GE puts premium on training, skills of Hungarian labor force


General Electric (GE) does not have production in Hungary though labor force is cheap; more importantly, trained workers are able to meet the challenges posed by the latest technologies, GE's regional director for Central Europe Lesław Kuzaj told MTI in an interview on Wednesday.

"The game is not about cheapness. One can always find cheaper places," Lesław Kuzaj said.

Countries in Central Europe have undergone tremendous development over the past 20 years, thus Hungary should compare itself to Spain or Germany, rather than to Mexico or China, he said. GE produces sophisticated products, be it gas turbines or aircraft engines, which do not require manual force, he added.

Speaking about the transition at GE's incandescent light bulb plants in Hungary because of a European Union directive phasing out conventional, low efficiency lighting by 2013, Lesław Kuzaj said the pace of layoffs had been slowed by a sudden rise in demand on developing markets. Transition, however, is inevitable and will require much effort from manual laborers as well as time to train them, he added.

General Electric Hungary has six plants in five cities in Hungary. It also has a regional management centre and two research and development divisions in the country. GE employs about 13,000 people in Hungary.


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