Competitive Workforce

At the annual AmCham Policy Agenda Strategic Discussion the AmCham leadership decided to consolidate two highly interrelated PTFs – Talent and Healthy Nation – by creating the new Competitive Workforce PTF. This new professional group will work with the membership in order to widen the labor market supply in Hungary and to promote mental and physical health awareness programs, among others.


"To represent the needs of businesses regarding the Hungarian talent pool in order to improve Hungary’s long-term competitiveness."

For PTF meeting dates please click here.

Main Achievements and Activities in 2017


On 4 May 2017 more than 200 corporate, governmental and education experts and students gathered at the III. Competitive Education Conference at the InterContinental Hotel in order to examine labor market’s expectations about education, the areas to be developed, as well as the possible fields of cooperation between the particular participants. In 2015 AmCham and the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency (HIPA) launched the Competitive Education Conference in cooperation with Ministry of Human Capacities (EMMI) and the Ministry for National Economy in order to create a dialogue between academic organizations, companies and the government with the aim to develop Hungary’s long-term labor market competitiveness.

Opening remarks by Dr Boglárka Illés, Deputy State Secretary for Youth and Equal Opportunities

The main goal of this year’s event – besides creating a platform, sharing knowledge and best practices – was to identify constructive recommendations in the fields of education and labor force that would develop Hungary’s competitiveness. These recommendations will be communicated towards the Government by AmCham in the framework of the following four topics: how to inspire young people to return to Hungary, how to retain talents, new employee demands, skills of university students.

For more information on the event, please click here. 


The Competitive Workforce PTF continued its dialogue with key decision makers from the Ministry of Human Capacities (EMMI), the Ministry for National Economy (NGM) on making the public education and vocational training system more competitive in Hungary.

On April 13 AmCham’s Competitive Workforce Policy Task Force met Péter Cseresnyés, State Secretary for Labor Market and Training in the Ministry for National Economy and Gáborné Pölöskei, Deputy State Secretary for Vocational Training and Adult Education to discuss areas of cooperation.

On April 26, a high-level State Secretary Roundtable was organized for AmCham members with Gáborné Pölöskei, Deputy State Secretary for Vocational Training and Adult Education and her expert colleagues to discuss AmCham’s recent labour market and education-related recommendations incorporated into the „Cooperation for a more competitive Hungary 2017” package. The meeting was also attended by István Szabó, Department Head of Higher Education and Research Strategy and expert colleague representing the Ministry of Human Capacities.

Main Achievements and Activities in 2016

The Competitive Workforce PTF organized regular meetings for member company representatives to discuss advocacy issues related to a competitive education system and share best practices.

Regular dialogue continued with decision-makers

The Competitive Workforce PTF continued its dialogue with key decision makers from the Ministry of Human Capacities (EMMI), the Ministry for National Economy (NGM) and the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MKIK) on making the public education and vocational training system more competitive in Hungary.

Dual vocational training system

On January 11, deputy state secretary for vocational and adult education, László Odrobina and his colleagues from NGM were special guests at an extraordinary Talent PTF meeting, where discussion focused on the dual vocational training system.

On February 10, AmCham, represented by its President Ferenc Pongrácz, CEO Írisz Lippai-Nagy, Talent PTF co-lead László Szépkuti and other members, had an official meeting at MKIK with president László Parragh and educational and vocational training director János Szilágyi to discuss strategic level cooperation in a number of issues.

On February 24, the Talent PTF meeting was held,  where MKIK’s educational and vocational training director gave a presentation on the chamber’s goals and activities with a special focus on vocational training.

National Register of Vocational Qualification (OKJ) program

On January 12, representatives of the Talent PTF met deputy state secretary Odrobina and colleagues to continue discussions on the introduction of new training courses and qualifications (OKJ program) in order to better satisfy the needs of SSCs and the FMCG industry. AmCham is very proud to report that the ministry has incorporated our recommendations, and in July announced the addition of two new categories – “business services associate in the SSC” and “sales representative in the FMCGs sectors” – to the revised National Register of Vocational Qualifications.

“Cooperation for a More Competitive Hungary” – 2016 recommendation package

The Talent PTF organized several meetings to follow-up on recommendations that came out of the first “Competitive Education Conference”, which were also incorporated into the “Cooperation for a More Competitive Hungary” recommendation package targeting (i) better balance between key competences/skills and encyclopedic curriculum, (ii) importance of career and labor market orientation and talent management, (iii) competitive foreign language skills:

 On June 16, state secretary László Palkovics from EMMI was the guest of an extraordinary meeting to discuss education policy recommendations as described above, and learn about the future priorities of policy makers.

 Key recommendations were  also on the agenda of AmCham – NGM Strategic Working Group meetings held in April and September. The PTF actively contributed to the Labor Market/Education focused roundtable discussion of the second “Business Meets Government” summit held on September 27. Talent PTF co-lead  László Szépkúti moderated the discussion. 

For the list of Talent Policy Task Force Meetings in 2016 please, click here.

