The European Information Center (Bulgaria) and its partner EMMA Foundation (Romania organized the first cross-border job fair, which was held on 6 and 7 of March 2018 in the Lobby of the Tax Building, Rousse.
The aim of the job fair was to offer the participants the opportunity to know more about the opportunity of the labor market in the cross border area and also to increase the mobility between the labor force on the two sides of Danube, to getting to know the existing job opportunities and to have the chance to discuss these opportunities face to face with the participating companies. This aim corresponds directly with the main philosophy of the project to develop and implement an integrated approach for labor mobility within the cross-border area between Romania and Bulgaria"( Guirgiu and Teleorman in Romania; and Rousse and Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria) by encouraging the integration in the cross-border area concerning the labor mobility and employment, increasing the knowledge of the possibilities for labor mobility in cross-border regions in order to compensate labor market needs, and to expand the cooperation between business both sides of the Danube, raising the knowledge of the neighboring country and the awareness on the labor opportunities.
The Job Fair took place at the lobby of the Tax building, which is situated in the city centre of Rousse, pl.Svoboda. The Tax building, specialized for that type of events, managed to host 41 places for each company and the project stand to have its needed exhibiting area; as well to make visible the project visible materials and the funding agency by the two pop up displays in Bulgarian and in English, bought within the project; as well to allow comfortable environment both for companies and for the visitors.
On 4 stands the project brochures was disposed for free access of the public. The Centre, being fully equipted with conference and exhibition facilities, allowed through the whole time of the Job Fair the Project Web site to be presented on the screens and to grab the attention of the visitors where they may find extra and continuous information after the end of the project activities.
The two days of the Job fair, March 6th and 7-th, gave opportunities to the unemployed, young people, students to meet directly the representatives of 20 Bulgarian and 20 Romanian companies, to get to know about the available job offers in the districts and to be informed about the possibilities how to find work in the neighbouring country. It was also a good opportunity in informal way and personal discussions, the representatives of the participating companies to exchange ideas and share best practices related to the labor market, hiring qualified labor and job mobility possibilities and to comment in between the problems they face on the both sides of the Danube.
The companies were providing information materials to the visitors. Some of the visitors were very active by commenting directly all questions of interest including the labor environment, social benefits and career programs and opportunities the companies provide, the salary and the policy of increasing it, the social and pension schemes, etc. Also questions such as the lack of enough knowledge of spoken Romanian/Bulgarian, the intercultural differences and differences related to the labor legal framework were raised within some of the discussions between the companies’ representatives and the visitors the contracted company.
Each visitor received a promotional project package which included a folder, T-shirt, cap, pen, brochure and Romania – Bulgaria cross border employee guide . Also many of the companies provided free materials to the participants.
On March 6-th the Job fair was officially open by the Bulgarian parnter the Head of EIC- Mrs. Teodora Kaleynska; the Head of the National Employment Office – regional office Rousse - Mrs. Galina Dimitrova and the Project Manager Mr. Gennady Gandraboura, EMMA Foundation, Romania.
Mrs. Teodora Kaleynska congratulated the participants for the good initiative, shared her experience with forums of a similar nature. The aim of such event is young people, students to get to know the labor market before they finish. She also pointed out the importance unemployed people to be able to contact not only local but also foreign employers and thus to increase their motivation for active involvement in the labor market.
Mrs. Galina Dimitrova - the Head of the National Employment Office in Rousse, addressed the participants with the importance of the Job Fair that gives opportunity of unemployed young people to face foreign companies directly, but also with the possibility to be able to compare and to analyze different job possibilities and to getting to know the job realities. According to her, such event might positively affect the motivation of the unemployed people and to encourage them to be more active in applying for jobs but also of trying to be more realistic in their job search. The possibility of such integrated approach, proposed by the project, was highly appreciated in his comments.
The Project Manager Mr. Gennady Gandraboura, EMMA Foundation, Romania, presented the project philosophy of the integrated approach to the common labor market and also he raise the attention on the sustainable continuation after the end of the project, which will remain operational, namely the on-line platform developed at http://romania-bulgaria-jobs.eu/, which enables all active jobseekers on both sides of the Danube to register and on-line to get in touch with employers. Mr. Gandrabura also briefly commented on a reciprocal cross-border labor exchange to be held in Alexandria in April 2018, giving 20 Bulgarian companies the opportunity to comment and present themselves properly in Romania.
After this the visitors were again able to look through the job offers, to get acquainted with the profile of the employers on the labor market companies to understand what qualification is needed in order to find a good career and in an informal setting to make their first meetings with future employers. Interest for getting that information was shown by young unemployed people, University students, students from vocational schools and the unemployed active job seekers.
On March 7th, the Job fair was visited by students from various vocational schools in Rousse as well as by the two vocational schools that participated in project activities and passed professional counseling, namely the Secondary School of Fashion Design "Nedka Ivan Lazarova" and Vocational High School for River Shipbuilding and Navigation ".