The main features of the Hungarian VET system are:
- participation in both upper-secondary VET tracks is decreasing;
- apprenticeship has been steadily increasing (25% of all IVET learners in 2017 had an apprenticeship contract);
- early leaving from education and training is a challenge, especially in VET; it coexists with low employment rates in the age span 15-24;
- the share of adults enrolling in VET offered in the school system to upskill is on the rise ( ).
Distinctive features ():
The national vocational qualifications register (NVQR), in place since 1993, comprises State-recognised (partial, full or add-on) vocational qualifications that can be acquired either in formal upper and post-secondary IVET or outside the formal education system. NVQR qualifications entitle holders to practise the occupation specified in the vocational and examination requirements set for a given qualification. The register has a modular, competence-based structure and is regularly updated in accordance with labour market needs. The revision process is run by the ministry responsible for VET (currently, the Ministry for Innovation and Technology) in coordination with the ministries responsible for the qualifications and the recently created sectoral skills councils (coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, with the involvement of the Chamber of Agriculture in relevant sectors). It closely follows the economy.
Young people and adults need to pass the complex examination upon completion of VET programmes () in order to obtain an NVQR vocational qualification.
To improve quality and efficiency in a heavily fragmented institutional VET structure, 44 regional integrated VET centres were created in 2015 and have run under the responsibility of the ministry responsible for VET.
A shortage job list is issued each year on the basis of recommendations from the ‘county development and training committees’; it is based on employment and employability data and labour market needs forecasts. Practice providers are offered incentives to encourage training in shortage jobs and learners receive grants. In school-based VET, learners enrolled in programmes to acquire a first qualification in shortage jobs may receive a scholarship, based on their performance.
Despite a decrease since 2015, youth unemployment remains substantial and coexists with great skills shortages and mismatches. The demographic decline has negatively affected enrolment in VET, especially in skilled workers training. programmes. Nearly one third of VET learners in ISCED 3 level programmes leave education without qualifications, mainly due to disadvantaged socioeconomic background and low basic skills.
Changes in VET-related legislation in 2015 aimed to enhance the image, quality and attractiveness of vocational education and training in line with European policies and national priorities set for 2016-20.
Bridging programmes replaced the previous catching-up variants in 2013 and were reformed in 2015. They are available in both general and vocational streams, and allow underperformers (often learners from deprived backgrounds) to acquire the basic skills necessary to enrol in upper secondary education and training. In the vocational stream learners can achieve a partial NVQR () qualification before moving to upper secondary VET.
VET programmes updated in 2015 and offered as of 2016/17 aim to ease access to occupations in demand, balancing labour shortages and skills gaps. Upper secondary VET programmes offer a first vocational qualification while easing progression routes.
The quality and relevance of practical training is a priority. Dual training (apprenticeship training contract) is being promoted. The percentage of practical training in companies has increased considerably; minimum pedagogical knowledge has been made compulsory for in-company trainers. The chamber guarantee (2015) measure and the reform of upper secondary VET in recent years resulted in an increase in apprenticeships enrolments by 8%.
Increase of the number of apprentices (except for the sector of agriculture) between 1997/98 and 2017/18
Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 2018.
Adult learning for all is being promoted. Acquiring a second NVQR qualification is free of charge () since 2015 (without any age limit); the measure opens up more than half of full or partial NVQR qualifications to older workers. The Chamber of Commerce has been developing standards for the majority of qualifications in skilled workers training since 2010. This responsibility is currently being reviewed in relation to the responsibilities of the newly created sectoral skills councils, coordinated by the chamber. Programmes supporting further education are designed to help the inclusion of the Roma in those areas where they are mostly affected.
Adapted from Spotlight on VET Hungary 2017 ():
Population in 2018: 9 778 371 ()
Population in the last decades is decreasing due to low birth rates and relatively high mortality rates. It decreased by -1.3% since 2013 ().
The population in Hungary is decreasing and ageing.
The old-age dependency ratio is expected to increase from 27 in 2015 to 53 in 2060 ().
Population forecast by age group and old-age-dependency ratio
Source: Eurostat, proj_15ndbims [extracted 16.5.2019].
According to national statistics (), the number of young people under 15 as well as in the age span 15-64 are falling, while the number of people aged 65+ is on the rise.
An increasing share of people over the age of 50 in the working-age population concurs with a declining number of school-age learners (see figure below). That indicates a further decrease of learners in initial vocational education and training (IVET) and an increasing demand for continuing vocational education and training (CVET) and other forms of adult learning.
Learners in initial education and training (aged 3-22) (), 2008-18
Source: Hungarian Central Statistics Office, Társadalmi Haladás Mutatószám rendszere (System of Indicators of Social Development) http://www.ksh.hu/thm/2/indi2_2_1.html
At the 2011 census, 98.4% of the people declared that they spoke Hungarian as their native language and 4.3% identified themselves as a member of one of the recognised minority groups (Roma, Germans, Croats, Slovaks, etc.).
The largest minority group are Roma (). Their share among school-aged children is significantly higher ( ) than their share in the population and is on the rise. The vast majority of Roma learners continue their studies after completing primary school (integrated primary and lower secondary education) in VET at upper secondary level ( ), but almost half of them leave upper secondary education without any qualification. Less than a third of them obtain an NVQR ( ) qualification and only about a quarter acquire the secondary school leaving certificate ( ).
The high drop-out rate among Roma learners can be explained mostly by their socially disadvantaged background and their competence deficiencies accumulated during their prior schooling. Roma learners and adults are therefore prioritised for receiving public scholarships and support in labour market programmes.
The economy is small and open. Small sized enterprises are 99.7% of all enterprises. The share of micro enterprises among them was 97.8% on 31 December 2017 ().
Only 0.3% of all enterprises are medium sized and 0.1% is large.
SMEs employed two thirds of the workforce () and produced 43% of gross value added (GVA) in 2016 ( ).
Economy is characterised by a shift to services that produced 64.8% of total gross value added (GVA) and employed 63% of the workforce in 2017.
Industry still had a share of 26.4% of GVA and employed nearly a quarter of the workforce (23%).
The construction industry and agriculture produced 4.8% and 3.9% of total gross value added and had shares of 6.8% and 5% of total employment, respectively ()).
Main export industries are:
- pharmaceuticals and medical technology;
- ICT (telecommunications, IT outsourcing, IT services, software and hardware production);
- food processing industry;
- chemical industry;
- textiles and clothing industry.
The labour market is highly regulated. A list with all regulated professions in Hungary is available at the European database of regulated professions ().
In 2018, the total unemployment () in Hungary was 3.2% (6% in the EU-28); it decreased by 3.7 percentage points since 2008 ( ).
Unemployment rate (aged 15-24 and 25-64) by education attainment level in 2008-18
NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series; low reliability for ISCED 5-8, age 15-24.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education. ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_urgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].
Unemployment has decreased in the last decade. The unemployment rate of unskilled workers, although decreasing steadily since 2014, is considerably higher compared to the share of people with medium- and high-level qualifications.
Employment rate of 20 to 34-year-old VET graduates has increased from 78% in 2014 to 84.5% in 2017 ().
