Did you drop the NEET






"Dormant Talents: Perspectives for Adolescents and Young Adults (NEETs)"







Parliamentary inquiry of the Federal Council

Tuesday 2nd June 2015


(Shorthand protocol)


Parliamentary inquiry of the Federal Council

Tuesday 2nd June 2015

(XXVth legislative period of the National Council)


"Dormant Talents: Perspectives for Adolescents and Young Adults (NEETs)"

Duration of the inquiry

Tuesday, June 2, 2015: 3:01 p.m. - 6:12 p.m.



1. Opening

President of the Federal Council Sonja Zwazl

2. Introductory speeches

Rudolf Hundstorfer, Federal Minister for Labor, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection

Mag. Dr. Harald Mahrer, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy

Mag. Mario Steiner, Institute for Advanced Studies

3rd panel & discussion

Panel III.1: "Labor market challenges"

Panel III.2: "Positions on the chances of adolescents and young adults"



1. Opening

Chairman President Sonja Zwazl .......................................................................... 3

2. Introductory speeches

Federal Minister Rudolf Hundstorfer ........................................................................... 4

State Secretary Mag. Dr. Harald Mahrer ....................................................................... 7

Mag. Mario Steiner ....................................................................................................... 10

3rd panel & discussion

Vice President Inge Posch-Gruska ........................................................................... 15

Panel III.1: "Labor market challenges"

Introductory statements:

Dr. Johannes Kopf, LL.M. ........................................................................................... 16

Dr. Dieter Schaufler ..................................................................................................... 19

Sebnem Ertl, B.A. ......................................................................................................... 22

MMag. Sonja Schmöckel ............................................................................................. 24


Federal Councilor Monika Mühlwerth ................................................................................. 27

Federal Councilor Mag. SusanneShort ............................................................................... 29

Federal Councilor Efgani Dönmez, PMM ............................................................................... 30

Federal Councilor Ferdinand Tiefnig ...................................................................................... 31

Federal Councilor Ana Blatnik ............................................................................................. 32

Federal Councilor Rene Pfister ............................................................................................... 32

Federal Councilor Franz Perhab ............................................................................................. 33

Doris Wagner, M.Ed. .................................................................................................... 34

Amrita Enzinger, M.Sc. ................................................................................................ 35

Mag. Lisa Sinowatz ...................................................................................................... 35

Outg. Dipl.-Ing. Gerhard Deimek ................................................................................. 36

Outg. Katharina Kucharowits ...................................................................................... 37

Panel III.2: "Positions on the chances of adolescents and young adults"

Introductory statements:

Dr. Peter Zeitler ............................................................................................................ 38

Richard Meisel .................................................................................................... 41

Christian Morawek ....................................................................................................... 42

Dr. Andrea Fraundorfer ............................................................................................... 44


Outg. Asdin El Habbassi, BA ....................................................................................... 46

Outg. Gerald Loacker .......................................................................................... 48

Federal Councilor Daniela Gruber-Pruner ................................................................ 48

Federal Councilor Christoph Längle ...................................................................................... 49

Mag. (FH) Sabine Scheffknecht .................................................................................. 49

Closing remarks by the President

Chairman President Sonja Zwazl ........................................................................ 50


01/15/30 Start of the study: 3:01 p.m.

Chair: President of the Federal Council Sonja Zwazl.

1/15/4441. opening



Chairman President Sonja Zwazl|: Ladies and gentlemen, a warm welcome! I openthe Federal Council's inquiry on the subject Slumbermering talents: prospects for adolescents and young adults (NEETs) "and thank you very much for accepting the invitation in so many numbers. (Applause.)

I warmly greet everyone present. My special greetings go to the speakers, above all our Federal Minister Rudolf Hundstorfer, because I know that you came on time even though you said you would be 15 minutes late. A warm-hearted welcome! (Applause.)

I would also like to thank you, State Secretary Dr. Harald Mahrer, very warmly, because I know that you had to postpone appointments because of us. A warm-hearted welcome! (Applause.)

