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Community (public) work program complemented with training programs (PW)

Policy Instrument

Community (public) work program complemented with training programs (PW)

Közfoglalkoztatottak képzése
Hungary

Description

Timespan

Training for PW participants was first introduced in 2013.

Stage

Fully operational

Foundations

Policy area

Public works is one of the major types of active labour market policy measures.

Policy goal

The policy goal is to lead the unemployed back to the labour market, so that people get work rather than social benefits. Community work means the launching of employment programmes that connect work and practical training, in order to eliminate employment disadvantages, increase the job-seekers’ qualification level, improve their skills, and transmit practical experience. The programme's available in the well-organised public application system, and also facilitate the realisation of local, as well as regional and national objectives with well-considered, planned and checked value-creating employment.

Mismatch

Part of broader programme, yet with explicit focus

Training for Public Works (PW) participants is part of the PW programme and focuses particularly on upskilling those with no skills (beyond primary education). PW is the main instrument for reducing long term unemployment.

Aim of policy instrument

Also functions as a political tool to make the provision of subsidies to unemployed/poor people acceptable to voters.

Administrative level

National

Main responsible body

Ministry of Interior

Stakeholders

Public Employment Services - providing services for the unemployed
Private companies, Local governments, public institutions, civil society organisations - acting as employers of PW participants
National Roma Local Government and local governments including the Roma minority local governments
Training providers - providing trainings for PW participants

Funding

Community work program is financed by the central government budget, while complementary training programmes are financed by EU funds.
Pathways to the labour market: 230 billion HUF (€740 million)
Training for low-skilled and PW participants: 30 billion HUF (€96 million)
We learn again initiative: 20 billion HUF (€62 billion)

Intended beneficiaries

The intended beneficiaries are more than 200,000 people involved in public employment. The community work programme connected with the training may provide useful knowledge for the participants, which may facilitate their future employment and personal development, and thus increase the chance of finding a job in the labour market after completion of the community work programme.

Processes

Use of labour market intelligence

There are different types of training programmes that complement public works measures. The aim of such training programmes is to make transition to employment easier. The Ministry of Inner Affairs supports the choice of funded training types, based on: labour market conditions; jobs in high demand; on labour market forecasts; and on the recommendations coming from the industrial chambers.

Financial schemes

Participants receive a net amount of €160 per month, which is paid in weekly portions.

Frequency of updates

The list of jobs in high demand is updated on an annual basis.

Development

The fact that PWs are complemented by training programmes as of 2013, is already a result of an adjustment, because the large-scale PWs failed to reintegrate participants into the labour market (according to evaluations, less than 8% of the participants managed to find a job on the primary labour market). Within the framework of training measures, no major changes or adjustments have been carried out.

Barriers

Strictly speaking, there were no problems with the implementation. The measure was launched, participants took part in it, they finished the trainings, etc. However, there are important lessons from this initiative too:
1) The most important problem that occurred during the implementation was that the training curriculum was not set at a level that was commensurate with the participants' skills. The training curricula was of a too low level for the target group in many cases.
2) Another crucial problem is that thus far, there is no evaluation that would prove that public works complemented with trainings are effective. However, the combination of the two measures is still a relatively new feature of the Hungarian ALMP portfolio.
3) Due to the large prescribed number of participants, some PES offices were simply unable to fill the places in the programme and have serious challenges finding enough employers to join the programme.
4) There is some evidence that the combination of PW and trainings overburden participants, and therefore they do not have enough time to look for a job.

Success factors

Trainings as a complement to PW themselves are an improvement compared to PW without skills-enhancing measures, which were ineffective in supporting the participants to return to the labour market.

Monitoring

There are no publicly available reports with information on indicators.

Innovativeness

Slightly innovative

The initiative represents a significant improvement compared to the previous state, in which the public works programme proved to be ineffective in supporting the unemployed.

Sustainability

Evidence of effectiveness

On average 223,000 people participated in the programmes in 2016. There is no information about the employment outcome of these people after they left the programme. There were no unexpected benefits or costs.

Engagement of stakeholders

This measure is rather top-down. The ministry stipulates the number of spots in the PW programme each year. The PES has to comply with this target number. Therefore, they have to cooperate with employers in order to be able place the sufficient number of participants in the PW programme.

Transferability

Easily transferable

Public works should be limited in scope and time frame. If complemented by a training programme, it is important that the public works last only for a few hours each day so that participants have sufficient time for the training and for applying for jobs as well. Good quality training providers linked to the PES are essential to implement such measures.

Sustainability

As the PW is such a large-scale programme, the government is unlikely to eliminate it completely from its ALMP mix. Trainings are crucial as complementary measures, as they can ensure that the unemployed have some chance to find a job on the primary job market.