As of Monday small and medium-sized enterprises can apply for 5 billion forints (EUR 15m) of government funding to help create high-value added jobs, the finance minister told MTI. The government funded initiative aims to strengthen the competitiveness and productivity of SMEs by helping them to introduce new technologies and improve the skills of their employees, Mihály Varga said. The programme helps the creation of high-value added jobs through supporting capacity expansion and investing in technological improvements. SMEs can apply for 10 million forints to 150 million forints of funding but in less developed areas the eligible amount is 200 million forints. The support is non-repayable and can cover 50% of an investment project. Companies awarded funding must agree to keep their headcount at least stable, to raise wages by a minimum 10% for three years and offer training to their employees, Varga said.