A warm welcome to Mag. Mario Steiner from the Institute for Advanced Studies and our speakers, Dr. Johannes Kopf from AMS Austria, Dr. Dieter Schaufler as representative of the Mauritiushof Center, Ms. Mag. Sebnem Ertl from the Production School Leonding, Ms. MMag. Sonja Schmöckel as representative of the Federal Ministry for Labor, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection, Dr. Peter Zeitler from the Austrian Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Mag. Richard Meisel, Federal Chamber of Labor, Mr. Christian Morawek, Austrian Association of Parents' Associations at Public Compulsory Schools, Dr. Andrea Fraundorfer, Federal Ministry for Education and Women.

In addition, I warmly welcome all members of the Federal Council, the National Council and the state parliaments, the representatives of the respective federal ministries and all representatives named by the respective institutions who are taking part in today's study as experts .

Of course, special greetings also go to the representatives of the media. These are particularly important to us when it comes to this topic.

I also greet all viewers who are following today's Enquete either here or on ORF III or via livestream.


(This is followed by technical messages and information on the procedure by the chairperson, as well as a note that a shorthand protocol will be drawn up about this inquiry, which will be available on the Internet at “www.parlament.gv.at” after a while. )


Ladies and gentlemen! A young man I have met - let's call him Martin - is insecure, is what is commonly referred to as “not socially acceptable”: lethargic, unable to apply for a job or even to exercise one.

Martin comes to an auxiliary facility, is set up, begins to believe in himself. The cold shower takes place in the environment, with friends, and it hurts the often lack of recognition and support within the family, especially the parents.

Ladies and gentlemen! Young people who completely fall out of the context of our social coexistence are a reality in Austria. These young people are and must continue to be a task for us in politics. We simply owe it to these young people, and we owe it to our social coexistence.

We simply cannot and must not afford it, and we must not watch when young people are thrown off course or simply cannot find their way, for whatever reason. The causes are diverse, our task is clear: not to watch when young people do not find their way, because the follow-up costs for our social system are enormous, do not watch, because every young person who does not find his way can become a risk factor for our entire society will become.

But above all, we are not allowed to watch because every single person is valuable. Human dignity is indivisible, that applies to us here in this room as well as to those young people whose present is barely noticeable and whose future, if we do nothing, we can no longer even find with a magnifying glass.

We in politics are challenged, but not just us, but above all parents, mass media, schools, youth workers, to name just a few. Basically, it concerns everyone, because nobody is allowed to look the other way if others cannot find their way.

I am firmly convinced that every young person has special talents, abilities and aptitudes in this or that area. Far too often, however, these talents are overlooked by the individual young people themselves and also by their environment, which then often has the result that the young person does not believe in himself, that he believes he is worthless and that he is for nothing is to be used. And the talents continue to slumber, buried deeper and deeper and buried.

Let's work together on a wake-up call, for these talents and thus for these young people!


15.09.032. Introductory speeches


† Chairman President Sonja Zwazl |: I can now ask Federal Minister Rudolf Hundstorfer for his remarks. - Please, Minister.



† Federal Minister for Labor, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection Rudolf Hundstorfer|: Madam President! Ladies and gentlemen and dear Harald Mahrer; We are out and about in pairs this afternoon, so to speak, and spend the evening together at a joint event. Otherwise, I think we still have a somewhat differentiated private life. (Laughter.) But joking aside - and before I get into a vortex, I come to the topic.

I thank you for holding this inquiry. I would like to thank President Zwazl personally for this, because I know that for her, also because of her professional activity - and I know that not only from my ministerial function, but also from my previous function - the subject of youth and training is extremely important to young people. It is not for nothing that some programs that have been developed here are trend-setting for the whole of Austria in terms of implementation or are part of what we do.

No question about it: on the one hand, we still have a very low rate in Austria, especially when it comes to youth unemployment, knowing that it is too high for ourselves and for our qualitative requirements. But the fact is: internationally we are still in second place and will remain so in the future. But of course we have to ask ourselves: Why are there young people who drop out of training? Why are there young people who cannot find the way to a further education, a further apprenticeship? Why are there young people who cannot find their way to the AMS in order to simply obtain information about it?

We know a lot about it, but in 2012/2013 we tried together with Professor Bacher from the University of Linz in a very comprehensive study to put the subject of NEETs in the focus of labor market and education policy. Even if - as I have already said - we have a very low NEET rate in an international comparison, it is still clear: Entry into today's job market is not possible without formal qualificationspossible. As a result, of course, dropping out of training early or not even starting training is a massive problem - not only for those affected, but, as the Madam President has already said, for our society as a whole.

