Govʼt program aims to alleviate driver shortage

Initiatives

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In a bid to tackle ongoing shortages, the government has allocated another HUF 1 billion to fund a licensing program for truck and bus drivers, the Ministry for National Economy said Friday.  The funding is expected to support the licensing of a further 1,200 drivers.   

The government launched the licensing program late in 2015 to tackle a labor shortage. Some 3,600 people have completed the training, and 94% have since been hired by Hungarian companies, the ministry said.

The shortage of bus drivers in Hungary is likewise acute, according to an article in online business daily vg.hu, which reports job vacancies at provincial, regional and Budapest transport companies alike.

A general problem in the sector is the rising average age of bus drivers, reports vg.hu, noting that the average age of drivers on both Budapest and regional Volánbusz routes is around 46. The report adds that there have been increasing shortages of labor in the driving profession as a whole in recent years at the national level, and this is reflected in the fluctuating pool of bus drivers.

Vg.hu notes that transport companies are employing more and more incentives to retain drivers, such as providing generous cafeteria benefits or free tickets for employees and their family members.

This year, drivers are expected to enjoy a gross annual monthly wage of HUF 230,000 on average, vg.hu notes, to which can be added varying meal, fuel discount, accommodation or other benefits.

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