Employment rate of VET graduates (20 to 34 years old, ISCED levels 3 and 4)
NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; breaks in time series.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_24 [extracted 16.5.2019].
The employment rate of 20 to 34-year old VET graduates increased by 6.1 percentage points in 2014-18 and is higher compared to the increase in employment of all 20 to 34-year old graduates (+4.8%) in the same period in Hungary ().
In Hungary, most people in the age group 25-64 have a medium level qualification (59.8%, against 45.7% in the EU-28), placing Hungary fifth among all EU28+ countries with the highest share in this group in 2018. People with high level qualifications represent 25.1% of the total population aged 25 to 64, which is lower than the EU average (32.2%). The share of people with no or low level qualifications (15.1%) is below the EU-28 average (21.8%) in 2018.
Population (aged 25 to 64) by highest education level attained in 2018
NB: Data based on ISCED 2011; low reliability for ‘no response’ in Czechia, Iceland, Latvia and Poland.
ISCED 0-2 = less than primary, primary and lower secondary education.
ISCED 3-4 = upper secondary and post-secondary non-tertiary education.
ISCED 5-8 = tertiary education.
Source: Eurostat, lfsa_pgaed [extracted 16.5.2019].
Share of learners in VET by level in 2017
Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs01, educ_uoe_enrs04 and educ_uoe_enrs07 [extracted 16.5.2019].
The share of learners in lower secondary VET decreased by -0.2 percentage points from 2013 to 2017. In the same period, the share of learners in upper secondary VET decreased by -3.5 percentage points.
Share of initial VET learners from total learners at upper-secondary level (ISCED level 3), 2017
NB: Data based on ISCED 2011.
Source: Eurostat, educ_uoe_enrs04 [extracted 16.5.2019].
Traditionally, there are more males in VET (63.2%, or 66.1% in full time education in 2016/17), though the share of females is nearly 50% in programmes that span upper- and post-secondary education (49.8%, or 47.5% in full time education).
Males prefer IT, engineering, transport, electronics, manufacturing and construction, while females most often enrol in health and social care, economics and office management and services (tourism, catering, the beauty industry).
The share of early leavers from education and training has increased by 1 percentage point, from 11.5% in 2009 to 12.5% in 2018. It is above the national target for 2020 of not more than 10% and the EU-28 average of 10.6%.
Early leavers from education and training in 2009-18
NB: Share of the population aged 18 to 24 with at most lower secondary education and not in further education or training; break in series.
Source: Eurostat, edat_lfse_14 [extracted 16.5.2019] and European Commission, https://ec.europa.eu/info/2018-european-semester-national-reform-programmes-and-stability-convergence-programmes_en [accessed 14.11.2018].
Reducing the high number of drop-outs from VET is a national challenge. Early leaving from education and training can be explained mainly by learners’ disadvantaged socio-economic background and low basic skills (due to quality problems with primary school education provision) and the inability of VET schools to compensate these disadvantages (). A mid-term national strategy to prevent early leaving from education and training is in place (2014-20).
In 2014, learners in ISCED 353 level VET programmes () accounted for nearly half of all drop-outs whereas they represented only 21% of the whole school population. Nearly one-third of learners leave these programmes without a qualification ( ). The share of drop-outs from the other VET track (vocational grammar school ISCED 344 programmes combining general and vocational subjects at upper secondary level) is lower but remains high ( ).
More information on early leaving from E&T in Hungary ().
Adult participation in lifelong learning (aged 25-64) is being promoted in Hungary, with a special focus on early leavers and people without a VET qualification.
Participation in lifelong learning in 2014-18
NB: Share of adult population aged 25 to 64 participating in education and training; break in series.
Source: Eurostat, trng_lfse_01 [extracted 16.5.2019].
Participation in lifelong learning increased by 2.7 percentage points since 2014 (from 3.3% to 6.0% in 2018) and is lower than the EU-28 average (11.1% in 2018). However, this increase is due primarily to a break in the series of statistical data: in 2015, additional clarifications and reminders were added to the Hungarian survey for better coverage of compulsory training systems and introduction courses for those who started their job recently ().
VET learners by age group (*)(2010-16)
NB: (*) In school-based VET programmes and in adult training; data about adult training excludes learners in the following programme categories: catching-up training of disadvantaged people, foreign language training, general adult training and preparatory training aimed at obtaining entry competences.
Source: Statistical yearbooks of public education (2011-18). Online OSAP 1665 statistics https://statisztika.mer.gov.hu [accessed 18.6.2019].
Initial education and training system comprises:
- pre-primary (ISCED level 0);
- integrated primary and lower secondary (ISCED levels 1 and 2);
- integrated lower and upper secondary general education (ISCED levels 2-3);
- general (ISCED level 2) and vocational bridging programmes (ISCED levels 2-3);
- upper secondary general, vocational or combined education (ISCED level 3);
- post-secondary non-tertiary VET (ISCED level 4);
- higher education VET (ISCED level 5);
- higher education (ISCED levels 6,7 and 8).
The term ‘public education’ (köznevelés) () refers to the right to education to all from pre-primary to post-secondary non-tertiary level, and includes general and vocational education programmes in kindergartens and schools ( ).
Compulsory schooling covers age three to 16. Education is free of charge up to the obtainment of the upper secondary school leaving certificate and/or two NVQR () vocational qualifications ( ).
Pre-primary education is provided in kindergarten (óvoda) from age three to six (). It is followed by an integrated primary and lower secondary eight-year programme (általános iskola; age 7-14) ( ). To move on to upper secondary education, learners must complete the programme and thus obtain the primary school certificate.
For learners at risk of dropping out from education, two bridging programmes are in place ():
- a one-year public education bridging programme (köznevelési hídprogram) for learners who finished lower secondary education but did not get admitted to upper secondary education, to prepare them for the entrance exam; and
- a two-year VET bridging programme (szakképzési hídprogram) for learners who completed at most two (out of four) years of lower secondary education by age 15.
Upper secondary general education is provided in the so-called gimnázium (age 14-18). To move on to higher level studies, learners must obtain the (upper) secondary school leaving certificate (érettségi bizonyítvány) at the secondary school leaving exam at the end of grade 12.
Higher education () includes academic programmes at EQF levels 6-8. Vocational programmes are offered in higher education at EQF level 5, but are not considered VET ( ).
Adult education programmes (felnőttoktatás) offer general and vocational education at all education levels in flexible learning forms ().
Government-regulated VET is offered:
- within the formal school system (participants have the status of student):
- in VET schools, regulated by the 2011 public education act ( ) and 2011 VET ( ) act. Programmes are offered at EQF levels 2 to 5, either:
i) in regular full-time education for school-age learners and young people up to age 25; or
ii) in flexible learning forms for those over the compulsory schooling age (16) and older adults in adult education ();
- in higher education, regulated by the 2011 Higher education act ( ). Following the introduction of the 2011 VET act ( ), EQF level 5 higher education vocational programmes offered in HE are no longer considered part of VET;
- outside the formal school system (adult training) regulated by the 2013 adult training act ( ) and the 2011 VET act. Participants have a contractual relationship with the training provider.
