Budapest, July 16 (MTI) – The government will use a total 5 billion forints (EUR 16m) in central and European Union funds to finance courses for 6,000 people applying for a driving licence for heavy vehicles, the economy minister said.

Mihaly Varga said that road haulage and public transport accounts for 6 percent of Hungary’s GDP, while the sector contributes 500 billion forints to the country’s annual tax revenues. By comparison, Varga said the same ratio in developed economies was 10-12 percent of GDP, which offers opportunities for further development.

Citing a recent survey by Hungarian trade organisations, Varga said that domestic companies currently have the capacity to employ some extra 6,000 heavy vehicle drivers.

The minister said that the government was planning to finance the courses, starting in September, while he said participants may receive scholarships from their would-be employers.

Ministerial commissioner Gyorgy Waberer, owner of Hungary’s biggest road-haulage firm, told public television M1 earlier on Thursday that the survey covered 3,000 companies, revealing a shortage of 6,400 vocational drivers. He said that many young people could not afford to pay hundreds of thousands of forints for the driving courses currently offered.


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