Asylum seekers to be barred from training in Austria

Despite a persistent shortage of skilled workers, the Austrian government decided to forbid asylum seekers from entering apprenticeships.

Roxane Seckauer
Roxane Seckauer Der Standard, Austria
Source: Der Standard
Asylum seekers to be barred from training in Austria - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

Since there is a shortage of apprentices across all federal states and sectors, it is in Austria's interest to encourage migrants to take up apprenticeships. Nevertheless, a new draft law from the conservative/far-right ruling coalition will prevent asylum seekers from signing up for professional training while their claim is still being assessed.

The Austrian government plans on introducing another system to replace the current one, which dates back to 2012, when the Social Democrats were in power. 

There are approximately 1,000 asylum seekers currently enrolled in apprenticeships. These will be allowed to complete their programs. Still, the measure was roundly criticized on the international scene. A spokesman for the United Nations High Commission for Refugees said:

"For many young asylum-seekers, this would mean having to sit around idly for years instead of doing something meaningful and learning something in Austria."

Details from the story:

  • Since 2010, the number of apprentices has dropped by more than 20%.
  • There is a shortage of trainees in almost every industry. The food and restaurant industry, electrical engineering, commerce and tourism are especially in need of labor.
  • Over 1,000 refugees are currently looking for an apprenticeship. In Upper Austria alone, there are over 3,000 positions available.
  • Currently, 30,680 people who were granted asylum are completing an apprenticeship.
  • 1,023 asylum seekers are doing an apprenticeship while their procedure is still ongoing. Most of them are training to become cooks.
  • 37% of asylum applications were accepted in 2018. 56% were rejected.
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