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Internships appear in the system of higher 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).
Internships in the system of vocational education
Regulation [230/2012. (VIII. 28.) Korm. rendelet] regarding internships in vocational education states that if the students are employed on the basis of internship agreement (for more information see the glossary),
'the host company has to pay a wage, the amount of which must reach 19.5% of the minimum wage. The wages are to be paid after each started working week. Thus, the weekly amount is one-quarter of the monthly salary. In case of absence, the wage can be decreased in proportion with the working days skipped.
The required allowance is tax-free, but in case a higher wage is paid, the surplus is regarded as other earnings; therefore, it is subject to 16% personal income tax.
As for social security, employment on the basis of internship agreement does not automatically result in social security coverage (though it must be noted that full-time students are covered by default). Thus the company does not have a notification obligation and the wage does not have to be reduced by contributions. However, if the employer company provides a higher than required wage, the wage surplus is subject to 27% healthcare contribution. Social contribution tax does not have to be paid in either case.' (ado.hu, 2015)
Internships within higher education
'The rules are slightly different in case of employment within higher education. In this case a student employment contract is required. Regarding the salary, the employer is obliged to pay only if the period of practice reaches or exceeds six weeks. In this case the student has the right to receive 15% of the minimum wage (with the exception of budgetary bodies as employers, in which case no salary is required), but the employer is allowed to increase this amount.
As for taxes, the allowance up the amount of the minimum wage can be regarded as tax-free, while the amount exceeding that must be treated as employment income. Based on these, the surplus is subject to 16% personal income tax. Interns are not covered by social security (…). If the employer provides the student with a higher allowance than the minimum wage, it is obliged to pay 27% healthcare contribution.' (ado.hu, 2015)
Government Regulation 230/2012 (VIII. 28.)
The most relevant official document in the topic regarding higher education is Government Regulation 230/2012 (VIII. 28.) on certain aspects of higher education training, and vocational training within the framework of higher education [230/2012. (VIII. 28.) Korm. rendelet a felsőoktatási szakképzésről és a felsőoktatási képzéshez kapcsolódó szakmai gyakorlat egyes kérdéseiről].
'According to the regulation, during vocational trainings, the employee is the student, the employer is the company providing vocational training and employment itself is the employment set out in a student employment contract.
During the employment, where a student is employed by a student employment contract night work and extra hours shall not be required; the student’s daily working time shall not exceed eight hours, in case working time framework is applied, a maximum of one-week-long working time shall be required; a rest period of at least 12 hours shall be ensured every day for the student; a trial period shall not be required.' (Mit kell tudni a hallgatói munkaszerződésről?)
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 (EDIOP 5.2.5)
A supplementary programme also assists the successful implementation of the traineeship programme: Traineeship programme – support services (EDIOP 5.2.5). This contributes to the wide dissemination and implementation of the traineeship programme not only 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.
Student jobs are acceptable for vocational training
From 2016 student jobs are acceptable for vocational training: 'Student manpower associations are allowed to certify their students’ vocational trainings if the company, where the students work declare that the conditions of the work carried out are in line with the requirements regarding the vocational training and the workplace.' ('Diákmunka is lehet szakmai gyakorlat')
Vocational training scholarships
Vocational training scholarships can be provided 'for a maximum of one year to those students who take part in an uninterrupted and minimum half-year long vocational training and apply for the scholarship' if the training takes place at a location other than the higher education institution and the student does not receive dormitory benefits.
Moreover, as mentioned before, companies employing trainees shall be exempt from paying contributions.
Introduction of student pre-contracts
This new initiative supports the establishment of relations between students and business organisations before the actual beginning of vocational training, thus it might provide advantages in the process of admission. Signing student pre-contracts might also be a tool for well-founded career and profession selection. Before making decisions on admission business organisations are able to familiarize students with
- the structure of the business organisation,
- its profile and work opportunities,
- possible career-tracks,
- and available apprentice workshops.
Student contracts in the 11-12th grades of vocational high-schools
Beginning of the 2018 school year student contracts based on dual trainings at business organisations are available not only in the 13th grade but from 11th grade. It provides opportunities for students to gain more professional training, resulting in
- more in-depth knowledge and skills,
- company-specific practical training, and
- a closer relationship with the prospective employer.
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 vocational training system 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, vocational trainings 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 vocational training types. The recognition of vocational trainings (Szakmai gyakorlat elismerése) carried out earlier is also possible:
In Hungary, the legal framework of vocational education and adult learning is determined by Act LXXVII/2013 on Adult Education (2013. évi LXXVII. törvény a felnőttképzésről) and Act CLXXXVII/2011 on Vocation Training (2011. évi CLXXXVII. törvény a szakképzésről). The Acts and the corresponding Government and Ministry Regulations set out the licensing rules of training institutions and authorisation rules of trainings, the vocational framework curricula, the outcome requirements of the state accredited qualifications and the system of complex vocational exams.
The first paragraph of the Act on adult education regulates the recognition of knowledge previously gained:
'11. § (1) During operation […] the adult education institutions shall meet the following requirements: g) In case of trainings listed in the National Qualifications Register [Országos Képzési Jegyzék in Hungarian (hereinafter referred to as OKJ)] and language trainings, knowledge measurement is compulsory, in case of supported non-OKJ and supported other trainings it shall be ensured in line with the compulsory requirement of the grant contract related to the training, while in other cases it shall be ensured upon the request of the applicant.'
The Act provides training applicants with the opportunity to have their previously gained knowledge recognized, while it also obliges institutions to do so. […]
'The Hungarian legislative framework and its international environment provide a space for and in many cases make it compulsory to recognise previously gained knowledge in vocational education. For instance, paragraph 7 (1) of the Act on vocation training (2011. évi CLXXXVII. törvény a szakképzésről) stipulates that for vocational trainings listed in OKJ, professional and exam requirements should be created, which should include the creation and implementation of the related monitoring, measurement and evaluation systems. The compulsory content elements of professional end exam requirements are the following:[…] j) recognition of competences gained in school education, vocational education, during non-formal and informal education, and at work; the time of vocational training, the vocational preparatory exams, or the vocational school leaving exam stipulated in paragraph 27 (2). In spite of this, references to recognition can only be found in the case of a few professions.'
The vocational education system is under change in the 2020/2021 school year.
The general legal framework stipulates that
'employers interested in the employment of skilled workers are to pay a vocational training contribution to the state for the development of the vocational training system. According to the regulations, the employer can fulfil its obligation of paying a contribution via employment as a practical trainer in cooperation with vocational institutions.' (Tájékoztató a szakképzési hozzájárulás 2016. január 1-jétől hatályos szabályainak változásáról)
Practical trainings based on student contracts
The practical trainings based on student contracts are monitored by the industry chamber (Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry). It controls whether conditions that were set at the time of registration of the business organisation are met. 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.