Home / The University / Faculties / Faculty of Economics and Business Administration / News / Chief Assist. Prof. Dr. Maria Trifonova participated in a discussion on creating quality jobs in Bulgaria




On June 28, 2023, a discussion titled "Quality Jobs: How to Create Them?" took place at the House of Europe in Sofia. The event was jointly organized by EURACTIV Bulgaria and Eurofound - the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions.

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The following speakers participated in the discussion:

  • Ivaylo Kalfin, Executive Director of Eurofound;
  • Anton Kasel, Head of Cabinet of Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit;
  • Ivanka Shalapatova, Minister of Labor and Social Policy;
  • Maria Mincheva, Deputy Chairperson of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry;
  • Svetlozar Petrov, CEO of Jobtiger;
  • Plamen Dimitrov, President of the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of Bulgaria (CITUB);
  • Dr. Maria Trifonova, Department of Industrial Economics and Management at Sofia University, and a research associate in the "Energy and Climate" program at the Center for the Study of Democracy.

Dr. Trifonova emphasized that the transition to sustainable, low-emission economic systems is associated with numerous new functions. She presented data indicating that the overall effect on the labor market from the energy transition is expected to be positive due to increased employment in sectors with higher added value and highly skilled and better-paid jobs. However, the lack of skilled workers and new skills may pose one of the most significant barriers to this transition. She reminded the audience that by 2020, a total of 1.2 million people in the EU were employed in the renewable energy sector, and it is expected that this number will increase tenfold in the next decade.

"Bulgaria cannot rely on importing skilled workers because the shortage is prevalent everywhere. The country needs to produce its own skilled workforce", said Dr. Trifonova.

"The strong employment growth in recent years has led to exceptionally low levels of unemployment and a need for labor in key sectors. From this perspective, the main challenge in the future will be to provide sufficient training for qualified employees who can meet the changing labor demand," she explained.

Dr. Mariya Trifonova pointed out that currently, women account for only one-third of the workforce in the renewable energy sector in Europe. "I would not say that women are widely represented in the decision-making bodies concerning the green economy and the transformation of the energy sector in Bulgaria as well. Many discussions on the green economy and energy in the country take place without any women participating, and the panels of conferences on this topic organized in the recent months confirm this observation," commented the analyst.

One of the goals of the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration of Sofia University for the upcoming year will be to develop a methodology for assessing both the quantitative and qualitative skills needed to achieve the green transition in the next 10 years, as well as mapping these needs across sectors.

A publication by EUROACTIVE summarizing the discussion could be found here.