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About 13,600 unemployed Hungarians to start public work programs

About 13,600 unemployed Hungarians can start public work programs from the beginning of next week, state secretary in charge of employment policy at the National Economy Ministry Sándor Czomba said.

The number is an annual average; during peak periods, as many as 22,000-24,000 out-of-work people could join the public work programs, Czomba said. The program is a “significant step forward” from last year, when an average 9,200 people worked in public work programs.

The figures stand for centrally organised public work schemes and do not include such programmes run by the local governments. Including local council programmes, an average 88,600 people worked on public work schemes in the first eleven months of last year.

Protection against flooding and standing water will have a leading role in public work programs this year, Czomba said. About two-thirds of the funding available for the programs will go to Hungary's most disadvantaged regions, he added.

About 139 applications were received for five tenders for public work programs, Czomba said. The state is supporting the programs with HUF 16.2bn and applicants must cover a combined HUF 1.75 billion, he added.

Some 9,150 jobseekers could get work with water management bodies in 2010 and 2,760 are expected to work for state-owned forestry companies. Between 1,200 and 1,500 could work for privately-owned forestry companies. Some 2,500 are expected to work in tourism programs in the area around Lake Balaton, and 1,200-1,500 could do work on Hungary's roads and motorways, Czomba said.

Most will work for 10-11.5 months, about six months longer than earlier.

In addition to the public work programs, about 2,000 unemployed people could participate in training. (MTI – Econews)