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New digital experience center opens in Debrecen

Hungary hopes to encourage more to sign up for IT training, where many jobs are available.

Balázs Greinstetter, Deputy State Secretary of the Ministry of Finance responsible for the implementation of economic development programs, was at the handing-over ceremony of the new DigiTér center in Debrecen last week and said that such centers will enable future generations to master the technology of the future.

Greinstetter indicated that since 2017, HUF 8.3 billion of EU funding under the Operational Program for Economic Development and Innovation (Ginop), has been available to universities and colleges, and HUF 361 million of this was spent on the DigiTér Experience Center in Debrecen.

Digital experience centers allow elementary and high school students to interact with virtual reality, robotics and robot programming through interactive activities and also lets them play with the latest humanoid robots and get closer to the world of digitalization via smart devices. The secretary emphasized that the centers aim to raise students’ interest in IT careers. 

The government wants to increase the number of adults with IT and digital competences and also increase cooperation between IT companies and training institutions in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the economy and Hungary’s performance in the ICT sector.

“The trio of innovation, modernization and digitalization defines everything,” Greinstetter said, so acquiring digital competence is crucial for the future generation of workers.

Károly Solymár, Deputy State Secretary for Digitization at the Ministry of Innovation and Technology (ITM), said that after Győr and Debrecen, two more digital experience centers will open elsewhere in Hungary. He further added that there are currently some 25,000 vacant IT jobs in the country, and these centers hope to encourage more people to obtain the required training to fill these open positions. 

According to the secretary’s report, the number of young people enrolled in IT training fell by 35 percent between 2001 and 2014, a trend that was then reversed between 2015 and 2019, with a 40 percent increase in the number of students enrolling in IT.

László Papp, the Mayor of Debrecen, said that more than 72,000 students are studying in Debrecen, and it is important that these students find work in an ever-expanding, high value-added economic environment. The mayor noted that 40 percent more applied for technical training at the University of Debrecen last year– an encouraging sign.

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