Eng. Veselin Todorov, the founder and chairman of the Association “Solar Academy Bulgaria” and owner of VVT Engineering, was among the guest lecturers at the annual training organized by the Council of Branch Organizations at the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI). The training was conducted under the “Healthy and Safe Working Conditions” Program and was attended by various branch organizations that are members of the Council.
Lachezar Iskrov, Deputy Chairman of the Council of Branch Organizations at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors, opened and led the event.
Tsvetan Simeonov, Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, welcomed the participants and provided updates on recent developments, including the adoption of the revised budget by the Parliament. He shared the Chamber’s positions on defending the interests of employers, addressing compensation issues for businesses in light of rising energy prices, and addressing concerns related to raw material costs. Participating branch organizations discussed common challenges within their respective sectors and expressed the need for Chamber support to overcome these challenges.
The topic “Green Energy as a Catalyst for Business,” presented by Eng. Veselin Todorov, stirred lively discussions. The lecturer underscored the necessity for legislative changes within the regulatory framework concerning the establishment of photovoltaic power plants for internal consumption within enterprises. These changes, he emphasized, would enhance the feasibility of photovoltaic projects and streamline investment procedures in this sector. The advantages of renewable energy sources and their benefits were highlighted. The importance of training highly skilled professionals in the realm of renewable energy sources was emphasized. Eng. Todorov showcased examples of implemented solar installations and shared the positive outcomes of their operation. He also noted an increased business interest in photovoltaics driven by reduced electricity costs.
As part of the “Healthy and Safe Working Conditions” training, the following presentations were also delivered:
A presentation titled “Safe and Healthy Working Conditions – Musculoskeletal Disorders: Risks and Prevention in the Workplace” was given by Chief Assistant Dr. Vlayko Vodenicharov from the Department of Health and Medical Sciences at the Institute of Hygiene at MA. The speaker introduced participants to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work’s (EU-OSHA) 2020-2022 campaign, themed “Healthy Places Lighten the Load.” The presentation explained the concept of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), their primary causes linked to work activities, and the impact of immediate work environments. Physical and biomechanical risk factors contributing to MSDs were discussed, accompanied by examples and strategies for prevention and mitigation of these factors.
Engineer Mario Ninov, a lecturer at VTU “Todor Kableshkov,” delivered a presentation titled “Healthy and Safe Working Conditions in the Transport Sector.” This presentation underscored the essence, significance, and utmost importance of providing health and safety training across all sectors of the economy. The primary goal is to prevent adverse consequences stemming from hazardous and harmful workplace factors, thus eliminating risks. The lecturer categorized safety and health measures at work based on their effectiveness.
The presentation highlighted that ensuring healthy and safe working conditions is an integral part of overall labor process organization and human resource management. It was noted that the executive branch, through its specialized bodies, implements state policies to ensure healthy and safe working conditions. A table detailing economic activities related to occupational accidents, work accidents involving women (including accidents causing disability or death) was presented.
Yordan Tashev from the Bulgarian Association “Labor Health and Safety” delivered a presentation on the topic “Monitoring of the Working Environment and Respiratory Protection Measures.” The speaker emphasized the importance of acquainting companies and individuals with the requirements and regulations for ensuring health and safety at work to prevent occupational accidents. The presentation highlighted that providing quality training on the subject requires not only knowledge and professional qualifications but also extensive experience conveyed effectively. A video clip titled “Why Safety at Work Is Important and What It Means” was shown. The presentation showcased instances where speed was prioritized over safety and security, leading to undesired consequences. The association’s motto is “Precaution Today – Security Tomorrow.” Various types of personal protective equipment tailored to specific industries were presented. The association also offers professional consultations for their development.
A presentation on the topic: “Impact of the regulatory framework in the field of PPE on the Investment Process and the investment and financial products provided by the members of the Investment Council at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry” was delivered by Vladimir Tomov, Chairman of the Investment Council at the Chamber. He presented through the participants the main activities of the Council, focused on: provision of financial and investment products; development and presentation of investment projects; examination of financing projects by the members of the Council; facilitating transactions between members; organizing and participating in seminars and forums.
The lecturer focused in detail on the types of investment and financial products provided by the members of the Council on Investments, including: structuring of specialized investment, guarantee and financial instruments with European and national donor funding; venture capital; share capital; accelerator programs with investments; guarantee instruments, including for start-ups; microfinance for start-ups and micro and small enterprises, agricultural producers, incl. producers of organic products and others.
A lively discussion took place on the topic “State of the real estate market after the Covid 19 pandemic” with the speaker: Alexander Bochev, vice-chairman of the National Real Estate Association and manager of RealNet. In his presentation, the lecturer gave an overview of the real estate market in Bulgaria before and after the Covid 19 pandemic. It was noted that during the pandemic, a serious drop in property prices was not noticed. A drop in rents has been felt as the shift to telecommuting has left many offices vacant and vacant with no takers. A search for houses was noticed around the big cities, at a distance of up to 40-50 km., and people became more cautious when buying green properties. Thus, in the conditions of the state of emergency and forced isolation, the real estate market has been put on “pause”. The lecturer emphasized that regardless of the epidemic, the purchase of real estate remains one of the safest long-term investments and one of the most preferred by Bulgarians.
Information was presented about a voluntary “Professional register of agencies, brokers and real estate agents” developed in NSNI, through which all real estate companies, not only members of NSNI, but all those who wish, will be able to present their activities and show their brokers and agents of service users. Different graphs were also demonstrated for property prices over the last 5 years in our country compared to those in the EU; average prices per sq.m. by cities in the EU and in Bulgaria; by neighborhoods in the city of Sofia, etc. The conclusion was that after the pandemic the real estate market is reviving.
At the end of the seminar, the participants expressed satisfaction and satisfaction with the topics presented and discussions held and rated them as very useful for their future work.