National legislation thus distinguishes between VET provided within the school system (iskolai rendszerű szakképzés) and VET provided outside the school system (iskolarendszeren kívüli szakképzés), in adult training. VET qualifications included in the national vocational qualifications register () can be obtained in both sectors (and only these are provided within the school system, along with a formal education qualification upon completion of the programme that allows learners access to the next qualification level). Initial and continuing VET is also available in both, though full time VET provided within the school system is typically considered IVET.
Education provided within the formal school system is free of charge up to the obtainment of the upper secondary school leaving certificate (grade 12) and/or two NVQR () vocational qualifications ( ). Adult training courses are fee-paying but the training of vulnerable target groups (unemployed, Roma etc.) can be publicly funded.
Work-based practical training is a part of the curricula of all VET programmes leading to NVQR qualifications and can be provided either in a school workshop or at a company. Apprenticeship training is only available in VET provided within the school system.
The type of attendance (full-time, part-time, evening classes, distance learning) of VET programmes depends on the type of education a learner is enrolled in.
Regular full-time education is mandatory for learners in compulsory schooling (up to age 16), in both the general and vocational paths.
Adult education (felnőttoktatás) (learners over 16) provides general or vocational programmes within the school system at all levels () in the following learning options:
- full time (corresponding to 90% of regular full-time education programme hours);
- part time (evening classes, 50%);
- correspondence courses (10%); or
- in ‘other’ (e.g. distant learning) forms.
Adult education targets learners who did not obtain a formal school certificate of a certain level or a VET qualification during their compulsory schooling, or who want to attain a new qualification. Adult education courses do not differ from regular full-time courses in terms of objectives, admission criteria, structure, main characteristics of curricula, or the awarded State-recognised qualifications.
Learners in the age span 16-25 may either enrol in regular full-time school-based education or enrol in adult education.
Share of learners in VET (provided within the school system) by learning form (%), 2017
Source: Educational Authority (Oktatási Hivatal): http://www.oh.gov.hu/, 2018.
Most people in adult education attend evening classes, only a few participate in distant learning or in any other special forms. The lower-qualified, older population are offered specifically designed programmes within adult training supported by the State.
Adult training (felnőttképzés) includes general, language or vocational programmes, provided outside the school system and covers many different types and forms of learning opportunities.
The scope of the adult training act of 2013 () covers:
- training leading to NVQR qualifications;
- training financed from public sources (the State budget or the training levy) ( ).
Outside the scope of the adult training act, other training programmes regulated by the State include:
- training towards licenses, diplomas, certificates etc. not listed in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR), required to perform certain jobs or to fulfil certain positions ( ); their content and objectives are defined by legislation;
- mandatory further training programmes for a given occupation ( ) regulated by the responsible ministers.
The VET landscape shaped by the 2011 and 2015 (ongoing) VET reforms.
The content, funding and governance of VET were reformed in 2011 () with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( ) gaining an even more important role in VET delivery. The 2015 reform focused on tackling early leaving, supporting VET and apprenticeships take up to provide skilled workforce ( ). Moreover, since 2016/17, the content and names of the different VET programmes were modified to raise the prestige and attractiveness of VET ( ). New legislation in December 2017 introduced apprenticeships earlier (in grades 11 and 12) in the upper-secondary years of the (longer) VET track ( ).
Dual VET and apprenticeships were enhanced especially in upper secondary VET since 2012 and have been coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The chamber’s role in shaping VET was expanded by the introduction in 2015 of a chamber guarantee () for securing training places for VET learners. Policy priorities in vocational education and training focus on improving the quality of dual training and increasing the number of companies offering practical training (apprenticeship training contracts) ( ).
Provision of practical training
The share of theory and practice in vocational training is defined in the vocational and examination requirements of the pursued vocational qualification included in the national vocational qualifications register (NVQR). There are two possible legal forms of training at a workplace (in VET provided within the school system), the first one is privileged by the VET act:
- apprenticeship contract (tanulószerződés): the contract is made between the student and the company ( ); apprentices receive monthly payment and are entitled to social insurance;
- cooperation agreement (együttműködési megállapodás): the contract is made between the school and the company and learners receive payment only for the three-to-five-week practice during the summer holiday.
Apprenticeships are supervised by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK), which is responsible for accrediting and registering training providers, supporting learners to find one and registering apprenticeship contracts ().
Since 2015, learners are only allowed to participate in practical training at the school workshop or at a company, based on a cooperation agreement if there is no company (apprenticeship) placement available to them, which has to be confirmed in writing by the Chamber (the Chamber’s guarantee).
An apprenticeship contract can be signed from the beginning of the first VET year (). However, in the first year (grade 9) of secondary vocational school (ISCED 353) programmes and vocational school programmes for SEN learners practical training can only be organised within the school or at a company workshop dedicated exclusively to practical training (except for the summer practice).
Practical training (as from grade 9) () can be organised on the basis of a school-company agreement only in special circumstances:
- if the share of practical training is less than 40%;
- if practical training is provided within the school and the company only provides the summer practice or supplementary practice;
- if the practical training is provided at a State-maintained organisation; or
- if an apprenticeship contract cannot be made due to lack of apprenticeship offer (confirmed by the Chambers guarantee) ( ).
Provision of practical training by VET programme type
In 2016/17, while most vocational grammar school learners (upper and post-secondary, respectively ISCED 344/EQF4 and ISCED 454/EQF 5 programmes) still had their practical training in a school workshop or at a workplace based on a cooperation agreement, the majority of secondary vocational school learners (ISCED 353/EQF level 4 programmes) participated in dual (apprenticeship) training. The share of learners in one of the two forms of company-based learning by programme type is shown in the figure below.
Share of learners by type of company-based learning and programme type (%), 2016/17
NB: (*) data on cooperation agreements in ‘vocational schools for SEN learners’ are included under ‘secondary vocational schools’ – except for agreements signed in programmes that award a partial qualification that are included under ‘vocational school for SEN learners’.
(**) including 103 cooperation agreements signed in vocational bridging programmes.
Source: Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK); KSH STADAT database: http://www.ksh.hu/stadat_eves_2_6
Extending dual training (apprenticeships) in VET:
- a policy target was set to increase by 2018 the share of apprenticeships in skilled worker’s training (ISCED 353 VET programmes) to 70% ( ) and in the other VET track (spanning upper and post-secondary levels) to 25%;
- the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Agriculture support learners find an apprenticeship. Since the introduction of the Chamber guarantee in 2015, apprenticeship became the default form of practical training in VET schools. Practical training may be provided at the school workshop (or at a company based on a school-company agreement) only after the written confirmation by the chamber that no apprenticeships are available;
- apprenticeship training has been introduced in adult education programmes since 2015 ( ).
