Initiative: Talents for Austria
Institution: Province of Styria
Problem: The world has experienced large migrations and refugee movements in recent years. Upon reaching safe countries, solutions need to be found to successfully integrate the new arrivals, in terms of linguistic, cultural and professional integration. At the same time, demographic developments have caused a shortage of apprentices and skilled workers in many European countries. Unaccompanied minor asylum seekers (UMA) in Austria face these challenges and need a way to create a sustainable life in their new country.
Solution: In 2015, Talents for Austria was founded by the city of Trofaiach and the company Talent Development. The result is a boarding school for 30 UMAs which provides primary care, education (language, culture/values), job training, job placement and ongoing support. The focus areas of this unique project are linguistic competences (German), basic education (mathematics, English, social studies, science), knowledge of customs and culture (values), specialist job training (tourism, construction, local and regional small and medium enterprises) and job placement.
Impact: The UMAs who received specialized job training have significantly increased their chances of starting an apprenticeship and entering the job market. As apprentices, the UMAs contribute to the Austrian social system. Through this initiative, a method to attain a self-determined and an independent life in Austria is provided. At the same time, Austrian companies can respond to the shortage of skilled workers and fill vacant apprenticeships. Over the last year alone, the project has successfully placed 20 UMAs in apprenticeships.