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Business community committed to 21st century education
• 27 Bulgarian organizations became the first to adopt the National Action Plan for implementation of the European Pact for Youth
• Eight priorities for change have been laid down in the National Action Plan and include all stakeholders: teachers, students, parents, schools and universities, individual companies and industry associations, as well as concerned non-governmental organizations
“The world is changing, young people are changing, education is changing, and so is business. Young people expect their work to be meaningful, to bring benefits to society, as well,” said CSR Europe member of the board Jacques Spelkens on the occasion of the signing of the National Action Plan for implementation of the European Pact for Youth.
The Pact for Youth is an initiative by the leading European business network for Corporate Social Responsibility – CSR Europe, and the European Commission. It aims to improve youth employment opportunities by creating business-education partnerships and providing new internship schemes or first employment opportunities. ‘Partnership’ is the new mode of operation in Europe. Business leaders and educational organizations from the EU have created more than 23,000 partnership projects, and good quality apprenticeships, internships or entry-level jobs already number more than 160,000 in Europe.
The National Action Plan envisions eight priority areas of activity with a focus on improving the quality of education, teacher training, active involvement of companies and parents in the governance of education establishments, individualized education, and early professional orientation for all schoolchildren. The Bulgarian document is one of the 24 adopted national plans, and the participants brought the following three new policy proposals before the European Commission:
1. To make business-education partnership the new norm.
2. To make training and internship an equal choice for all. 
3. To develop entrepreneurship, enterprise, and social skills at all levels of education.
“The Plan is an invitation for partnership and collaboration, an appeal to all concerned.
 Responsible business is a power for good: its role is to be innovative not just in the services and products it offers, but also to work for the public good, to anticipate challenges, to explore, invest, experiment, and offer solutions,” shared Ognyan Trayanov, Chair of the Bulgarian Network of the UN Global Compact.
As the first steps in its implementation, he noted:
“Our main approach is to work with industry associations, which need to identify the key occupations in their particular industry or branch, to make efforts to draw the interest of the young generations, to win their trust in that particular profession, and then to help ensure proper training and qualification of specialists.”


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