New legislation in December 2017 () introduced a number of measures to further extend apprenticeship training in upper-secondary VET:
- introducing the possibility to conclude apprenticeship contracts in grades 11 and 12, when the programme involves at least 250 hours per grade (500 hours of practical training in total in two years);
- in the last year (grade 8) of lower secondary, learners may conclude a ‘pre-apprenticeship contract’ ( ) which is a company commitment to offer, at a later stage, an apprenticeship contract to the learner who would enrol in upper-secondary VET;
- extending the range of organisations eligible to provide apprenticeship training to State organisations and NGOs ( );
- the regulation that aimed to prevent enterprises set up only to train IVET learners to receive public funding from the training levy was modified because it was unfavourable for micro companies; at the same time, the number of learners that a micro or small enterprise can train was limited to 12 ( ) to ensure more effective training;
- an opportunity was introduced for companies to establish joint sectoral training centres.
Learn more about apprenticeships in the national context from the European database on apprenticeship schemes by Cedefop: http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/en/publications-and-resources/data-visualisations/apprenticeship-schemes/scheme-fiches
Governance of the Hungarian VET system
Central governance and administration of VET and adult training, since 2018, is under the competence of the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (innovációs és technológiai miniszter) with other ministries being responsible for qualifications in their sectors. The government has responsibility on VET in issues that exceed the competences of the above.
The Ministry of Human Capacities is in charge of public () and higher education where VET within the formal school system and higher education VET ( ) are provided. The Innovation ministry and the Ministry of Human Capacities are responsible for framework curricula of VET and general education, respectively. Other ministers are responsible for qualifications standards in their sectors.
The national vocational qualifications register (), the vocational requirement modules, examination regulations and funding of VET programmes are regulated in government decrees and the government approves education and VET strategies.
The National Office of VET and Adult Learning (), supervised by the Ministry for Innovation and Technology, ensures coordination and implementation of national VET and adult learning policies. Its main tasks include:
- consultative role including preparation of draft legislation for decision-making;
- qualification and curricula development in VET;
- subsidy management;
- operation of VET centres; and
- career guidance.
The Education Authority is an agency of the Ministry of Human Capacities that operates:
- the national systems of assessment in public (general) education;
- the uniform admission procedure to upper secondary education (both general and VET);
- the secondary school leaving exam;
- pedagogical counselling services; and
- qualification procedures within the teacher career system and teacher/school inspections.
The Pest County Government Office is responsible for registering vocational exams and registering and inspecting adult training providers and programmes ().
The employment departments of county/capital government offices, as part of the national employment service led by the Ministry of Finance, provide training support for vulnerable groups.
Social partners involvement – the role of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry has an important role in VET in policy advice, qualifications development for manual jobs (), accreditation and supervision of practice providers, provision of apprenticeship contracts (including the chamber guarantee measure ( )) and career guidance services.
Social partners shape VET policy through participation in advisory bodies, mainly:
- the National VET and Adult Learning Council ( ), advising strategic policy issues and allocation of development funds;
- 18 sectoral skills councils (SSCs) ( ) were set up in 2018 ( ) operating under the coordination of the chamber of commerce (with the involvement of the chamber of agriculture in relevant sectors) to monitor labour market trends and needs for new skills and qualifications;
- at country level, 19 country development and training councils ( ) design short-and medium-term VET strategies on local needs, prepare lists of ‘qualifications in demand’ and propose quotas for enrolment places considered for financing VET from the State budget ( ).
VET providers – public education sector ()
Governance of schools has been centralised (2013) and the majority of VET schools (those that came under the maintenance of the ministry responsible for VET in 2015) have been integrated into a network of 44 vocational centres (). The vocational centres coordinate education and training activities of the member schools, manage their finances and help them offer training better aligned with labour market needs, promoting partnerships with businesses and innovation.
State-maintained VET schools in the sector of agriculture, (and forestry, fishery, food industry etc.) are operated by the Ministry of Agriculture and belong to the network of agricultural VET schools (46 schools).
The Ministries of Interior and of Defence as well as some universities also operate some VET schools that provide sector-specific programmes.
Under the public education act (), church and business entities, foundations, associations, etc., can also maintain schools, which can get funding from the central government budget based on an agreement with the minister responsible for VET ( ).
Provision of practical training
Practical training is part of the curricula of all VET programmes and can be provided in school-based setting or at companies based on an apprenticeship contract (of the learner and the company) or a cooperation agreement (of the school and the company, see Section: 7. Apprenticeship).
Dual VET is provided through apprenticeship training contracts which is an integral part of initial (primarily, ISCED 353 level) VET programmes () and is provided by companies. Apprenticeships are coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry ( ) which is responsible for accrediting and registering training providers, supporting learners to find a placement at a training provider and registering apprenticeship contracts ( ).
Since 2017, companies may establish joint sectoral training centres which are being set up in order to support the capacity of SMEs and micro enterprises to offer training ().
VET providers – higher education sector
Vocational programmes offered at EQF level 5 are provided by higher education institutions ().
Higher education VET programmes include a mandatory, one-semester-long (minimum 14 weeks) period of company-based practice in the last (4th) semester. In case that is provided in a block of six or more weeks, it must be organised on the basis of a cooperation agreement between the higher education institution and the company. The company then also has to make a student work contract (hallgatói munkaszerződés) with the student.
CVET/Adult training providers
Learners in adult training must sign a training contract with the training provider. The Adult training act of 2013 – the scope of which only covers courses that award an NVQR qualification or are publicly funded – replaced the former system of institutional and programme accreditation by a new system of licensing. Training providers have to apply for a licence that specifies the courses they offer. The license is awarded for an indefinite time by the Pest County Government Office (), based on the opinion of an expert committee. All providers should apply a quality assurance system, which must be in line with a framework system ( ) defined by the minister responsible for VET and adult raining. Adult training providers include:
- public and higher education institutions engaging in adult training as a supplementary activity;
- other budgetary or State-funded institutions, most notably, regional training centres ( );
- the chambers of economy organising the master craftsman exams and offering preparatory training;
- private training companies;
- NGOs (non-profit organisations, professional associations, etc.); and
- employers providing in-company (internal) training for their own employees.
The public expenditure for education including primary, lower and upper secondary education, general and VET streams in 2016 was 2.37% of the GDP.
Learners may enrol free of charge in formal VET to prepare up to two VET qualifications listed in the national vocational qualifications register (). VET schools are funded by:
- the State budget and the contribution of the school maintainer that cover the costs of training provision in VET schools;
- a training levy paid by enterprises ( ) that finances practical training provision at enterprises as well as the training sub-fund of the National Employment Fund ( ); the latter funds the Adolf Szabóky VET Scholarship programme for IVET learners and various development measures (see sections: Incentives for learners and Incentives for enterprises);
- the contribution of training provider companies that cover a part of the costs of their practical training provision ( ).
VET is funded from the State budget on an annual basis (). The aim of the so-called ‘qualification structure decisions’ regulated by the VET act is to adjust local VET supply to the needs of the economy and reduce skills mismatch. Every year (until the end of March), the county development and training councils based on local labour market information, skills analysis, and forecasts make proposals on qualifications/VET programmes to be offered from the following school year to receive State funding. The final government decision (decree) defines per county/the capital the range of those qualifications and vocational grammar school sectors for which VET school maintainers:
- can enrol any number of learners without limitations;
- are not entitled to any funding from the State budget;
- can request budgetary contribution up to certain student quotas that are defined for each school maintainer in each county/the capital (for both full time attendance and adult education).
