3.5 Traineeships and apprenticeships
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Internships appear in the system of higher education and vocational education. In higher education (including higher educational, vocational trainings and dual education) the specific training and outcome requirements define the exact details (including duration and timing), whereas in vocational training the professional and examination requirements define these. The latter are set in decrees of ministries responsible for the relevant areas. The training and outcome requirements need to be approved by the Educational Authority (Oktatási Hivatal), based on the expertise of the Hungarian Accreditation Committee (Magyar Felsőoktatási Akkreditációs Bizottság).
Traineeship in the system of vocational education
The Act LXXX of 2019 on the vocational education (2019. évi LXXX. törvény a szakképzésről) states that the Minister Responsible for Vocational Education, in cooperation with the respective sector of the government, creates the professional and examination requirements and the related programme curriculums (programtantervek) for vocational trainings. The programme curriculums include the necessary internship information (the number of hours) for each trainings.
The students are employed on the basis of internship agreement which means that the employers have to pay a wage to the student for their work. As of 1 January 2022, the base of the salary changed ('Szakképzési változások 2022. január 1-től'): before, it was calculated on the basis of the minimum wage, then on a certain cost in the budget of Hungary. This did not mean change in the total salary.
Internships within higher education
The most relevant official document in the topic regarding internship in higher education trainings is Government Regulation 230/2012 (VIII. 28.) on certain aspects of higher education training and the necessary - at least half-year - internship [230/2012. (VIII. 28.) Korm. rendelet a felsőoktatási szakképzésről és a felsőoktatási képzéshez kapcsolódó szakmai gyakorlat egyes kérdéseiről]. According to the Regulation the students are able to be employed on the basis of internship agreement and there are specific rules for this type of internship:
- night work and overtime shall not be required,
- the student's daily working time shall not exceed eight hours, in the case of the application of the working time framework, maximum working time of one week is prescribed,
- a rest period of at least 12 hours shall be ensured every day for the student
- a trial period shall not be required.
'shall receive remuneration during the completion of a continuous practice period of at least six weeks and a dual study programme, the amount of which is 65 percent of the mandatory lowest remuneration for work (minimum wage) and, unless otherwise agreed, shall be paid by the workplace.'
Special target groups
Target groups of the student employment contracts are
- students in full time school-based training,
- students in adult education.
Upon completion of the Youth Guarantee Programme, it is the priority of the Hungarian Government to carry on this Programme. (For more information about the Youth Guarantee Programme, please see sub-chapter 3.2 Administration and governance.)
Traineeship programme – support services
A supplementary programme also assists the successful implementation of the traineeship programme: Traineeship programme – support services (GINOP-5.2.5-16 Gyakornoki program – támogató szolgáltatások). This not only contributes to the wide dissemination and implementation of the traineeship programme through central coordination, but it also covers complex information and professional advisory activities for different target groups (trainees, mentors, economic organisations). The supplementary programme is implemented on the basis of the Vocational Training Centre under the coordination of the Győr Technical Vocational Training Centre (Győri Szakképzési Centrum).
Student jobs are acceptable as higher education traineeships
From 2016 student jobs are acceptable as traineeships:
'Student manpower associations are allowed to certify the students' traineeships if the company, where the students work, declare that the conditions of the work carried out and the workplace are in line with the requirements regarding the traineeship.' ('Diákmunka is lehet szakmai gyakorlat')
Introduction of student pre-contracts
This new initiative supports the establishment of relations between students and business organisations before the actual beginning of dual training, thus it might provide advantages in the process of admission. Signing student pre-contracts (szakképzési előszerződés) is also a tool for well-founded career and profession selection. This makes the future more predictable both for the student and the employer.
Dual training in the new Vocational Training System
In 2020, the system of vocational schools changed by the 1168/2019. (III. 28.) Government Decision (1168/2019. (III. 28.) Korm. határozat). An important provision was the introduction of dual training in vocational schools (duális szakmai oktatás) with the aim to have professional experience in a 'real' work place rather than in a vocational training place. The dual training ensures that the students
- paricipate in a profesionnal traineeship,
- learn the business culture,
- acquire competitive knowledge and skills.
In addition, students get a salary for this work, with the amount of HUF 100 000 - 170 000 (about EUR 270 - 457).
Training for professionals working with students at business organisations
A new training programme was launched to support experts working with students at business organisations and to increase the number of dual training locations. From 2018, it is based on a short, targeted pedagogical-methodological training, simplifying the involvement of instructors in practical trainings at business organisations.
Central development programme
For the further development of the dual training in vocational schools and for the implementation of a pilot programme, the Government launched in a Decree [1285/2018 (VI. 22) Korm. határozat] a four-year partnership agreement with the Siemens Zrt. for the period of 2018 - 2022. The programme aim is to test the development of the
- careeer guidance system,
- admission system,
- training curriculums,
- internship agreement system,
- vocational training examination system,
- professional training of vocational teachers/trainers,
- trainings related to 'Industry 4.0' processes.
In formal education, traineeships are part of vocational education in the framework curriculum, which means that the recognition happens through obtaining the qualification. The process is similar in higher education, as well, where different credit values are assigned to the different traineeships types. The recognition of traineeships (Szakmai gyakorlat elismerése) carried out earlier is also possible. The Act CCIV of 2011 on National Higher Education (2011. évi CCIV. törvény a nemzeti felsőoktatásról) states that
'The credit transfer committee may recognise prior non-formal and informal learning, as well as work experiences, furthermore, the knowledge acquired during a vocational training, for the purpose of the fulfilment of academic requirements, as set out in this Act and the applicable government decree.'
Those workplaces who join the dual training programme in vocational education or in higher education or have an internship agreement with the student can apply for a tax allowance for the additional cost of the student's net wage. In the dual training, additional tax allowance can be applied if the student will take a successful professional exam at the end of the training. The base amount of the tax allowance is determined in the budget of Hungary and there is a unique multiplicator for all of the professions and for the grades and this is calculated for each workday ('Tájékoztató a duális szakmai oktatás finanszírozásáról').
Practical trainings based on student contracts
The practical trainings based on student contracts are monitored by the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Magyar Kereskedelmi és Iparkamara). It controls the conditions that were set at the time of registration of the business organisation. Furthermore, with the involvement of the vocational training school it supervises the business organisation's activities during the training by observing the fulfilment of material and personal conditions, compliance with the vocational training framework curriculum, overseeing maximum group size, etc.