Varga addresses OECD labour committee on job growth
Paris (MTI) – Hungary has seen great results in employment policy and wants to share good practices for boosting employment and reducing the jobless rate, Hungary’s economy minister said in Paris on Friday.
Mihaly Varga addressed a meeting of ministers of OECD countries in the organisation’s Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs Committee.
Speaking to MTI on the event’s sideline, Varga said Hungary has managed to channel disadvantaged groups back into the labour force. Through its fostered work schemes the government had been able to re-integrate 12-13 percent of those enrolled in the programme onto the primary labour market, he said. Hungary has achieved with its fostered work scheme a “break-through” in proving to OECD which had originally held reservations about the programme that it could serve as a “first step” for people to return to the real labour market after 5-6 years on unemployment, he said.
“We have proved to OECD that the Hungarian scheme works, it is successful and worth sharing as a model with other countries,” Varga noted.
Hungary’s employment growth was one of the fastest among OECD countries over the past five years, Varga said, noting that 563,000 people have found jobs during that period.
The unemployment rate has dropped to 6.2 percent and more than 150,000 new jobs have been created during that period, the minister added.
“These achievements are in large part due to the measures Hungary implemented partly with the OECD’s targeted support,” he said.
Varga also noted that 900,000 people have maintained their jobs over the past one and a half years under the job-protection scheme launched for six socially disadvantaged groups.
The minister noted additional employment policy measures that included introducing a flat-rate personal income tax and increasing the minimum wage. He also noted the introduction of the dual vocational training scheme modelled on the German and Austrian systems, as well as renewing Hungary’s labour code.
The ministerial meeting is the first high-level event marking the 20th anniversary of Hungary’s OECD membership.
The Hungarian government will organise several programmes and events to promote OECD during the anniversary year.