The ‘training levy’ and the National Employment Fund (NFA) training sub-fund
There are several ways enterprises may pay the vocational training levy:
- by providing practical training to students in VET and certain higher education programmes ( ) and deduct their costs from the training levy, up to a certain amount, calculated on the basis of a base per capita rate and a coefficient (of 0.7 to 2) defined for each qualification ( ). Furthermore, if the amount of the payable training levy does not cover all eligible costs, these can be claimed from the NFA training sub-fund;
- by providing or financially supporting employees’ training, the costs of which can be deducted from the training levy up to at most 16.5% (but only if they also train at least 30 VET apprentices); or
- by paying it directly into the NFA training sub-fund.
According to companies’ estimate, the share of VET student training costs which are deductible/reimbursable from the training levy and own funds was 80%-20% in 2016.
The training sub-fund of the National Employment Fund is also used to:
- support training providers that do not pay the training levy ( ) to offer apprenticeships;
- finance national programmes (and decentralised tenders) to improve infrastructure and technological capacities in VET and adult training programmes;
The training sub-fund can be used by the minister responsible for VET (assisted by the National Office of VET and AL and other advisory bodies on VET) according to the needs and policy priorities, in line with provisions regarding its use in legislation ().
CVET/Adult training funding
Adult training programmes provided outside the formal school system are funded by:
- participants’ (learner) contributions;
- employers’ contributions, including the training levy;
- the National Employment Fund (NFA) employment sub-fund ( ) which is used to finance training programmes for the unemployed and other vulnerable groups;
- the NFA training sub-fund (see above); and
- the central State budget and international (mostly ESF) assistance, which co-finance various development programmes.
Funding mechanisms include:
- public funding (of mandatory CVET in the public sector; grants for individuals, primarily for the unemployed and at-risk groups; and grants for micro and small enterprises);
- public-private cost-sharing (grants for at-risk groups; grants for enterprises; tax incentive for companies, see section: Incentives for learners);
- collective (employer, employee) investment to finance CVET (training leave and playback clauses specified by the Labour Code).
Teaching staff in VET schools
The employment, initial and further training of all teachers and trainers working in public education (where VET schools are found) () are regulated by the public education act. In addition, the VET act regulates the qualification requirements of in-company trainers.
The table below lists the types of VET teachers and trainers working in VET schools, their qualification and further training requirements, respective tasks and responsibilities.
Teachers and trainers employed in VET schools, 2018
tasks and responsibilities
General subject teacher/ Teaching general education subjects
Relevant teacher qualification (master degree) (ISCED 766)
Vocational teacher/ Teaching vocational theoretical subjects
Vocational teacher or trainer/ Teaching vocational practical subjects in the school
Instructor at an enterprise (in-company trainer)/ Instructing vocational practice at an enterprise
A relevant vocational qualification, at least 5 years of professional experience and
NB: (*) In case there is no relevant VET teacher training, those with a relevant higher education degree and any teacher qualification, or if there is no relevant higher education training, those with any teacher qualification and a relevant OKJ qualification and a master craftsmen certificate can be employed permanently.
(**) Those over 60 and those who instruct practice in one of the catering facilities of outstanding quality (listed in a ministerial decree) are exempt from the latter requirements.
Source: VET and Public education acts.
VET teacher qualifications can currently be obtained in:
- 4+1-year undivided (long) university programmes; or
- four-semester master programmes (in which the duration of training can be reduced to three semesters by recognising previous teaching experience in public education); or
- two-semester master programmes by those who already hold a master diploma in the professional field.
The vast majority of learners in vocational teacher training study in master programmes, in part time, correspondence learning form.
The 4+1 year programmes include subject-specific training (minimum 160 credits), a teacher training module (50 credits) and a one-year-long final external school teaching practice (40 credits). The duration of external teaching practice is one semester in the four-semester master programmes. VET teacher training programmes prepare participants for teaching several subjects of vocational theory.
Since 2006, vocational instructor training is offered in seven-term bachelor level programmes in three areas (business, technology and agriculture) and various specialisations. They consist of subject-specific training, pedagogical studies (including psychology) and practical training, the latter includes a teaching practice and a 12 week-long external vocational practice.
The qualification requirements of in-company trainers supervising the practical training of VET learners at enterprises are defined by the VET act. All instructors must have a relevant vocational qualification and at least five years of professional experience. In addition, since 2015, they either have to hold a master craftsman certificate or a higher education degree or, since 2018, a certificate awarded at the newly introduced instructor training and exam of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Teachers and trainers in higher education VET programmes
Higher education VET programmes have been fully integrated into higher education since 2013, therefore the qualification and further training requirements of VET teachers/trainers involved are regulated and vary by institutions.
VET teachers and trainers in adult training
Adult training legislation – effective for programmes that award an NVQR qualification or receive funding from the central budget or the training levy – makes a distinction between (a) instructors of vocational theory (VET teachers), (b) instructors of vocational practice (in-company trainers) and (c) instructors of language education. The former must hold a relevant VET teacher qualification or at least a relevant higher education degree or any higher education degree and a relevant vocational qualification. Those who instruct practical training must have at least a relevant vocational qualification and five years professional experience.
The continuous training of teachers and trainers working in public education (where VET schools are found) () are regulated by the public education act. The VET act regulates the qualification requirements of in-company trainers but make no provision for the continuous professional development of in-company trainers (see table below).
Teachers and trainers employed in VET schools, 2018
Title/ tasks and responsibilities
General subject teacher/ Teaching general education subjects
Compulsory in-service training of 120 hours at least once every seven years (can be accomplished by accredited in-service training, formal education and even some forms of non-formal and informal learning)
Vocational teacher/ Teaching vocational theoretical subjects
Vocational teacher or trainer/ Teaching vocational practical subjects in the school
Instructor at an enterprise (in-company trainer) / Instructing vocational practice at an enterprise
No compulsory in-service training
Source: VET and Public education acts.
Teachers/trainers who have not obtained a new degree or qualification in the past seven years must participate in in-service training that contributes to the renewal of their knowledge and skills. School leaders are required to attend courses that develop leadership skills, including those that prepare for the pedagogical professional examination, available in postgraduate specialisation programmes (ISCED 667 or 768).
The public education act of 2011 introduced a teacher career model that is divided into five categories, with each corresponding to specific career options, differentiated remunerations and possibilities to be promoted. Special provisions concerning VET teachers were introduced in 2015 and 2017, to promote the employment of practitioners with professional experience. An education inspection system was introduced in public education in 2015 that involves external experts to support the assessment and quality development of teachers’ work.
There are no legal requirements concerning the in-service training of in-company trainers.
VET teachers and trainers in adult training
In-service training for adult training instructors is not mandatory, but adult training providers have to operate a quality assurance system, including procedures to ensure the continuous training and quality of instructors. Current practice shows great variety in this respect and most adult training providers offer further training for their (full-time) instructors on an occasional basis only.
More information is available in the Cedefop ReferNet thematic perspective on teachers and trainers ().
