Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to welcome the President of the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, our foreign guests, students, parents and teachers on this celebration of Hungarian vocational education. We are well aware that, sooner or later, every country becomes a reflection of its own young people. And we Hungarians want a competitive country, a country which successfully competes in any of the world’s arenas. We want to keep pace with the digital revolution, and we want to be winners in the economic changes taking place in the world. It is therefore in our national interest to raise young people who have marketable and competitive skills: it is in the interest of Hungary that you and your contemporaries prosper and are professionally and commercially successful. And it would also be good for young people leaving our schools to be proud to use their skills, work and achievements to contribute to the thousand-year creation which we simply call the Hungarian motherland. We, the generation before you, certainly thought that way; and as you choose your future professions we would also like you to appreciate the essence and beauty of that thought.
I once heard Csaba Böjte say that life is like a handful of gold dust: it is extremely valuable, and what we make of it is up to us. If we use it well and with courage, it will yield a profit; but if we just hold it in our hands, the tiny grains will slip through our fingers. If you choose good professions, a secure future will await you: you may become honoured and recognised professionals of the most important businesses in Hungary and the world. The time will soon come when you will shape the future of our country. What Hungary will be like in twenty or thirty years’ time will also depend on the path you choose for yourselves now. A few years ago the boys and girls who are taking part in this contest faced that same decision, and today they are the stars of their chosen professions. They are now competing to earn the chance in the near future of testing their skills against those of Europe’s best.
I am asking you to build together with us a Hungary to which you can always return. We Hungarians are used to having to fight for everything – even for our own professionals, our own young people and our own future. You should be aware that today Europe is framed and assembled so that richer countries with more fortunate pasts are able to cream off other nations’ skilled young people. Employers from other countries have their eyes on you, too. We Hungarians may respond to this in two ways: on the one hand, with pride in young Hungarians being able to hold their own anywhere in the world; and on the other hand, by building a Hungary where young people can look forward to jobs, decent salaries, security and the possibility of owning a family home. Just think about it: what good is a world in which you can’t say that there is a language, a culture and a country which is your home and where you can return at any time? This was also one of the issues in the parliamentary election on 8 April. The Hungarian people decided that Hungary should remain a Hungarian country. We must build a country where workers and work are respected: where every young person can enter a valuable occupation or gain a useful qualification. This is our goal, this is why we entered into an agreement with the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and this is why we are going to enter into another agreement with them for the coming four years.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The EuroSkills contest will be held in the Hungexpo centre in only a few months. We will play host to the best students in forty professions from twenty-eight European countries. So we are on the final straight. We can – and do – look upon this year’s Star of the Profession Festival as the dress rehearsal for that competition in September. Now we’ll find out who will earn the chance to become the continent’s best in their professions.
May you choose wisely when deciding on your future profession, and may all competitors produce their best.
Go for it Hungary, Go for it young Hungarians!