New Sources of Employment to Promote the Wealth-Generating Capacity of Rural Communities (acronym: RuralJobs) is a collaborative research project partly funded under the European Commission Research and Development 7th Framework Program. The Rural Jobs consortium consists of partners drawn from eight European Union (EU) countries (Bulgaria, France, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Romania, Spain and UK). The project began on February 2008 and finished in October 2010. RuralJobs quantified labour market, demographic and economic trends, and the impact of employment creation measures and policies in seven, representative “reference areas” across the EU, and used the information to demonstrate how rural development measures can be better targeted and how rural development policies should evolve.We identified labour market, demographic and economic trends in rural areas across EU-27 and the potential for new sources of employment outside traditional primary and secondary sector activities, and examined the interaction between different types of rural area (peri-urban, remote, high environmental/amenity value etc.). We identified employment growth areas where rural development programmes can be targeted to increase their contribution to employment creation. Our strategic objectives were the following: review of employment policies and programmes, scenarios for new sources of employment according to rural typologies, recommendations for better targeting of strategies, dissemination and mainstreaming. The main outcome expected is that the results will allow a better targeting of rural development measures and future evolution of rural development policies in line with the Lisbon Strategy.
The primary focus of the joint survey, by the National Employment Foundation (OFA) and the researchers of the University of Debrecen in 2009, was to identify the employment characteristics of Ukrainian citizens in Hungary in relation to their impact on the labour market. Our research activities implied the analysis of existing data, relevant scientific literature and a survey questionnaire. For all the target groups, we were guided by the principle of representativity. Statistical analyses and the survey questionnaire were supplemented by indepth interviews. Our research findings are instrumental in simplifying the administration of the Foreign Affairs Police, the process of issuing work permits for foreign employees and their access to employment. The responses given by employees revealed that access to employment in Hungary posed several administrative and official problems for both Hungarian and Ukrainian citizens. Moreover, Ukrainian employees felt a kind of negative discrimination regarding their wages and the conditions of employment as compared to Hungarian employees and they sought remedy from Hungarian official bodies for this problem. The authors hope to call the attention of competent authorities to structural problems and loopholes in the employment of foreign citizens. If these are corrected, it will not only improve employment conditions for foreign workers, but for Hungarian ones as well.