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'In Hungary guidance activities and development are overseen by both the Ministry of Finance [between 2010 and 2018 Ministry for National Economy (Nemzetgazdasági Minisztérium)] and the Ministry of Human Capacities (Emberi Erőforrások Minisztériuma). In the current ministerial structure, the Ministry of Finance is responsible for active labour market policy, vocational education and adult learning. At the same time, the Ministry of Human Capacities has responsibility for the fields of youth policy, social inclusion, family policy, the implementation of the national Roma action plan, primary schools and general secondary education as well as higher education.' (Euroguidance.eu, 2015)
Most of the activities related to career guidance of young people are carried out within the framework of the National Youth Strategy (Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia) and/or the Youth Guarantee Programme, but the role of the general public infrastructure needs to be mentioned as well. The action plan of the National Youth Strategy for 2016-2017 [1535/2016. (X. 13.) Korm. határozat a Nemzeti Ifjúsági Stratégia 2016-2017. évekre vonatkozó cselekvési tervéről] requires the provision of support in young people’s career planning. The related activities and the different services provided at important points of individual career-decisions – choosing a school, further education, choosing a profession, entering the labour market – create a bridge and facilitates, the transition from learning to learning and from education to the world of work.
'For primary and secondary school students career guidance is a separate filed of development according to the National Core Curriculum (Nemzeti Alaptanterv). Without being a separate subject, career guidance is offered mainly under life management and practical skills.
Pedagogical professional services
Pedagogical professional services, as defined by the 15/2013 (II.26) Decree of the Ministry of Human Capacities [15/2013. (II. 26.) EMMI rendelet a pedagógiai szakszolgálati intézmények működéséről], have also become important actors in the guidance activities of primary school students. Guidance activities of the pedagogical professional services include testing the skills, learning abilities and the orientation of students and helping choose the appropriate educational institution.
The Act CLXXXVII of 2011 on Vocational Education
The former Act CLXXXVII of 2011 on Vocational Education (2011. évi CLXXXVII. törvény a szakképzésről) stipulates that as of September 2013 the chambers of commerce are also involved in vocational guidance activities. The guidance related tasks of the chambers of commerce include the following: vocational guidance and orientation for primary school students focusing on occupational skills shortages, events related to vocational guidance and orientation, organising field visits to factories and companies. The pedagogical professional services often cooperate with chambers of commerce and government offices at county level to support schools in vocational guidance and orientation.
The Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education
The Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education (2011. évi CCIV. törvény a nemzeti felsőoktatásról) states that with their information and counselling services the higher education institutions should assist the students in career planning during and after their studies and maintain a career tracking system. The majority of higher education institutions offer such services in the form of career centres and bigger institutions run career management courses or trainings. The availability of career centres and the the level of services provided are improving continually.
The core tasks of the labour departments of county government offices include not only employment and job-search counselling but also guidance, career and psychological counselling, as well as information provision on training opportunities. The services are available for both employees and job seekers.' (Euroguidance.eu, 2015)
National Employment Service and the Job Seeking Club (Nemzeti Foglalkoztatási Szolgálat és Álláskereső Klub)
The most significant service that can be used by every job seeker is the job-seeking counsel of the National Employment Service (Nemzeti Foglalkoztatási Szolgálat) and the Job Seeking Club (Álláskereső Klub). The job-seeking counsel is for those who would like to work, whose working aims are clear and reasonable but who have no knowledge and practice in job-seeking. There is a training available, which presents job seeking techniques, and a three-week-long Job Seeking Club, as well.
Besides that, the National Employment Service (and the formerly known National Labour Office) implemented a key Social Renewal Operative Programme (Társadalmi Megújulás Operatív Program – TÁMOP in Hungarian) project between 1 June 2012 and 31 May 2015, called 'Development for content and methodology of the career guidance system'. In the frame of the project short films about professions, career guidance questionnaires, trainings, researches and studies were made (A TÁMOP–2.2.2-12/01 kiemelt projekt eredményeinek rövid bemutatása), and the National Career Guidance Portal (Nemzeti Pályaorientációs Portál) was set up, which should offer targeted information for different target groups (including primary school and secondary school students), but the portal has not been updated since the end of the project.
New Generation Centre (Új Nemzedék Központ)
From the point of view of young job-seekers, the role of the New Generation Centre (Új Nemzedék Központ) needs to be mentioned. The New Generation Centre formerly provided support in career choices with several activities but from May 2020, its legal successor, the Elisabeth Youth Fund (Erzsébet Ifjúsági Alap), took over the tasks of the Centre.
Youth Guarantee (Ifjúsági Garancia)
Career guidance appears in Youth Guarantee [Ifjúsági Garancia (hereinafter referred to as IG)] programme, as well, and the programme is represented in the most significant career guidance exhibitions. (Vince-Bodnár Andrea) (For more information about the implementation of Youth Guarantee in Hungary see sub-chapter 3.2 Administration and governance.)
The Hungarian branch of Euroguidance (co-financed by the Hungarian government and Erasmus+), among its other objectives, takes part in dissemination activities related to career guidance and also creates and maintains databases of education and training.
Career guidance required of teachers
Apart from that, career guidance is also required of teachers by Act CXC of 2011 on National Public Education (Köznevelési törvény); according to its 62nd paragraph, 'The fundamental task of a teacher is […] to provide continuous guidance for his/her students’ career orientation and preparation for their active professional life'.
According to a non-representative research (Az iskolai pályaorientációs tevékenységhez szükséges kompetenciák), which was published in 2016, the actual occurrence of career guidance is accidental and depends mainly on the preparedness of the teacher. (Hegyi-Halmos, 2016)
The Human Resource Development Operational Programme HRDOP 1.2.3 project entitled Complex Youth Developments – New Generation Reloaded (Új Nemzedék Újratöltve), contains the sources that can be allocated to career planning. The project has several aims and a budget of HUF 5 billion (most of the resources of the youth field in Hungary for the duration of the implementation of the project are channelled here).
The Youth Guarantee Programme has a budget (költségvetés) of HUF 200 billion (about EUR 6 396 million) until 2022. The Programme aims to help 180 000 young people enter into the primary labour market, mainly into the private sector.
Besides these, there are elements in the currently running projects of the New Generation Programme, which are relevant for this chapter (see the first chapter for its budget: 1.7 Funding youth policy).
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