OVERVIEW

The key legislative basis for career counselling in Bulgaria is set out in the following acts:

  • The National Education Act regulates the structure, functions and management of the system of national education;
  • The Vocational Education and Training Act creates and maintaining flexible systems for high-quality education and training to meet the current and future requirements and needs of the national and European labour markets;
  • The Employment Promotion Act regulates social relations upon employment promotion and employment security and career guidance and adult training;

POLICY

The key goals in this area are defined in the following documents:

Guidance of young citizens is one of key priorities in National Strategy for Lifelong learning (2014-2020), National Youth Strategy (2010-2020), National Strategy for the Child (2008-2018).  The LLG strategy identifies four main priorities aimed at:

  • Implementing an educational approach that supports the development of all learners and contributes to the development of thinking, capable and proactive people capable of coping with change and insecurity;
  • Improving the quality of education and training;
  • Providing an educational environment for equal access to lifelong learning, active social inclusion and active citizenship;
  • Stimulating education and training tailored to the needs of the economy and changes in the labour market.

SERVICE AND PRACTICE

Career Guidance in School Education: The main providers of career guidance at school level are the pedagogical advisers. They are supported by career counsellors from the non-governmental sector.

In the period 2017-2018 a network of 29 career guidance centres has been funded under the Operational Programme Human Resources Development (2014 – 2020). The centres provide information and counselling related to individual education and career planning and support in implementation of individual plans to users. 

Career Guidance in Higher Education: The Career centres operate in the higher education system. The Career centres in the universities assist in the establishment of close link between the training and practice of students, the improvement of the training programmes, which provide information on practical training and the implementation of projects, on the conditions of the labour market in Bulgaria and the areas of professional development of the graduates.

Career Guidance for Employees and the Unemployed: The services for information, guidance and counselling of unemployed, youth and adults are mainly provided in the framework of the National Employment Agency and territorial units of the Agency, employment offices.

The non-governmental organizations (NGO) are very active with providing different type of projects in the field of career guidance and developing web portals which support young people’s choice of educational and professional development.

The network of Youth information centres was created to support young people’s motivation for further development through formal and non-formal education activities.

TRAINING

The authorities controlling the provision of guidance services are the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, the National Employment Agency (NEA) and the National Agency for Vocational Education and Training (NAVET), which licenses the private career guidance and information centers in the country.

There are different training courses of varying length on offer for guidance counsellors. They are provided by public and private organizations.

Practising career guidance requires a lot of specific competences which may be obtained within several master programmes and the Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) programme.

One of the main private providers of counsellor trainings, using an online platform is the Business Foundation for Education with the Prometheus project, which provides management and entrepreneurial thinking among the career counsellors and guidance practitioners in the EU member states.

RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

Most of the Bulgarian guidance actors work in collaboration with universities and research institutes in other countries in international research and development projects. Here are presented two examples of finalised projects related to the research, development and innovation in the field of guidance:

- "Quality of youth career guidance and nowadays media literacy" project funded under the Erasmus+ programme, KA2 - Strategic Partnerships for vocational education and training. The main aim of the project was to improve the quality of youth career guidance via providing innovative methodology, quality indicators and online tools for youth career counsellors.

- „PROmoting Management and Entrepreneurial THinking among the career counselors and guidance practitioners in the EU Societies“ project funded under the Erasmus+ programme, KA2 -  Strategic Partnerships for adult education. The project team includes 6 partners: BFE (BG), CIAPE (IT), BEST (AT), IED (GR), Aspire-igen (UK) and CIT (IR). The team launched and maintained the Prometheus Platform – PROMETHEUS-EU.NET - a One Stop Virtual Space for Career Counselling and Guidance Services. As a result of the team joint efforts 5 more intellectual outputs have been produced and uploaded on the Platform - Career Pathways Research and Analysis Report, 100+ Enlightenment Best Practices e-Book, Peer Network and Empower Talk Movies, Online Career Counselling Guide and Toolkit with 5 career mobile apps. All the intellectual outputs have been elaborated, validated and finalized in English, Bulgarian, German, Greek and Italian languages. They will be available for free of charge use at least until the end of 2021.

ETHICS

Ethical issues are in reference to the IAEVG ethical standards.

Useful links:

 Last update by ©Euroguidance Bulgaria (March 2019)