Forty-six per cent of businesses in Bulgaria had trouble filling vacancies that required ICT specialisation, EU statistics agency Eurostat said on July 12, citing figures for 2022.

ICT has fast become integral to the functioning of businesses, Eurostat said.

With emerging complex technologies and evolving internet usage, businesses demand skilled ICT specialists to adapt to the digital and data-intensive environments.

Last year, almost one in 10 (9.5 per cent) enterprises in the EU reported that in 2021 they recruited or were trying to recruit ICT specialists and 62.8 per cent of those enterprises had difficulties in filling those vacancies.

When considering the size of the enterprise, the proportion of enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit but faced difficulties was substantially higher among large enterprises (72.2 per cent).

Still, the shares were also high among medium-sized enterprises (63.7 per cent) and small enterprises (59.9 per cent).

Among EU members, in Slovenia (78.0 per cent), Czechia (77.0 per cent) and Germany (76.6 per cent), more than three-quarters of the enterprises that recruited or tried to recruit ICT specialists had difficulties in filling ICT vacancies.

Luxembourg (70.9 per cent) and the Netherlands (70.4 per cent) followed closely, with a significant proportion of businesses facing the same difficulties. 

The lowest shares were registered in Spain (32.8 per cent), Bulgaria (46 per cent), Poland (46.5 per cent), Slovakia (51.4 per cent), and Cyprus (54.5 per cent).

Difficulties encountered by enterprises when trying to recruit ICT specialists were lack of applications, lack of relevant qualifications and experience and high salary expectations, Eurostat said.