One of the main tasks of the Ministry of Economy and Industry is to facilitate access to the labour market for trained personnel. The first topic we prioritise in our regular meetings with business representatives is related to labour mobility. This was stated by the Minister of Economy and Industry Bogdan Bogdanov during the monthly meeting held at the Ministry with representatives of employers’ organizations. The countries agreed on the need for an action plan to ease labour migration procedures.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Minister Ivaylo Shotev, representatives of the Bulgarian Industrial Association, Association of Industrial Capital in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Confederation of Employers and Industrialists in Bulgaria, Union for Private Economic Enterprise, as well as experts from the Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Migration Directorate, etc.
In the discussion with employers’ organisations, a plan of concrete steps was discussed to ensure the access of specialists to the Bulgarian market, including shortening the time for issuing a single residence and work permit.
During the discussion, it became clear that in recent years the debate on labour migration has been taking place in different ministries. The Minister committed to appoint a coordinator for the process and expressed readiness for this to be the Ministry of Economy and Industry.
The meeting also discussed the need to optimize the timelines for the entire process of foreign workers entering the Bulgarian market and prioritizing specific profiles needed by the business. Currently, according to employers and institutions, the time limit is between 4 and 6 months, while in Poland, for example, it is only two weeks.
‘We have to find a way to secure the business and guarantee its predictability,’ the Minister added and called for reviewing foreign experience.
Employers’ organisations supported the idea of reducing the application deadlines for foreign workers and for a unified state policy on the process.
These are the short-term measures, the economy minister pointed out, but the essential discussion is tackling the demographic problem, which will require synchronisation and joint efforts from different departments, he said.
The next regular meeting with representatives of employers’ organisations will be held in the first half of September.