Letter to the Ministry of Education and Culture regarding changes in the payment of students in the dual education system

Issue No. 6 /06.02.2024


ABOUT:  Your letter ext. No. 1101-17/31.01.2024 - changes in the pay of students in the dual education system


On behalf of the Association of Bulgarian Employers' Organizations (AOBR), we would like to express our extreme concern and support in imposing the dual education model as a tool in our education system that ensures the link between education and the needs of the labor market for qualified personnel.

In the preparation of the legislation relating to work-based learning, employers' organizations actively participated in all phases of its preparation and public discussions. In this new form of on-the-job training, business saw a way out to overcome the acute labor market shortage of qualified personnel. The creation of conditions for quality professional education and workplace training, the establishment of a direct link between the educational process by updating curricula that meet modern technological requirements and the specific needs of business are the real results of this process.

This form of training helps to form work habits in the trainees and is an opportunity after completion of the compulsory training classes, i.e. completing their education in the 12th grade, those engaged in the enterprise as students to remain working there and have the necessary preparation for a successful start.

The very essence of the dual system means two sides, viz. in this case, two partnering parties - school and employer - with clearly defined and permanent responsibilities. Unfortunately, the information we have about engaging businesses in work-based learning has not yet reached the number and scope that business would like. On the other hand, it is a recognized necessity, a matter of need, but also a matter of opportunity. Any aggravation of the conditions can be seen as a restriction that will lead to a decline in interest rather than growth. Along with this, the economic conditions, the recession and the decline of the economy must also be taken into account.

Of course, as representatives of business, we find that the changes adopted by the people's representatives and the assumption of the due social and health insurance contributions for students, incl. in dual training, entirely at the expense of the state budget, are actions in a direction that would motivate both employers and students to more and more affinity for this form of training through work.

The issue of determining the remuneration of students who study in a dual form of education is not clear-cut. Clearly regulated in para. 6 of art. 230 CT, but in no way restrictive. There is no obstacle for the employer to pay higher amounts provided by this legal norm. There is a different practice in countries that have introduced dual education and training, in which the amount of remuneration is subject to sectoral CTDs, - depending on the working conditions and pay in the relevant branch, the remuneration should be significantly higher. We see no obstacle for the employer in the individual contract or in the framework contract with the school to provide for a significantly higher rate of pay. There are sectors in which such rewards are perfectly permissible and suggest it.

The regulation of the remuneration of students during the training through work, provided for in para. 6, of art. 230 CT, provides for minimum remuneration. The regulatory framework itself does not create obstacles for enterprises to pay more than the stipulated minimum guaranteed by this norm. This is a practice in many enterprises precisely in order to show interest in this form of training and work and to form the necessary classes. We must not miss that the conditions in different municipalities and economic activities/branches are different and any additional aggravation and administrative increase of minimum requirements will lead to the opposite of the desired effect. The assumption by the state of the payment of the obligation to pay insurance contributions from the enterprise would make it possible for these funds to serve for the growth of the remuneration of the students in the previous cases, and for others to discover the much-needed classes for which they have not had the financial opportunity to date .

Employer organizations do not see an obstacle in the existing norms for increasing the remuneration for students in the dual education system. Any attempt to introduce a new mechanism of increasing the regulated minimum remuneration for students in a dual education system would impose additional obligations and outflow from this form of education, especially in conditions of economic crisis in which we find ourselves. In our opinion, it is the right of every employer to make his individual assessment and, according to his capabilities, to create conditions for recruitment and training of personnel that he ultimately needs for the production process.

With respect:

Kiril Domuschiev

Chairman of the Board of KRIB
and 2024 AOBR rotating chair,
by order of AIKB, BSK, BTPP and KRIB