Sharing Best Practices

The Talent PTF is committed to share best practices within the membership, therefore we facilitated a number of meetings to this end:

  • 24 February: Presentation on Digital education, focusing on Microsoft Hungary’s experiences and the “Okosportál” project, presented by Ádám Merényi, educational business unit leader from Microsoft
  • May: Digital Education Strategy survey and strategy. The Talent PTF circulated an online educational survey, the goal of which was to evaluate Hungary’s preparedness for digital education reform and to provide input for the Digital Education Strategy, as part of the so-called Digital Welfare Program led by Tamás Deutsch.
  • October 17: Talent shortage and workforce retention in key jobs - Joint meeting of the HR Committee and the Talent Policy Task Force. AmCham Hungary supported research conducted by Pivot Human Capital and the Szent István University to examine talent shortage and retention in key jobs in Hungary. The most important findings of the survey were presented to AmCham members.

Cooperation with CSR Awards

AmCham has been a supporting partner of a campaign, awarding Hungary’s most Family Friendly Companies for many years now and we endorse and support the Disability-Friendly Workplace Award that was initiated and organized by the Salva Vita Foundation with the aim to promote the encounter of job seekers with disabilities and those employers who are ready to employ them.

Future Goals

In 2017, the Talent Policy Task Force plans to:

  • Continue to work closely with our government partners (Ministry of Human Capacities, HIPA);
  • Provide a platform for regular dialogue between all stakeholders and advocate for a a more competitive labour force and education system
  • Organize a Competitive Workforce Event in 2017;
  • Present and share best practices and focus on activities /projects that show the right track towards the future;
  • Continue our talent-related programs, the Career & Language Ambassador programs, launch the “Mentor a school” program;
  • Develop programs and activities to attract and help integrate young Hungarian graduates of foreign universities to the Hungarian labour market

Talent PTF initiated programs:

Language Ambassador and Career Ambassador Programs

With the objective to bring real life examples to schools, AmCham has continued the highly successful Language Ambassador Program. Since its launch in 2011

  • we have reached 130 high schools from 26 cities
  • involved 240 Language Ambassadors from 59 different companies
  • almost 490 lectures were given
  • In 2016, nearly 70 visits have been organized

In 2015 we also launched the Career Ambassador Program that gives students the opportunity to visit our member companies, in an effort to better familiarize them with the type of jobs on the labor market. Since its launch 

  • 10 companies hosted 30 visits from 22 different schools
  • more than 450 students participated in total

Participating companies in the Career Ambassador Program are: 

  • CITI
  • ExxonMobil Budapest BSC
  • GE
  • HPE
  • Jabil Circuit Magyarország
  • KPMG
  • Lexmark

 Demand for both the Language and Career Ambassador Programs is at an all-time high, but we believe there is always room for more! We encourage our members to join these initiatives.

Tudsz Jobbat! Creative Competition for High School Students

An important pillar of AmCham’s “Cooperation for a More Competitive Hungary” concerns the fully-fledged reform of education. Therefore, as part of a joint initiative with HIPA, EMMI, and NGM, a nationwide competition called “Tudsz Jobbat!” (“You Know Better!”) was launched in August. The competitions was sent to all high schools in Hungary, with AmCham looking for teams of 3-5 students who were willing to stand up and present their thoughts and ideas in a creative form (projects, videos or presentations) about how they imagine the future of education and workplaces.

 Tudsz Jobbat! Competition –  Project in numbers

  • 39 submissions in two categories
  • 27 applications – “School of my dreams”
  • 12 applications – “Workplace of my dreams”
  • 39 participating schools
  • 199 participating students
  • 54 participating teachers

Second Competitive Education Conference

The best projects were presented on October 11 at the second “Competitive Education Conference” organized by AmCham Hungary and HIPA, EMMI and NGM, at Akvárium Klub in front of government representatives, business leaders and 250 students from all over the country.

The awards ceremony was followed by a roundtable discussion where students, teachers, industry experts and government representatives including State Secretary for Education László Palkovics and Deputy State Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education László Odrobina exchanged their thoughts on possible next steps in making the education system more competitive. During the conference, students also received career orientation firsthand at the 12 interactive educational booths, set up by company representatives and educational experts.

“Workplace of my dreams” category:
I. place: Waking Dreams Co. Team (Bálint Márton Elementary and Secondary School)
"School of my dreams" category:
I. place: The Future is Ours Team (Kosztolányi Dezső Secondary School)
II. place: TeamWolf  (Alternatív Közgazdasági Gimnázium)
III. place: IT Class Team (Salgótarjáni SZC Borbély Lajos Szakgimnáziuma, Szakközépiskolája, Szakiskolája és Kollégiuma)

The winning teams received prizes, including the opportunity to "shadow" a business leader or a government representative for a day at one of the following organizations: Ministry of Human Capacities, the Hungarian Investment Promotion Agency, Morgan Stanley, Celanese and at Flextronics.

Students came up with numerous suggestions that can be grouped into three main categories: (I) infrastructure/digitalization, environment, tools; (II) curriculum, methodology; and (III) social sensitivity. AmCham will include the ideas of the students in its revised version of the 19-point recommendation package.

Policy Task Force Lead: Ms. Andrea Juhos
Policy Task Force Co-Lead: Dr. Judit Zolnay 


LHH Magyarország, Career Consultants Kft.

Andrea Juhos Dr.


LHH Magyarország, Career Consultants Kft.
36 1 392-5070
MetLife Hungary

Dr. Judit Zolnay


MetLife Hungary



+36 1 428-2089

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