Bulgaria

Young people with higher education in Bulgaria may encounter difficulties in finding jobs that match their university majors. One of the most significant national initiatives developed to increase the employability of young university graduates is the Career Start Programme. Its aim is to provide opportunities for acquisition of professional experience in the public administration, facilitating transition between education and employment. While it is considered among the best working and sustainable youth employment programmes, the initiative is faced with the challenge of diminished interest and decreasing number of applicants.

This report evaluates the implementation of the Career Start Programme for the period 2013 – 2022 on the basis of data collected from public sources, in-depth interviews and surveys among institutional stakeholders and beneficiaries. Evaluation results are presented in terms of relevance, coherence, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability and impact. The report recommends that efforts to enhance the Programme focus on reconsidering the remuneration of beneficiaries, shortening and optimising application and selection procedures, and devising annual information and promotion campaigns to be carried out in media and at universities.


This publication is based on findings from research conducted by CSD as part of the ‘Lost Millennials – Transnational Research Network for the Evalution of Initiatives Targeting 25 + NEETs’ project funded by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants Fund for Youth Employment.


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