Hungarian ICT companies face a serious shortage of skilled IT personnel. Around 50 % of IT students do not complete their university studies and accept well-paid job offers. At the same time, university students often do not acquire knowledge of the latest technologies or other skills required by the IT services market.

This is why the ‘Code of Practice’ project has been launched and the traineeship programme and the related mentoring programme have become an integral part of it.

Project “Choose your Future!”

Hungary’s large-scale “Code your future!” project aims to increase the number of students in IT in the coming years and to find a way to address the current IT staff shortage, which is becoming increasingly acute for the Hungarian national economy. The main objective of the project is to support the development of IT competence training in higher education so that the training system provides knowledge that meets the needs of business operators. The project encourages higher education students to acquire knowledge of the technologies used by ICT companies. The project is funded by the ESF Operational Programme and administered by KIFÜ, the Government Agency for Information Technology Development and the Hungarian ICT Association, which has, among other things, supported a traineeship programme and mentoring activities.

Under the Traineeship Programme, students and companies participating in it received talent management support and training-related financial contributions. This would allow the student to go through 500 hours of internship in one company and work in up to three companies throughout the programme. Trainees may work a maximum of 20 hours per week or a maximum of 40 hours per week during the chosen period. Trainees’ salaries were funded by the project up to the guaranteed minimum wage in Hungary.

The programme includes ‘Development of mentors’ competences’, training for company representatives to recruit trainees. Mentors received 16-hour competency-oriented training. This training helped ICT professionals prepare for the work of mentors. During this training, they acquired the knowledge and competences that enabled them to set important objectives for the trainee and society, manage conflicts effectively, delegate tasks and establish monitoring and evaluation procedures.

Main results of the activities carried out

The programme was evaluated by a company selected through a public contract. The evaluation was carried out in accordance with the methodology developed by the IVSZ and its partner. In order to ensure that the project offers a number of concrete practices, several different programmes for trainees and the working methods of different agencies working with students have been studied as part of the evaluation. Around 20 interviews with IT companies were conducted to discuss their training opportunities, internship programmes, needs, difficulties and others.

The final concept reflected the needs of businesses and aimed at the most efficient and easy way of employing students. An important part of the project was how to facilitate complex administrative procurement procedures for businesses by involving, inter alia, student career guidance centres, namely:

  • Recruitment of higher education students.
  • Search for traineeships in IT companies.
  • Carrying out the entire recruitment process, from interviews to training, from the preparation of the attendance register to the final documentation.
  • Conclusion of service contracts with companies and cooperation agreements with students

Main results of two traineeship programmes: 

  • 230 ICT companies fully funded 240 hours (average) student traineeships.
  • 760 university IT students took part in a traineeship.

The initiative is managed by the Information Technology Association of Hungary (IVSZ) as part of a future project coordinated by the Government Information Technology Development Agency. The IVSZ is a common platform for the IT, telecommunications and electronics sectors in Hungary. It is an institution representing sectoral and societal interests and goes beyond direct business interests.