Guidance System in Hungary – Introduction
In Hungary guidance activities and development are overseen by both the Ministry for the National Economy and the Ministry of Human Capacities. In the current ministerial structure the Ministry for National Economy is responsible for some elements of active labour market policy, vocational education and adult learning. At the same time the Ministry of Human Capacities has responsibility over 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.
At the end of 2014 the Hungarian labour market system was restructured, which also meant that a new office, the National Office of Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning (NOVETAL) was established. As of 1 January 2015 the NOVETAL is responsible for the development and supervision of lifelong-guidance activities in Hungary.
National guidance developments were carried out under the Social Renewal Operational Programme in two phases (Developing a Lifelong Guidance System in Hungary 2008-2011 and 2012-2015) The programme laid special emphasis on developing tools and services used in guidance and career counselling interventions as well as on the training of counsellors (e.g. teachers, social workers, career professionals, PES front-line staff). In 2010 the National Guidance Portal was launched.
The current government sees career/lifelong guidance as a useful element of bridge building between the world of work and the world of vocational and higher education. The importance of vocational guidance is mentioned in the new National Lifelong Learning Strategy for 2014-2020, adopted in 2014.
Counselling and guidance service providers in Hungary
For primary and secondary school students career guidance is a separate filed of development according to the National Core Curriculum. Without being a separate subject, career guidance is offered mainly under life management and practical skills.
Pedagogical professional services, as defined by the 15/2013 (II.26) Decree of the Ministry of Human Capacities, 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 2011/187 Act on Vocational Education 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 2011 CCIV Act on National Higher Education 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 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. The 30/2000 (IX. 15) Ministerial Decree describes labour market services and benefits as well as the qualification requirements of counsellors working within the employment service.
Based on the German BIZ system, a network of Employment Information Centres (FIT) was established in 1994. The FIT centres offer direct access to various resources, such as films and information folders on occupations. Currently they are within the county government offices.
The Hungarian Euroguidance centre is currently under the NOVETAL and its main tasks include collecting and providing information on European mobility and training possibilities.