It is also clear that we try very hard to help these people through catching up on qualifications, to give these people training. We have a whole range of offers from the AMS, from other ministries, but of course also from the federal states, where the aim is always to avoid NEETs or to ensure that these people get back into the training and employment process.

I think a very important milestone was, on the one hand, the nationwide roll-out of the production schools that began in Upper Austria. A tender plant in Linz, an idea from Denmark - you can say that frankly - that was exported to Linz and then expanded a bit from Linz, and today we have 22 or 23 production schools. This is a Part.

A second part are programs that are in technical jargon under the term "Training Fit" run, which for young people is about simply looking: where can the journey go?

I think we agree - at least those who are very intensively involved with this topic - that we should work with the project Youth coaching, which we started in 2012 and rolled out across Austria, where one or two federal states also have a so-called Apprentice coaching have planned to have set a very important milestone.

Through this project, we look after 30,000 young people per year in all federal states, from Lake Constance to Lake Neusiedl, and we succeeded - and that's very encouraging - the rate of early school leavers in Austria of 7.8 percent in 2012 down to 7 percent in 2014. That's two years, 0.8 percentage points, but at least this step has been taken. We will not let up here. This youth coaching project will of course continue to exist. Perhaps a little bit of information about this: We are spending € 25 million a year on this project. But I think that is money very well invested, very necessary money.

There is another educational milestone in the government program from 2013 to 2018. This educational milestone is simply called "Training up to 18" and is a training obligation up to the age of 18. In the various preparatory activities of the four ministries concerned, but also of all other players in this segment, we are so far advanced that we can start the project with the 15-year-olds from the 2016/17 school year. Of course, the National Council still has to legislate on this. But it is very likely that this will happen in autumn this year, because it is simply about telling all young people: Come on, do something! Compulsory schooling is good, but not enough.

So it goes on. Those who go to secondary schools continue to go to their secondary schools. It doesn't matter whether it's an AHS, an HTL, a high school or whatever. Everything that is school is school, and that which is an apprenticeship is an apprenticeship. But you have to do one of these segments. It is simply a matter of continuing education up to the age of 18, starting, as I said, in the 2016/17 school year with the then 15-year-olds, and then it always comes in stages.

Of course, such a training obligation is also a right to training. This also gives me a legal right to training. That means we have to try to make these possibilities available accordingly. Of course, it will continue to be the case that there are young people who cannot be immediately integrated into an apprenticeship position. There will still be production schools. There will be young people who, due to any other circumstances, especially from the segment of young people with disabilities, need an intermediate step. That is also clear. There will be young people who only manage part of the apprenticeship, but that is better than nothing. And there will be young people who will need four years to complete their apprenticeship, although only three years are planned, but that too is better than nothing.

All of this has to be implemented accordingly, of course. For this reason, the four ministries must work together accordingly, because it is clear: if we say that we want you to make a commitment, or we commit you, then we must also ensure that that is possible.

The logic behind this is, as I said: You have to do something beyond compulsory school. The thing that worked for your grandparents or for whom parents might still work, to join a factory or industrial company after compulsory schooling, that was once upon a time. That has to be said and addressed openly.

It is just as clear, and I am also quite frank: an obligation can and will, if not adhered to, imply sanctions. There will be a financial sanction as the last instrument - as in the case of non-compliance with compulsory schooling, for which there is also a sanction, an administrative penalty. But as I said, this is also the last resort with compulsory schooling, and it should be the same with compulsory training.

To cut a long story short: We are in the process of implementing this reform project. We are in the process of making sure that we make appropriate offers available here and there for the young people, for whom nothing is currently working and who are slowly knowing where they are and who they are. It is important to us that in the future, especially in groups up to the age of 18, the word “NEETs” will become a foreign word. Of course, there will continue to be young people who drop out of training at the age of 19, 20 or 21. That will continue to exist. But here, too, we try to give these young people appropriate support.

On the one hand, we have enough schools, that's not the issue. What is still necessary and what we have to work towards together - and that is why I am very happy that today's study is taking place - are high-quality apprenticeships and high-quality apprenticeships. We are still challenged together. As you know, we have a certain east-west divide when it comes to apprenticeships. In the west we have more offers than young people and in the east less offers than young people. That's the one point.

