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'In Hungary, there is no coordinated skills anticipation system at the national level. The governance of the skills anticipation mainly rests with the Ministry of Finance (Pénzügyminisztérium) [between 2010 and 2018 Ministry for National Economy (Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium)], while the Ministry for Innovation and Technology (Innovációs és Technológiai Minisztérium) is responsible for skills anticipation related to higher education. The national and county levels of the Chambers of Commerce and Industry (HCCI and CCIs respectively) have an important role in the supply and analysis of skills anticipation data, as does the Hungarian PES [National Employment Service (Nemzeti Foglalkoztatási Szolgálat)].' (Cedefop, 2017)
The Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara)
The role of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara) is worth emphasizing; this institution regularly checks the different international reports and the national developments (2019. tavaszi gazdasági előrejelzés) and its Institute for Economic and Enterprise Research conducts research about short term labour market prognosis every year commissioned by the Ministry. The Chamber has good governmental connections and often takes a position ('Kevés a szakmunkás, sok a gimnazista') on the links between education and the labour market, and the desirable directions. It must be noted that in the forecasting reports of the Ministry of Finance, references to young workers are very rare.
The Development and Training Committees
'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 of Finance. As noted above, the influence of Development and Training Committees has been reduced since 2015 with the Ministry of Finance taking a more of a leading role in making decisions about skills supply.' (Cedefop, 2017)
'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 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.
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) [Magyar Tudományos Akadémia], which is based on a restricted version of the above-mentioned framework and databank.
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.' (Cedefop, 2017)
The indications from forecasting systems are mostly used for calibrating formal educational policies (in terms of non-formal education, the policy still focuses more on creating a coherent framework and recognition instead of explicit content). In terms of that, there is a higher and higher emphasis put on the importance and relevance of VET within educational and economic policy in recent years.
'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 CCIs lead these committees.' (Cedefop, 2017)
Changes in vocational training system in the school year 2020/2021
In 2020, the Hungarian Government changed the system of vocational schools [1168/2019. (III. 28.) Korm. határozat - 'Szakképzés 4.0']. There are two main types of vocational schools: one of them starts with 2 years general education and continues with 3 years professional education and the students could obtain the maturity exam and a technical certificate together at the end of the 5th year. The other type of school consists of 1 year general education and in 10 - 11th grades the students could participate in dual training. After the general year grades the students have to take a basic exam. (For more information about the new vocational school system, please see sub-chapter 6.1. General Context.)
The reform of the vocational training system in the school year 2016/2017
The reform of the vocational training system (szakképzési rendszer 2016-tól) in the school year 2016/2017 aims to comply with the needs of the labour market:
'Vocation-specific content — and with that, the choice of profession — was brought forward to grade 9, the first year of initial vocational education and training (IVET) programmes in 2016/17 […]. The names of all three types of IVET programme were upgraded: secondary vocational schools [International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED) 344-454] became vocational grammar schools (szakgimnázium), vocational schools (ISCED 353) became vocational secondary schools (szakközépiskola), while special vocational schools that train students with special needs are now called vocational schools (szakiskola).
The new vocational secondary school has a structure of 3+2 years. Vocation-specific content was increased, while the teaching hours of general education content were drastically reduced. This restricts the possibility of transition between various IVET programmes, and may ultimately increase the risk of early school leaving […]. In the optional additional two years, learners can automatically continue their studies in the same school as part of a general education programme leading to the secondary school leaving exam (matura), the entry requirement for higher education. However, with the strong reduction in the basic skills content of the three-year curriculum, students are unlikely to acquire the level of key competenceis needed to master subjects for the matura.
As regards the 4+1 year vocational grammar schools, students now receive a certificate that entitles them to take up certain jobs on passing the secondary school leaving exam in a vocational subject at the end of the fourth year. In summer 2016, a new core curriculum was adopted for this type of school, under which the teaching hours for vocation-specific subjects were increased at the expense of science subjects. It needs to be monitored whether these changes do not limit transition options between study programmes.' (Education and Training Monitor 2016 Hungary, p. 7-8)
The dual education was introduced in 2015 in higher education
In line with the policy emphasis on VET, in 2015, the dual education was introduced in higher education.
'The existing types of higher education institutions — colleges and universities — were complemented by two new sub-structures. The first is the 'university of applied sciences', which offers at least two degree programmes in dual form. Unlike a university, a university of applied sciences is not required to offer doctoral programmes. The other new sub-structure is the 'community-based higher education centre' where an existing higher education institution delivers a tertiary programme in small settlements.' (Education and Training Monitor 2016 Hungary, p. 7)
Career orientation in the framework curriculum for vocational secondary grammar schools
The chapter about career orientation in the framework curriculum for vocational secondary grammar schools (Kerettanterv a szakgimnáziumok 9-12. évfolyama számára) refers to the importance of flexibility; the listed key competences are the following:
- communication in the mother tongue,
- communication in foreign languages,
- mathematical competence,
- digital competence,
- social and civic competence,
- sense of initiative and entrepreneurship,
- cultural awareness and expression,
- effective autonomous learning.
The framework curriculum for secondary technical schools (Kerettanterv a szakközépiskolák 9-13. évfolyama számára) lists the same fields and competences; however, the requirements regarding the competences are lower because of the lower number of the general lessons.
Information campaigns on VET programmes
Information campaigns on VET programmes are launched. The following three types of campaigns exist in Hungary:
- 'The Night of Professions' ('Szakmák Éjszakája'),
- 'Do your Profession!' ('SzakMÁzz!'),
- 'European VET Week' ('Európai Szakképzési Hét').
'The Night of Professions' ('Szakmák Éjszakája') is an evening and night event organized at national level, each spring since 2016, during which general public, especially students and parents can enter VET Centres and VET schools and see in practice the different professions. Special, profession-related activities and projects are shown as well as entertainment related to the VET offer.
'Do your Profession!' ('SzakMÁzz!') is an exhibition for career guidance in VET professions organized once a year and providing different activities and demonstrations of the professions.
'European VET Week' – ('Európai Szakképzési Hét') was launched by the European Commission, has been for the first time organized in late 2016 and was a great success at European level for Hungary: the country has come out as second on the list of the number of national events registered for the Week.