Labour market forecasts
Short-term labour market forecasts have been produced by the labour organisation since 1991, since 2005 in cooperation with the Institute for Economic and Enterprise Research of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (). Forecasts are made annually, based on a stratified sample of companies, representative for sector and size. They provide information about current and prospective layoffs and demand by sector and occupation groups ( ).
The labour departments of county government offices also regularly prepare quarterly analyses of prospective layoffs and opening positions planned by companies in the following three and 12 months. These are based on data reported to the given county office ().
Since 2008, the Economic and Enterprise Research of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK GVI) also prepares annual surveys on labour market supply and demand specifically for skilled workers over the course of the next one and four years. These include qualitative information about employers’ satisfaction with the general and vocational competences of VET graduates (). Data are collected by the local chambers. The results assist county development and training committees to make informed recommendations to the minister responsible for VET about enrolment in VET schools (see section: VET funding mechanisms) and to prepare the county-level lists of qualifications in-demand that serve as the basis of allocating additional funds to learners and enterprises.
One of the tasks of the newly (2018) established sectoral skills councils will be to prepare short and mid-term forecasts to define the directions and objectives of VET development and to propose updates of qualifications and curricula.
Career tracking of VET graduates
The VET act foresees data collection (by graduates, VET providers and employers) for career tracking in the formal school system and in adult training (), implementation is yet pending.
The National Office for VET and Adult Learning will run the national career tracking system of VET graduates, collecting data from the National Tax and Customs Administration (), the pension insurance system and the public education information system.
Currently, a national project co-financed by ESF () is developing a system of VET graduate tracking.
Annual VET supply and demand surveys conducted by the Economic and Enterprise Research of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK GVI) included ‘career tracking snapshots’ to map the labour-market success of those who acquired an in-demand vocational qualification through apprenticeship training. Different methodologies have been used; the latest in 2018 involves surveying a sample of learners in their last school year and then seven-eight months and again 19-20 months after graduation.
In higher education, a ‘hybrid’ system of graduate career monitoring () combining national and institutional level tracking was developed with ESF support in 2008-10. This is based on a different methodological approach (survey of graduates using a questionnaire, three and five years after graduation), and the results and analysis of the DPR ( ) data collection are published annually.
See also Cedefop’s skills forecast () and European Skills Index ( ).
The national vocational qualifications register (NVQR)
The national vocational qualifications register lists all formal vocational qualifications (full, partial and add-on) regulated by the 2011 VET act (). Qualifications may be acquired by completing a vocational programme, meeting all the complex vocational and examination requirements set for a given qualification and passing the final complex exam. Some of the qualifications in the register can be obtained only within the formal school system, some only in adult training, the rest in both forms. The register was created in 1993 and has since been regularly reviewed and amended ( ).
Three types of qualifications are available:
- a vocational qualification entitles its holder to perform all jobs related to one or several occupations; its vocational and examination requirements typically include several qualification-specific modules as well as modules shared by two or more qualifications;
- a partial vocational qualification entitles its holder to perform at least one job and its vocational and examination requirements contain only some of all modules of a qualification; no programmes to award it can be launched within the formal school system, except for vocational programmes for SEN learners and the vocational bridging programme;
- an add-on vocational qualification can be obtained by those who have already obtained a vocational qualification; it typically includes only qualification-specific modules and entitle its holder to perform a new job that requires higher level expertise.
The classification of the register (seven-digit identification number) specifies the level of qualification, if it can be acquired in the formal school system or in adult learning, and the training field for each qualification. Detailed other data are also included in the NVQR register ().
Vocational and examination requirements (SZVK)
Standards of a qualification included in the national register (NVQR) are defined in its vocational and examination requirements () - published as a decree of the responsible minister - that specify (among others):
- its entry requirements;
- the jobs that can be performed by those holding this qualification and the occupational profile;
- share of theoretical and practical training;
- duration of summer practice;
- learning outcomes: identification numbers of its ‘vocational requirements’ modules (see below); and
- assessment standards: ‘examination requirements’, including any preconditions (e.g., foreign language exam) and the content and form of the exam activities.
Vocational requirements modules
A module may be unique or shared by two or more qualification(s) that belong to the same occupational group or sector. Modules are published in a separate government decree () and specify for each work activity:
- the occupational standards (its ‘task profile’); and
- the related ‘character profile’ that specifies different types of knowledge and skills required to perform those tasks ( ) ( ).
Designing and updating qualifications and standards
Any institution or person can initiate the deletion, modification or introduction of a vocational qualification in the NVQR register by submitting a proposal to the minister responsible for the given qualification (sector). The initiating institution or person must provide detailed justification for the amendment ().
Proposals are first reviewed by the National Office of VET and Adult Learning (). Social partners are involved in the process through the National VET and Adult Learning Council ( ), whose opinion is consulted by the minister responsible for VET before making a final decision ( ). Social partners and experts (practitioners as well as teachers) ( ) were involved in all major VET qualifications development projects initiated by the government.
Standards can also be updated without modifying the national register, by the amendment of the SZVKs/vocational requirement modules only. In that case, SZVKs are developed by practitioners and teacher experts, commissioned by the responsible body/agency. The Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry () has played a special role in qualification design, it was responsible for developing the standards of the majority of qualifications (those that are required for manual jobs). Their role in qualification design is being reviewed in 2019 in relation to the responsibilities of the newly set up sectoral skills councils.
Sectoral skills councils
Under a 2017 amendment to the VET act, as of 1 July 2018, the chamber of commerce coordinates the operation of the newly established sectoral skills councils (SSCs) (). In case of sectors which fall within the competence of the Minister for Agriculture (including also forestry, food industry and fisheries), this task will be carried out with the involvement of the Hungarian Chamber of Agriculture ( ).
On the government’s initiative (), 18 SSCs covering 41 economic sectors, each with 7-19 members, were set up in 2018. These are voluntary associations of stakeholders in a given sector that will support and promote the design, update and development of qualifications standards and align them with labour market and employer demands. Their work includes:
- monitoring of labour market trends and technological developments;
- making proposals for new/updated qualifications in the national register and training programmes and skills;
- making forecasts to share short- and medium-term strategies.
Framework curricula in IVET
VET schools have to prepare their own local VET curricula based on centrally prepared framework curricula issued for each VET qualification in the national register: these define the vocational subjects to be taught and their content and class hours, based on the vocational and examination requirements (). They are issued in a decree by the minister responsible for VET and adult training ( ), with the approval of the minister responsible for education ( ) and the minister responsible for the given qualification. The protocol of designing and updating framework curricula is defined by the minister responsible for VET and adult training. Curricula are developed by commissioned teacher experts and practitioners and then validated by the National Office of VET and Adult learning.
The local curriculum of general education provided in VET schools is prepared by the schools based on the National Framework Curriculum published in a government decree as well as framework curricula published by the minister responsible for education.
Standards and curricula in adult training
- Adult training courses that award a VET qualification included in the national vocational qualifications register have to observe the same standards (vocational requirement modules - SZVKs) and framework curricula as those applied in formal school education;
- Concerning other vocational courses not included in the national vocational qualifications register, adult training providers are free to design and deliver their own curricula and they have to observe regulations of the Adult training act only if the training is financed from the State budget or the training levy ( ). Curricula of such ‘supported other vocational training’ have to include all data specified in the adult training act and be designed in accordance with a programme listed in the register of ‘adult training vocational programme requirements’ ( ).