We must of course also be aware that we are in the education sector further reforms need. What we also have to be clear about is that various youth projects at state level must of course continue to be available or that we are not dismantling something there, but trying to build something up here or there.

With this in mind, I would like to close my remarks with another thank you and I can assure you that we will do everything we can to ensure that this educational obligation and training obligation is actually implemented in such a way that it becomes a success story for young people, namely a success story for her further life.This model exists in one country in Europe, that is in the Netherlands, and it is not for nothing that the Netherlands has a very low unemployment rate among 15 to 19 year olds. We already have a small one today, but it has to get smaller still. With this in mind, I thank you very much. (Applause.)


† Chairman President Sonja Zwazl |:Minister, thank you very much for what you said. I think, in the interests of young people, it is important that we all pull together and continue to develop our concepts and programs. Thank-you.

I may now state Secretary Dr. Ask Mahrer for his introductory statement.



State Secretary in the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy Mag. Dr. Harald Mahrer|: Dear Madam President! Dear members of the Federal Council and the National Council! I saw a few Members here in this room. Dear Federal Minister! In fact, we don't spend the evening together privately, we still have something to award together today, a CSR prize, the largest in Austria, the TRIGOS. It's about corporate responsibility. And that closes the circle pretty well on the topic we are dealing with today: dormant talents.

I am very grateful to President Zwazl and the Federal Council that this issue is being brought more into the focus of public attention. Federal Minister Hundstorfer has already mentioned some of what is already happening within the framework of the agreed government program. I would now like to put that into a larger political context, why we should perhaps dare to look five, seven, ten years into the future and then think together about whether this topic might not become much more important and therefore the efforts we are making together today may not be enough.

We are - the experts have meanwhile agreed on this - at the beginning of the greatest structural change in economic policy in 150 years. The Digitalization as a driver, it will have effects that none of us - no one, not even the most daring experts who work in this field - can even remotely predict.

What we call the term in German-speaking countries Industry 4.0 Know - most of you will have seen this a bit in the meantime through media reports or if you have dealt with it in detail - means an incredible upheaval in the production value chains of industry and the manufacturing industry, with effects on everyone Economic areas. Each of you also knows it privately: In the last 15 years, digitization has had an enormous impact on the way we live and how we communicate, and it will increasingly do so.

If you think about it a little, you can also see that the educational system in this area has so far not been able to keep up. The dynamic is increasing. Federal Minister Hundstorfer addressed the necessary reforms. In other words, we will probably have to accelerate properly in order to be able to keep up. This does not only apply to Austria. It affects all countries of the European Union. Regardless of who you are talking to at Council level, it is clear to everyone that the efforts we are making here are probably not enough at this point in time. The technological dynamics are currently too great.

If you look at the fact that there are very different reasons - the Federal Minister mentioned the famous study why someone falls into this area of ​​NEETs, so to speak - then there are many things. There is no typical categorization, but it goes from school drop-outs from a well-earning parental household to children with a migration background, for whom the lack of language skills are fatal. The range is wide. The only fact is: We will possibly get more NEETs in addition to these if the requirements become even greater due to technological change.

What is perhaps a wonderful unique selling point in dual training today could no longer be such a miraculous panacea in five, seven, ten years' time if a completely different, much more media-related, generalist knowledge is suddenly required for specialized training.

I am trying to put the NEETs we are talking about today - dormant talents - into a larger context, because together we are actually faced with great challenges. So, so to speak, I combine this challenge with the necessity of what we have to do in the education system. I believe there are three principles on which we should jointly orientate ourselves with a national shoulder to shoulder. That is to attempt to actually - for social policy considerations, because educational policy is the best social policy - to leave no child behind if possible, to promote it as early as possible. This is much better than intervening late and repairing late.

I like the heading “dormant talents” because it really is the case that every person, every child, every little girl, every little boy has some kind of talents. What we are currently doing far too little is to reflect on these talents in a positive way, even in early childhood, and to convey positive experiences of achievement, because through these positive experiences of achievement every child learns to continue, to take a little risk, to try it out , because children - we know that from educational research, and everyone knows this about themselves when they have children - naturally try things out because that's how they learn. It is human nature. Somehow over the decades we have managed to create an education system that somehow wears it off instead of promoting it.

