EIF and Telerik Academy sign agreement to help more students get IT training in Bulgaria

(Source: European Commission)

  • This is the first agreement under the EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot in Bulgaria.
  • In addition to the partnership with Allianz Bank Bulgaria, Telerik Academy will continue to offer tuition fee deferral with better repayment conditions.
  • More students throughout Bulgaria will benefit from IT skills training.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Telerik Academy have signed a guarantee agreement covering a portfolio of tuition fee deferrals of up to €2.5 million to help students finance their IT skills training. The guarantee is backed by the European Commission EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot. The agreement will allow Telerik Academy to continue its growth and expansion since becoming an independent organisation four years ago.

Under the agreement, and with the continued partnership with Allianz Bank Bulgaria, Telerik Academy will continue to offer students the option to pay for their studies with a tuition fee deferral. This will benefit students from across Bulgaria who can also join courses online. In addition to tech skills training, Telerik Academy offers career soft skills training, coaching and mentoring to support students both during their studies and after graduation, and ensure a successful start to their career.

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “Digital technology and IT skills are no longer optional in our societies, instead they have become essential. The COVID-19 crisis has both accelerated the digital transformation and highlighted a need for deeper cooperation across sectors and industries. I am therefore delighted to announce the first agreement under the EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot in Bulgaria, which will support students throughout Bulgaria in their education and career development. This important initiative will contribute to turning our vision for Europe’s recovery and digital and green transitions into reality.”

EIF Deputy Chief Executive Roger Havenith stated: “IT skills are key to getting more people into jobs, especially in times of working from home. That’s why we are happy to announce the first guarantee agreement in Bulgaria under the EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot initiative. The agreement with Telerik Academy will support students in their career paths and foster the growth of a local IT ecosystem. We are happy to continue supporting the Bulgarian economy during these challenging times.”

EIB Vice-President Lilyana Pavlova commented: “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation of our societies. That’s why I am very pleased to announce the first operation under the EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot initiative in Bulgaria. The agreement will allow more than 1 100 students to access IT skills training that enhances their employment opportunities in the future. This partnership is also important for the economic and social cohesion of our society, demonstrating the EIB Group’s commitment to supporting prosperity across Bulgaria.”

Telerik Academy CEO Alexandra Mechkova said: “We’re very happy to be able to join hands with the EIF who share our mission of providing more people with better career opportunities as well as of supporting the growth of the local economy, and in particular the IT sector in Bulgaria. As the first organisation in the region to have successfully undergone the EIF’s rigorous due diligence process and become part of the EFSI Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot speaks volume to the progress and evolution of our organisation and team over the past four years since our spin-off.”

Background information:

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

Telerik Academy is the leading tech-ed organization in Bulgaria, that prepares the next generation of digital leaders for successful careers in IT. Its mission is to connect Bulgarian talent, organizations, and training resources to advance personal development, professional careers, and the growth of the local IT sector. Founded in 2009, Telerik Academy is one of the most prominent education organizations in Bulgaria with a 140,000-strong community. Today, Telerik Academy alumni fuel the success of hundreds of organizations, big and small, local and multinational.

The Skills & Education Guarantee Pilot (S&E Pilot) is a debt financing initiative dedicated to stimulating investments in education, training and skills – as part of the solution to get more people into jobs and to better respond to the European economy’s changing needs. Investments in skills contribute to growth, competitiveness and social convergence, while addressing the challenges linked to digital transformations and the transition to a carbon-free economy. The EIF implements the S&E Pilot on behalf of the European Commission and thus, the initiative benefits from the EU’s budget support under the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), main pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe.

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