The adult training vocational programme requirements are similar to the vocational and examination requirements () in content and function: they define outcome standards along with NQF level, entry requirements/competences, minimum-maximum class hours etc. for each module. They were introduced by the Adult training act of 2013 to promote uniform and transparent standards in adult training.
They can be designed by anyone and submitted to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which is responsible for their registration. Under the chamber guidelines assisting their design, adult training vocational programme requirements have to define learning outcomes for each module, in accordance with the knowledge, skills, attitude and responsibility-autonomy descriptor structure of the Hungarian Qualifications Framework (HuQF/MKKR).
Proposals are approved by a five-member Programme Committee of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which includes three adult training programme experts delegated by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) (), one delegated by the Chamber of Agriculture (NAK) ( ) and one by the responsible minister.
The complex vocational examination
State recognised vocational qualifications listed in the national vocational qualifications register are awarded at the final complex vocational examination. The preconditions of sitting this exam are defined in the vocational and examination requirements of the given qualification:
- in courses provided in adult training, these include passing a final exam in all modules (‘module exam’);
- in VET provided within the formal school system, the certificate issued upon the successful completion of the reference school year is equivalent to taking these module exams.
At the final complex vocational examination, learners’ competences are assessed in various (written, oral, interactive and/or practical) exam activities (as defined in the vocational and examination requirements) by an independent examination board. The exam board comprises four members: one is the candidate’s teacher/trainer, the others are experts from the national register of examiners. The president of the board is appointed by the minister responsible for VET and adult training. In the case of qualifications overseen by the chamber of commerce – that make up the majority of the qualifications for manual jobs – he/she is appointed from among the experts recommended by the chamber.
In principle, those who fail to meet all vocational and examination requirements of a given qualification may still receive a partial qualification. In practice, however, this seldom happens. Learners can get exemption from taking a module exam in adult training (those that they have previously passed). Learners in VET schools can also get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision.
The national quality assurance system of VET provided within the school system – as part of public education - was introduced by the 2011 Public education act from school year 2015/16. It involves regular external pedagogical-professional evaluation (inspection) of teachers, school leaders and schools, based on their self-assessments as well as the analysis of students’ performance at standardised tests. The three elements of evaluation – self-assessment, external inspection and teacher qualification (within the framework of the national teacher career model, that aims to qualify teachers to enter the next teacher category) – are linked and aligned in several aspects (using the same assessment areas and standards), albeit they serve different purposes ().
Self-assessment must be carried out once every five years by all teachers and schools and by school leaders in the 2nd and 4th year of their mandate. Based on their self-evaluation identifying outstanding areas and areas for development, teachers, school leaders and schools prepare five-year development plans and carry out organisational and personal development programmes.
The national external evaluation (inspection) aims to evaluate teachers, school leaders and schools with the primary objective of supporting their professional development. It is carried out in all public education institutions once every five years by the Educational Authority (the inspection of a school must be preceded by or conducted in parallel to the inspection of school leaders). The experts involved in the inspection process are peers with significant professional experience in the given sector, chosen from the national register of educational experts. Based on uniform as well as sector-specific standards and using various methods (document analysis, observation, interviews, parent and student surveys) the inspection assesses:
- teachers’ pedagogical work in the eight teacher competence areas (as defined in the common teacher qualification standards);
- school leaders’ leadership performance in five areas, including relations with companies providing practical training for IVET students; and
- the quality of pedagogical-professional work, implementation of the pedagogical programme and development in target areas of the school.
From school year 2018/19, the evaluation standards for VET have been adapted to the EQAVET framework (). Based on the results of the inspection:
- teachers and school leaders update their five-year development plans; and
- the school leader prepares a five-year action plan setting out development measures for the school, which is approved by the teachers.
The quality assurance of companies that provide practical training to VET school students is ensured by their accreditation and monitoring by the chambers of economy in cooperation with the VET school. The inspection covers checking the adequacy of personal and material conditions and the fulfilment of legal regulations regarding training provision.
As regards training programmes provided outside the formal school system, the adult training act of 2013 – the scope of which only extends to courses that award an NVQR qualification or are publicly funded – replaced the former system of institutional and programme accreditation by a new system of licensing. Training providers have to apply for a licence that specifies the courses they offer. The license is awarded for an indefinite time by the Pest County Government Office (), based on the opinion of an expert committee. All providers should apply a quality assurance system, which must be in line with a framework system ( ) defined by the minister responsible for VET and adult training.
Hungary does not have a nationwide validation system based on uniform principles and procedures. The validation of non-formal and informal learning outcomes appears in some policy documents as an important tool for lifelong learning but there is no evidence of an explicit national strategy (). Arrangements for recognition of prior learning in place in 2018 are presented below.
The VET act provides for the opportunity to recognise previous work experience in the completion of vocational practical training, subject to the principal’s decision. Learners in VET schools can also get their prior learning recognised during their training, subject to the principal’s decision.
Furthermore, in adult training, those who have not participated in training can also take the module exams () and then the complex vocational exam. However, though compared to general and higher education, VET is closer to the learning outcomes approach since standards are modularised and defined in competences, one of the main obstacles to the validation of prior learning is that educational and assessment standards are not yet defined in terms of genuine learning outcomes ( ).
Under the adult training act of 2013, assessment of learners’ prior learning (competences) is compulsory in adult training courses that provide a vocational qualification listed in the national vocational qualifications register and in State-supported foreign language courses; in other publicly supported training programmes it must be carried out upon the request of the applicant.
Validation of prior learning in vocational courses not leading to a qualification included in the national vocational qualification register is also promoted by the fact that curricula must be based on adult training vocational programme requirements, which must be defined in terms of learning outcomes. However, assessment of prior learning is often more like a placement test that aims primarily to sort learners into ability groups and thus to increase the efficiency of training ().
For more information about arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning please visit Cedefop’s European database ().
Supporting skills for jobs especially in skilled workers’ training, raising the attractiveness of and participation in VET as well as promoting apprenticeship have been high in the policy agenda in recent years. Incentives are in place to support these goals.
Financial incentives in IVET
- regular allowance and other benefits for learners in work-based training: pay during the summer practice (cooperation agreements) or monthly salary (apprenticeship contracts, see also below). The amount of payment is regulated by the VET act: it is linked to the minimum wage but varies according to the share of practical training in the programme, its form of delivery and learners’ performance and diligence;
- the ‘Adolf Szabóky VET scholarship’ programme ( ) encourages learners to enter VET and train for ‘qualifications in-demand’ (hiányszakképesítés) included in a list established by the local county development and training committees ( );
- the ‘Road to an occupation’ (Út a szakmához) scholarship programme targets early leavers; it offers a small amount of monthly scholarship to disadvantaged learners in VET schools ( );
- the regular stipend ( ) provided to participants of the vocational bridging programme; and additional funding for the payment of teachers in these programmes; and
- some local scholarship programmes for VET school learners, especially in counties with significant industrial activity.
