The Government believes it is important that it should contribute to the utilisation of the skills of young people, the promotion of their active participation in society and the encouragement of the establishment of families through the implementation of a youth-friendly, future-oriented and predictable policy, Bence Rétvári, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of Human Capacities told the Hungarian news agency MTI.

According to the Eurostat survey published on the occasion of International Youth Day, the number of young people aged between 20 and 24 years who are not studying or working has decreased by some one sixth in the past ten years. By contrast, in the Member States of the EU, the number of those in this age group who no longer study, but are likewise not in employment has increased on average, the State Secretary said.

The survey confirms that while a large percentage of young people study in their early twenties, there are many who are already in the realm of work, or study and work at the same time. Providing a vision of the future and a job for young school-leavers is an important task for every country. While in Hungary in 2013 almost 23 per cent of those aged between 20 and 24 years fell into the group of youths neither studying, nor working, by 2016 this percentage fell to 15.4 per cent, also thanks to the economic and youth policy measures implemented by the Government in the past seven years, he said.

Fewer than one half of the 28 Member States have been able to reduce the number of young people in a difficult situation, and the majority of indicators have deteriorated. The largest number of young people between the ages of 20 and 24 who neither study, nor work live in Italy (29 per cent) and Romania (23.6 per cent), Mr Rétvári said.

The Youth Guarantee Programme, in combination with a series of educational and employment policy measures, seeks to facilitate the entry of young people into the labour market. Interest in the programme is increasing continuously, and the National Employment Service entered into contact with more than 173,000 young people by the end of July 2017. Parallel with this, employers availed themselves of the benefits of the job protection campaign among young people under the age of 25 years in respect of 161,000 youths, to the value of some HUF 7.3 billion, the State Secretary told MTI.

The 2016 findings of the Hungarian Youth Research, too, confirm the fact that while many young Hungarians speak foreign languages, few of them have certificates, and therefore the Government has made the acquisition of the first language certificate for young people aged under 35 years free of charge as of 2018, he added.

Two-thirds of young Hungarians only envisage their future in Hungary, and „we therefore seek to create more favourable conditions for the establishment of families”. The family housing benefit launched as of 1 July 2015 will help young people with the attainment of their housing objectives in an even wider range. Since July 2015 more than 50 thousand families have availed themselves of the family housing benefit in the amount of HUF 136 billion, the State Secretary highlighted.

From among the available wide-ranging family support measures, the student/degree-holder child raising allowance specifically targets young people, thereby ensuring that financial considerations should not stand in the way of young people starting families at an early age. This measure which will be available under even more favourable conditions as of 2018 will seek to contribute to the better compatibility of studies and the role of parenting, Mr Rétvári added.