The leading Bulgarian IT industry organizations - the Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BASCOM), Bulgarian Association of Information Technologies (BAIT), Bulgarian Outsourcing Association (BOA) and Bulgarian ICT Cluster, signed yesterday a cooperation agreement in the field of training and education of IT specialists with the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science.
The Bulgarian President, Mr. Rosen Plevneliev, attended the ceremony.
"Industries of the future, especially information technologies, should strengthen their positions in the Bulgarian secondary education. This will enable thousands of young people to find their successful career in the rapidly growing sector of high technologies and to stay in Bulgaria. And it will enable the Bulgarian economy to become more competitive globally", the President said. "I am proud that within my mandate the vocational education has found its rightful place as a strategic priority, and now it integrates one of the most dynamic industries precisely to this process through the upcoming profession" Application programmer" he added.
Stamen Kochkov, Chairman of BASCOM said that the agreement would help to solve the biggest problem of the IT industry - the shortage of qualified professionals. Currently, there is not any existing business that does not use high technologies, which means that without the development of IT human resources the economic development of the country will slow down. The software industry provided 2 % of the GDP of Bulgaria, he said and adding that although the sector was an employer of approximately 19 000 specialists, the taxes and social security insurance that were payed were equal to a quarter billion per year.
The main target of the agreement is to establish an effective cooperation in the training and education of the Bulgarian students to acquire advanced education in the field of software development, including vocational training tailored to the needs of the national economy and the rapidly evolving IT industry in the country. The agreement aims to support and build models for public-private partnership, and to create opportunities for implementing more initiatives of common interest.