- monthly salary;
- paid sick leave/maternity leave;
- time spent in apprenticeship counts towards pension;
- reduced cost meals, reimbursement of travel costs, safety and work clothes and other mandatory benefits.
Competitions and media campaigns such as
- WorldSkills and EuroSkills (2018, held in Budapest);
- the excellent student of the trade competition for IVET learners in programmes run under the supervision of the Chamber of Commerce;
- final rounds of VET study competitions at the annual Trade Star Festival.
Financial incentives for adult learners
- financial remuneration and other benefits provided to apprentices; apprenticeships are available in adult education since 2015. The number and share of adult education participants in skilled workers’ training have nearly tripled in the past three years and have also increased in vocational grammar schools ISCED 344 upper secondary and ISCED 454 post-secondary programmes ( );
- an opportunity to obtain two VET qualifications within the formal school system free of charge:
- the first one either in full time education (by the age of 25, or at any age in adult education ( );
- the second one in adult education ( );
- acquire (free of charge) ‘add-on’ qualifications built on the first or second VET qualification included in the national register;
- learners with multiple disadvantages ( ) or special education needs can obtain any number of qualifications free of charge, and they can study in full time learning at any age;
- training support ( ) through the national employment service available to the unemployed and vulnerable groups ( ). Beneficiaries are selected and assisted to choose sector, a qualification-in-demand and a training provider among those available at county level; employers may also launch supported training programmes if they will provide immediate employment;
- central, regional and county labour market programmes. These include - in addition to financial - other individual psycho-social support, mentoring, work placement or temporary employment and entrepreneurial support. ESF-supported training programmes are in place ( ).
Among job seekers participating in labour market training programmes in 2017 71% of beneficiaries were in the age group 25-54 (24% under 25), 59% were women; in terms of level of qualifications they had at most lower secondary education (39%) or a VET qualification (40%).
Learners in training organised by employers are mostly men (75%), aged 25-54 (81%) with a VET qualification (67%). Most attended training for the unemployed (and public workers) and youth guarantee programmes for NEETs.
- The labour code includes a right to training leave/benefits ( ) for employees to attend primary education or under a study contract concluded between the employee and the employer ( ). In the latter case, after the end of the training programmes, employees are bound to remain in employment for a definite period of time ( ).
Incentives for companies to train VET learners
Training costs of VET learners (based on a cooperation agreement with a VET school or an apprenticeship contract with a learner) may be deducted from the training levy and claimed (costs not covered by this amount) from the National Employment Fund (NFA) training sub-fund, on a per capita rate of deductible/reimbursable costs differentiated by qualification (see Section: Funding).
Training providers training apprentices can also spend a part of their training levy on financing workshop development, payment of in-company trainers (in the case of SMEs) and workshop maintenance (in case of training 9th grade VET learners).
Hospitals and other non-profit organisations () can also claim training costs from the NFA training sub-fund.
The minister responsible for VET can also provide financial support from the NFA training sub-fund for companies to create or develop training workshops (). School-based VET trainers ( ) ensure cooperation between companies and the VET schools.
Incentives for companies to provide training for employees
Companies may use part of the training levy they are obliged to pay to co-finance their employees’ vocational and foreign language training. This option is mostly used by large companies, due to strict applicable criteria ().
The 2017 amendment of the Adult training act extended the definition of ‘internal training’ to include training programmes of the company’s suppliers’ and partners’ employees as well and facilitated short VET or language training courses (at most 30 hours).
Companies may also be supported financially by the State to offer training to employees if they create new jobs for at least 50 people or may participate in ESF-supported training actions for the professional development of their employees (either in-company training or other courses purchased from other training providers). In 2018, ESF support is ensured for two-year training projects targeting large companies and SMEs (respectively EUR 318 000 and EUR 159 000, corresponding to 50-70% of the total training costs).
Career guidance and counselling activities are overseen by the ministry of education as well as the ministry responsible for VET and adult training. Under the VET act, primary schools, VET schools, school maintainers, the chambers of economy, employer and employee associations, the county development and training committees (see Section 2.4) and the national employment service are all involved in such activities, coordinated by the latter. Since 2015 the National Office of VET and Adult Learning (NSZFH) is responsible for the development and supervision of lifelong guidance in VET. It set up a career orientation work team in 2015 to survey and coordinate the career orientation activities of VET centres (the majority of VET schools, see Section 2.4) and develop methodological guidelines. Based on their activities, a large-scale national career orientation event, called the ‘Night of Trades’, was introduced in 2016 (see below).
Under the public education act, career orientation of learners is a responsibility of the teachers. The National Core Curriculum defines it as an important development task, to be provided mainly as part of the ‘Way of life and practical skills’ subject area in lower secondary education. Career guidance and counselling services for primary and secondary school learners are also provided () by:
- the county/capital pedagogical counselling services, whose tasks include career counselling of (recommendation of school and training programme type for) learners, based on the professional analysis of their competences, attitudes and interests;
- the local chambers of economy, who provide career orientation and information services, especially regarding qualifications in high demand on the labour market, by organising career orientation events, factory visits, skills contests for primary school learners, etc.;
- the 44 VET centres (see Section 2.4), which provide information about their vocational programmes both to learners and adults looking for adult education/adult training opportunities. Currently, 788 teachers provide career orientation services in VET centres and their member schools, i.e., roughly two people in each school (source: NSZFH).
The most important tools of career orientation and guidance targeting primary and secondary school learners include open days in VET schools and career exhibitions and expos (). Such events are often organised by some or all of the above actors in cooperation with the employment departments of government offices. In 2016, initiated by the career orientation work team of the National Office of VET and Adult Learning, a new nationally coordinated annual event was introduced. On the ‘Night of Trades’, VET schools organise local career orientation events on the same day at the same time (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.) throughout the country ( ). In 2017, 8 706 teachers in 423 schools in 151 settlements organised 4 647 different activities (exhibitions, interactive programmes, factory visits etc.) at this event, that was visited by nearly 70 000 people. The primary objective is to increase the attractiveness of VET among the wider public and to provide an opportunity for schools to present themselves. An important tool for this is allowing visitors to ‘taste’ different vocations and thus obtain hands-on experiences.
Career guidance and counselling in higher education is offered at career centres that operate in most higher education institutions. Information about HE programmes, including higher education VET, is available on a website of the Education Office ().
Adults, unemployed as well as employed people, can obtain career information and counselling at the employment departments of the county/capital government offices. A network of Employment Information Counselling centres (Foglalkozási Információs Tanácsadó, FIT központok) operates as part of these, allowing access to tools (films, brochures, tests etc.) that assist career choice and provide career information. Career information and guidance are offered also by some companies, non-profit organisations, county community centres and family service offices.
Online career information, guidance and counselling is available on the National Career Guidance Portal (Nemzeti Pályaorientációs Portál) (). It provides information on occupations in various formats, links to relevant databases, career orientation tests, online counselling as well as methodological support materials to various target groups, including primary and secondary school learners, adults, parents, experts and institutions.
- guidance and outreach Hungary national report ( );
- Cedefop’s labour market intelligence toolkit ( );
- Cedefop’s inventory of lifelong guidance systems and practices ( ).