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Speech by Prime Minister Viktor Orbán at the opening of the XV Star of the Profession Festival

Ladies and Gentlemen, Students, Teachers and Parents,

This is the eighth time that I have been able to be here with you. I have always encouraged you to believe that there is a future for work in Hungary – and especially for skilled work. This is why I am here today. If something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. And if you are good at something, then you should set your price for it. These two pieces of advice sum up why it is worth learning a profession. Life has proven that demanding work is the surest means of making a living; and, believe me, this will be even truer in the future.

We are attending a professional competition, but perhaps I should say a few words about the world we live in, which provides the context for this competition. As you have heard, three weeks ago there was an election in Hungary, which the national forces won with an unprecedented level of support. From this you can see that we are not only providing advice, but also trying to perform well in our own field. I trust that among the parents of today’s contestants there are many who voted for us, and that they did so because in our governance they saw secure livelihoods for their children. Therefore I ask you to pass on our best wishes to your parents. Three weeks ago the electorate also expressed their approval of what we have achieved in vocational training over the past twelve years – both with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and personally with President László Parragh. We have expanded dual training, made forms of training more responsive to the real world, created vocational training centres, set up a scholarship system for apprentices, and have already taken major steps on the path towards digitalisation. As you are probably aware, the Hungarian government ensures that a young person’s first two vocational qualifications can be acquired free of charge. Thanks to all this, in Hungary there are now 250,000 people in vocational education and training. There is a growing demand for qualified skilled workers. Meanwhile entrepreneurship is becoming increasingly popular – based on the fact that it is also becoming increasingly profitable. Although you are still young students, I am sure that many of you are following world events. You know that we have barely recovered from the coronavirus pandemic, yet have now been saddled with a war in a neighbouring country. You might say that it is unfair to experience two such ordeals in rapid succession, but that does not change the situation’s unfairness. Rather than condemning the circumstances, let us reassure ourselves that – even in such hard times – those who have the knowledge, the skills and the courage needed to use them will have nothing to fear. And here we are with young people who have professional skills and who have the courage to use them; to use them to help themselves, their families, and – whether or not they realise it – to build Hungary. I can definitely promise you one thing, young people: we will need all of you. If we do our job well, and there is no reason we should not, we can come out of this trouble stronger and take a sizeable step forward, not back.

Dear Young People,

I encourage you to choose a profession. Hungary is a place where it is good to live and good to work. The place in which we live – our homeland – is one of the best places in Europe. In recent years salaries have been growing rapidly. New factories, new business premises and new production centres have been springing up in quick succession, and they are all counting on your work. We are also offering tax breaks to young people starting out in their careers and to the companies that will employ you. We are providing support for starting families and creating homes, for building and renovating dwellings. Those who want to make a living from their work in Hungary today will have jobs, homes and a safe environment in which to raise their children in the world’s most beautiful country. You will not get a better offer from any other country – and what is more, no other country is your homeland.

Dear Teachers and Educators,

It is not only appropriate for me to address you, but also obligatory. This is because many important, resounding results would not have come about without your work. The national and international achievements of Hungary’s skilled workers are testimony to the excellent teachers and educators working in the Hungarian vocational education system. On behalf of the whole country, allow me to express my gratitude and appreciation. Thank you for your selfless work.
Finally, my last remaining task is to wish every success to the contestants. Go Hungary, go Hungarians!