Youth and Student Programmes
Office 3, bl.50, Darvenitsa, Sofia, 1756, Bulgaria
22 Petar Raichev Str, Vasil Levski, Varna, Bulgaria, 9010
Our organization "Youth and Student Programmes" – YSP Bulgaria has 16 years history of organizing brigades in UK and, since 2006, in USA.
beginning the first brigades were in Kent,
South England, the so called “Garden
of England “. The farms
were all strawberry farms and only students from the Technical
University in Sofia took part. At that time our partner is
the English organization Concordia.
The fact that we are situated near the Student Town and some of the biggest universities in our country is very important for the increase of the number of the students who apply. The creation of our own web-site in 2004 helped us to become more popular.
The good and
hard work of our young team and in particular the careful selection of suitable
students, leaving for UK,
has helped us to establish our reputation as a serious, reliable and
trustworthy agency. All of this leads to an increase in the quota and the
chance for more and more students and young people to have the possibility to
during the time they want.
critical year for our activity was 2004. The worst and most unpleasant moment
occurred in April 2004 when the British Embassy stopped issuing business visas
All procedures at the Embassy were thoroughly investigated and they did not
issue the students’ visas that give you the right to work agricultural job for
an indefinite period of time.
During 2005 11 farmers, the owners of some of the biggest and the most famous farms, visited Bulgaria and the office of YSP. They made interesting presentations in some of the biggest universities in Sofia and Plovdiv. The aim was to acquaint the Bulgarian students with the living and working conditions in the different farms during their stay in UK. The meetings were very interesting and effective, there were a lot of pictures and DVD movies, showing the different types of farms. This helped a lot of students. Those students who have already taken part in such programmes had the chance to remember the great time they have spent in UK and to meet with their farmers.
Most of them were given certificates for finishing English Language Course by their employers. At the office of YSP the farmers were shown the way YSP works: the way the applicants are selected, how the interviews are conducted, the data base records from previous years. The advantage of our work is the database feedback we have with students and young people who have been to UK. In an inquiry every one of them has the chance to describe his stay in the farm when he comes back to Bulgaria. In this way this information becomes useful for the all the people who will work in these farms in the future.
On 20 January 2006 YSP team was invited to visit UK and several farms. All this was very useful for us. We discussed a lot of questions which are important for the applicants, we saw how the work permits are issued, all the transfer procedures.
During 2006 for the first time YSP became a sponsor for students who do not have parents and who cannot pay the fees for the brigade.
2006 was a
pilot year for YSP in the arrangement of student brigades for USA .The first
groups went to work in hotels, shops, restaurants, amusement parks and golf
clubs .We will also extend this activity in the future.
During 2007 we got IATA (International Air Transport Association) certificate and obtained a license for tour operator activity, giving us the possibility to issue tickets at preferential prices and to be flexible when organizing the trips by using an international online system.
During this year a special erp system for management software was developed. It is used when workers are selected by more than 10 criteria, which gives us the opportunity to become more professional and to avoid the subjective factor during the recruitment process. This is the main difference between us and other agencies that do not have such software.
From 2007 only applicants from Bulgaria and Romania had the right to participate in the agricultural programmes and a greater number of applicants, who had desire to take part in a brigade in UK had the chance to succeed.
During 2008 YSP opened office in Romania, in the town of Craiova. Having in mind the fact that only applicants from Bulgaria and Romania could participate in the programme, all the Romanians from southwest part of the country who wanted to work in UK had the chance to apply, come for interview and fill documents without travelling to the capital of Romania.
During the summer of 2009 our team started to visit the farms where our candidates work. In this way we have the chance to meet them, to understand what they think about living and working in the UK. We can see the living and working conditions on the farms, as well as the changes and the improvements that are made every year. We can also give some recommendations to the employers. Aiming at improving the living and working conditions in the farms, as well as the attitude toward our applicants, we would like this to become a practice in the future.
During 2010 we contacted consulting company that refunds taxes from all the countries in Europe. To facilitate the participants the office of this company is situated near our offices. There everyone can receive assistance and useful information about the procedures for tax refund and recognition of NI tax in Bulgaria. We continued to visit the farms where our candidates work.
In 2011 part of our team was invited to a conference together with our main partner. The conference was held in Brighton. During this week we discussed our future plans and visited a lot of farms and employers. All this was very useful not only for us, but also for the farmers.
During 2012 the annual conference was held in the capital of Scotland-Edinburgh. We discussed the past season as well as the coming one. We visited again a lot of farms.
This year our team was again in Brighton for the conference. The good work of YSP and the selection of suitable and motivated workers were discussed with our partner and a lot of farmers. All of them are pleased with our work together and guarantee more work placements in the future.
We will be loyal to all the applicants, who wish to take part in the agricultural programmes during 2014 and will try to come up to their expectations and to enjoy their confidence. We wish luck to all the applicants!
Why did you decide to participate in the programme organized by Concordia?