VET in Hungary has undergone quite a few changes in the recent years. The new government that entered into power in 2010 had soon expressed its intention to launch a fundamental restructuring of VET to raise the share and prestige of skilled workers’ training and so eliminate the apparent labour shortage in many vocations.

In line with the views of, and in increasing cooperation with, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the duration of vocational school (szakiskola) training was reduced from 2+3 or 2+2 to three years, starting VET from the first year, at age 14 (as of September 2012) while increasing the share of vocational practical training and promoting apprenticeship training. Recent legislative amendments introduce further structural changes into VET from September 2016.

The names of all three types of IVET programme are going to change: as of the 2016/17 school year, vocational schools (ISCED 353) will be called secondary vocational schools (szakközépiskola), secondary vocational schools (providing upper as well as post-secondary level education at ISCED 344-454 level) will become vocational grammar schools (szakgimnázium), while special vocational schools that train students with special needs will go by the name of vocational school (szakiskola). The rationale given in the justification of the amendment to the public education act claims that ‘the new name and renewed training form should have adequate appeal to young people and thus increase the number of applicants to VET schools’.

The new secondary vocational school (current vocational school) programmes will have a structure of 3+2 years. The first three years will be the same as in the current programme, while the optional +2 years will consist of a general education programme that prepares learners for the secondary school leaving exam (ISCED 344), the entry requirement to higher level education. This, however, is only a formal change since such a programme is currently available to vocational school graduates in secondary vocational and grammar schools.

The transformation of secondary vocational school programmes began in 2012, with the introduction of a VET component providing practical training from the start in the first four years. On passing the secondary school leaving exam in a vocational subject at the end of the four-year programme, students now get a certificate that entitles them to take up certain jobs, even though VET awarding a vocational qualification is only provided in the post-secondary year(s). With the latest legislative amendments, however, as of September 2019, this certificate will be a proper vocational qualification listed in the national qualifications register. The share of VET in the framework curricula of these programmes will be raised by 70%. It will include the common content of all vocational qualifications in the given sector as well as vocational theoretical and practical training for the vocational qualification to be awarded at the secondary school leaving exam.

More information (in Hungarian): 6917-6956. old.