In Hungary, there is no coordinated skills anticipation system. Skills anticipation activities comprise of several employer surveys run by the public employment service (PES) and the Hungarian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (HCCI). The results of these surveys are important sources of skills intelligence and are used to provide estimates of current and future skills demand. The various skills anticipation activities that take place are thematically related, and the various agencies share know-how on an ad hoc basis. The activities, however, and their results are not fully integrated. The PES also maintains the “vacancy monitor” (based on information from employers).
The Ministry responsible for skills and labour market forecasting is the Ministry of Finance (Pénzügyminisztérium). Within the Ministry, the State Secretariat for Employment Policy and Corporate Relations (headed by a Minister of State), set up in May 2018, is the responsible body. The framework and databank for labour market forecasts could be considered the most comprehensive tool for skills anticipation in Hungary, as it offers an indication of labour demand and supply over the medium-term. Most of the data, however, have not been updated since the launch of the databank in 2013, when it included data for 2010 (see section “Skills forecasts” for more information).
Nevertheless, the Fiscal Council runs a short-term labour market forecast developed by the Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (IE CERS HAS), which is based on a restricted version of the above-mentioned framework and databank.
The Institute for Economic and Enterprise Research conducts employer surveys, collecting data about skills shortages, among others (Quarterly Business Climate Survey and Monthly Bulletin of Economic Trends). Surveys of the demand for, and supply of, students leaving vocational education, and tracking surveys of higher education graduates are also important sources of skills intelligence. It should be noted that the use of linked survey and administrative data relating to the career progression of higher education graduates represents a relatively advanced means of skills anticipation in Hungary.
In 2018, the sector skills councils were formed to monitor the labour market and technical technological developments to inform education and training provision, and the National Qualification Register. The Hungarian Chamber for Commerce and Industry oversees the work of the councils.
The primary aim of skills anticipation in Hungary is to match skills supply to labour demand, especially at the county level where the Development and Training Committees (Megyei Fejlesztési és Képzési Bizottságok, CDTCs) have a responsibility for ensuring that education and training supply meet demand in the labour market. The 19 CDTCs hold a key position in ensuring information and feedback loops are in place regarding the establishment and promotion of a demand-driven VET system and the coordination of VET development at national level. CDTC members were representatives of local employer and employee organisations, and chambers of commerce and industry. In the past, the Committees had a responsibility for making recommendations about the number of training places to be offered at the local level; this is now the responsibility of the Ministry of Finance.
The new Ministry for Innovation and Technology (Innovációs és technológiai Minisztérium) has responsibility for the overall coordination of adult and vocational training. Different elements of skills anticipation are designed to inform decision-making amongst policymakers, VET providers, young people for their studies, and jobseekers.
The regulatory framework relating to skills anticipation includes the following elements:
- Data collection and statistical analysis carried out by the PES is regulated by the Government Decree 291/2006;
- The development of graduate tracking was announced in the VET framework strategy (2005) with a regulation included as an amendment to the Public Education Law (2007) which stated that students, higher education institutions, and employers have a duty to provide data for statistical purposes. The tracking survey was first run in 2010;
- The Act on Vocational Education (2011, amended in 2015) restructured the system of VET. County-level Development and Training Committees (Megyei Fejlesztési és Képzési Bizottságok, CDTCs) have been set up to coordinate the provision of VET according to the labour market needs projected at the county level. The county level Chambers of Commerce and Industry (CCIs_ lead these committees;
- In 2013, the Labour Offices which make up the regional and local levels of the PES were merged into county level Government Offices. In 2015, the organisation overseeing the Labour Offices (the National Employment Office) was formally closed and since 2018 the Ministry for Finance took direct charge of issues related to skills anticipation. Previously, it was the responsibility of the Ministry for the National Economy.
Skills anticipation activities are the responsibility of the following authorities:
- At the national and county level, the Hungarian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (HCCI), the Institute for Economic and Enterprise Research and the Hungarian Statistical Office (Központi Statisztikai Hivatal, KSH) produce and publish skills anticipation data. HCCIs lead the county-level Development and Training Committees, which are the main organisations for the coordination of skills anticipation at that administrative level. The Committees review the evidence on the demand for, and supply of, skills, including information provided by the CCIs. Until 2015, these Committees made recommendations for the number of school-based VET places to be provided in a given county. The recommendations were based on information collected by the CCI and the county-level PES offices, through employer surveys, and the vacancy monitor. In 2015, decision-making on school-based VET provision was centralised when the Ministry for the National Economy (now Ministry for Finance).
- The Ministry of Human Capabilities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma) is responsible for skills anticipation related to higher education.
The role of stakeholders
As mentioned above, the county level Development and Training Committees are the main organisations for the coordination of skills anticipation at county level. These Committees are led by the county level CCIs which represent local employers.
There is a formal process for involving social partners in discussions relating to skills needs. Within this process, employers tend to be the more influential stakeholder group. The involvement of employers’ organisations is central to skills anticipation in the country: the Hungarian Chambers of Commerce and Industry at national and county levels are key players in data collection, analysis, and policy consultations relating to VET.
Employers’ role is central also in sectoral skills councils (SSCs) that are operative since the 1st of July 2018 based on the Act CLXXXVII/2011 on vocational training. There are 19 SSCs for 41 economic sectors, where 7-19 business representatives sit, depending on sectoral size and structure. SSCs keep track of economic, labour-market and technological developments at sectoral level, propose changes in the national qualifications register and suggest necessary adjustments of the vocational and adult education system to facilitate the match with labour market needs. So far, the role of SSCs has been proved important as they link employers’ needs and proposals with VET. Communication and collaboration between the SSCs and the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, with the support of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has played a major role.
Coordination of activities is more apparent at the county level where the Development and Training Committees are the main organisations responsible for bringing together stakeholders to discuss issues relating to the demand for, and supply of, skills. They bring together employer representatives (via the CCIs) and regional policymakers. The Committees are coordinated by the Ministry for Finance.
The intended primary user groups are policy makers at national and county level and VET providers. The objective of making labour market information available is to enable policy makers, individuals, employers, and training providers to make informed decisions. Young people deciding on VET and higher education courses; jobseekers and career guidance professionals are the secondary intended user groups.
The following organisations also use the results of skills anticipation exercises:
- The National Vocational and Adult Training Council (Nemzeti Szakképzési és Felnőttképzési Tanács, NSZFT) that assists the minister responsible for VET. It is a consultative body without any decision-making mandate. It can, however, issue recommendations and evaluations regarding VET policy and financing, and the National Qualifications Register (NQR);
- The National Qualification Committee is an advisory body working on the development of VET content. It monitors conditions in the external environment (e.g. economic and technological change) and the extent to which these require modifications to be made to the NQR;
- The National Economic and Social Council of Hungary (Nemzeti Gazdasági és Társadalmi Tanács, NESC) is a consultative, proposal-making and advisory body independent of the Government. Members include representatives of the economy: advocacy groups; employer associations; trade unions; representatives from academia; non-governmental organisations; and churches;
- The Fiscal Council of Hungary comments on the draft of the Act on the Central Budget, on the planning and execution of the budget, the use of public funds and the state of public finances. To fulfil these tasks, the Council has several studies conducted by independent institutions (universities, think-tanks, etc.). One of these studies is a short-term labour forecast.
Funding and resources
Skills anticipation is co-funded by the government and, over recent years through European Union grants (primarily the European Social Fund).