What characterizes today’s young unemployed in Hungary?

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the – proportion of young people between 15-34 in Hungary, who are not in education, employment or training - the so-called NEET – was around 15%. While employment has continuously grown during the last couple of years, a question emerged: who belongs to NEET youth today in Hungary, and how can they be supported, especially now, after the pandemic? Coca‑Cola Hungary’s #YouthEmpowered programme has helped over 9.000 young jobseekers over the last few years and has organised over 80 in-person trainings all-around the country, with the absolutely essential contribution of a team of 20 professional trainers. The programme’s target groups were recently analysed through a research conducted by Kantar-Hoffmann.

Defining NEET youth is difficult for many reasons: apart from age, educational level and residency there are some other factors as well that need to be considered, such as the duration of job seeking, the social background and possible motivation, or lack thereof, of an unemployed young person. In order to be able to see the impact of all these factors, Kantar Hoffmann has developed a so-called vulnerability scale to categorize the different NEET groups. On this scale, former experiences and the level of motivation of a candidate determine their chances of finding their way on the labour market. The five segments of NEET youth that were analysed during the research overlap with #YouthEmpowered’s target groups, and because each of these have a different place on the scale, they all need different type of help and support.

  1. Short-term unemployed

When defining the categories that belong to NEET youth, one of the most important questions is the length of unemployment. Those who are only short-term unemployed have the advantage of strong motivation and relevant work experience: these are the people who have been unemployed for less than a year and are placed in the middle of the vulnerability scale. Those who have lost their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic also belong to this group, although, hopefully most of them will shortly find their way back to the labour market after the economy restarts. #YouthEmpowered trainings focusing on job seeking can be of great help for this target group, as during these participants receive practical guidance on how to write their CV, how to prepare for a job interview but can also learn about how they can stand out from the crowd during an application process.

  1. Long-term unemployed

 In case of those who are long-term unemployed, it is the decreasing level of motivation and their fading work experience that means a disadvantage. While the lack of a clear vision for their future affects them negatively, their work experience and qualifications also become less and less relevant with time. The online self-awareness and skills development modules of #YouthEmpowered are able to offer a new perspective and new driving force for those who have not succeeded in finding their place on the labour market for years. In-person training on the other hand help them to share their experiences with professional trainers and people who are in a similar situation, as well as to build their network.

  1. Those who are engaged in family obligations

Expectant mothers, young parents and those who are engaged in family obligations – while traditionally do not belong to the NEET category – are also an important segment of young people that are not in education or employment. Over the past few years, young parents have gained an important position among #YouthEmpowered target groups, along with young women, as in their case it seems that biggest factor that is halting them is not the lack of professional education or experience, but rather, the lack of time and support. For those young mothers who are short on time, #YouthEmpowered’s online training sessions offer real help, as these are available anytime, anywhere, and can be completed on one’s own pace, even during childcare. Those expectant moms who are struggling with self-confidence and motivation can receive help at trainings organised with #YouthEmpowered’s partner, Coworkid Association, where they can draw inspiration and courage from young mothers on how to realise their dreams.

  1. People living with illness or disabilities

One of the most important target groups of Kantar Hoffmann’s research were young people living with disabilities. Their training is one of the future goals of #YouthEmpowered as well. In their case, it is not the lack of motivation that makes them vulnerable, but rather, the prejudice against them and the lack of opportunities. Somewhat similar to expectant moms and young mothers, often it is not the lack of ideas or motivation, but the openness and support from the employer’s side and the lack of social acceptance what is halting these young people from finding a position or advancing within a certain field of work. #YouthEmpowered’s in-person trainings focusing on self-awareness and communication could mean real help for them, which is among the future plans of the programme.

  1. Fresh graduates and job starters

Ever since the beginnings #YouthEmpowered puts great focus on those young NEET people, who are trying to find their way, or those who have some ideas, but find it hard to realise these. They are those jobseekers, who are already in the process of starting to work or to continue their studies, or in some cases, even to start their own business. Oftentimes they only need a little boost to turn their ideas into success, which puts them on the best position on the vulnerability scale. To help them, #YouthEmpowered has joined forces with Google’s Grow with Google trainings, and last year, they have organised 5 trainings days on different location in the country, focusing on self-branding and entrepreneurship. The cooperation is going to continue online this year and will be available for a broader public.


During the last three years, #YouthEmpowered has continuously broadened its target groups and has therefore helped thousands of jobseekers to find their way on the labour market. The above results of the programme, however, reflect on the situation before the COVID-19 pandemic.