That means placing much more emphasis on the individual talents of our children, as early as possible, and promoting them there. It may also mean spending more money and doing it in early childhood. That prevents us from losing children. We are currently losing a lot of children because we do not support them early on, because they are very different. That is also in human nature. I think that should be said in this context.

If you see and know that on the one hand and see the increasing trend towards digitization on the other, you could probably come to the realization that we will have no choice but to go in this direction work. Hence, in the sense of our entire educational reform, considerations at the government level - but here we actually agree with the many other political groups and expert groups that we in Austria need a focus on early childhood.

I believe that regardless of what labor market policy measures we are setting today in the area of ​​further qualification, post-qualification, support in the area of ​​early school leavers, we also need a focus to look at: What does that mean in 5, 10, 15 Years? And because of the long-term effect, the early childhood area naturally plays a completely different role. This then needs to be considered further: What do we do in the area of ​​individualized talent promotion in elementary school, during the transition to secondary level and then in the area of ​​vocational training and further education or higher qualifications?

But we would be lying in the bag if we said we only do it at the interface between the education system and the labor market, we only do it in secondary school because we would make the same mistake again as in the last 20 or 30 years, not there to look at where decisions are actually made about equal opportunities for young people, and that is in the early childhood area, ladies and gentlemen.

What I want to do here today is to promote a national alliance in this context, to see that we are pursuing a de-ideologization here, and to say: Let's think together about where we can really take steps together in order to bring forward trends that may not move us in the next year, but definitely in 10 or 15 years, to a position in which we have significantly fewer NEETs on the one hand - because the earlier we invest, the fewer we will fail later the system - and on the other hand anticipating something that we will have to deal with one way or another, a change in the educational system due to digitization.

We could now talk for hours about the door sign debate of the comprehensive school, the gymnasium. These are all legitimate debates that should be conducted. But if we don't do anything in early childhood, all other things are wasted later. (Applause from the Federal Council Donmez.)

I would like us to bring national alliances together in this area. I wanted to point this out because the Federal Minister has already addressed the various measures, so to speak, at the operational level, regarding the problems we have today. Focusing on this area is a good, real investment.

But that also means - I will stick with digitization - that we may have to think about this talent promotion system very differently than is the case today. I know there are quite different views: Should one stick to the system in the area of ​​kindergarten teachers as we have it today, or is it entirely justified to think about it, a certain area of ​​teachers too to provide a tertiary education? Some say no, we don't need that, it isn't necessary, others say it might be good to think about it. At least once I am promoting a factual discourse on the matter.

As a developed democracy and a liberal constitutional state of western style, it would do us good to think about it and put the factual arguments on the table. If we know that the future of young people is most likely to be decided in early childhood, then we should also discuss which skills are necessary for pedagogues in this area so that they can promote and ensure talent in the best possible way we can ensure that we have the greatest possible equity. We can come to the realization that this may not be necessary for all areas, but maybe if we ask ourselves these questions together, we will come to the realization that for certain Skills such training is very much necessary.

If I look at what is happening in other countries, then at least I can come to the realization in reflection that that would be good for a certain area. And here, too, I am promoting a broader, more factual, de-ideologized debate, because it is about nothing other than the future of children. Here, too, I believe that the more we invest here and the more factually oriented we lead the debate, the more we will create a situation in which there are fewer NEETs per futuro. - Just to pick out a couple of things.

One should also see major challenges in a western-style democracy, which is certainly facing major challenges due to the changes that digitization brings with it in information behavior and communication behavior - keyword participation, involvement, inclusion of citizens that an increased promotion of talent and self-confidence will also bring forth other responsible citizens. As a democracy it would not do us badly to place a specific value on it, because - as the German painter An-selm Feuerbach put it so beautifully -: “Nobody judges more sharply than the uneducated. He knows neither reasons nor counter-reasons. ”- Thank you very much. (Applause.)


Chairman President Sonja Zwazl |: Thank you, State Secretary, for your remarks! I think we're all there so that we can think together about how we can really support our children. Togetherness is important.

Thank you very much and I would now like to ask you, Mr Mario Steiner from the Institute for Advanced Studies, for your introductory speech.



†Like. Mario Steiner (Institute for Advanced Studies) |: Madam President! Minister! State Secretary! Dear Ladies and Gentlemen! Thank you for the opportunity to share the most important research results on the topic with you Dropping out of education to be able to present in the Austrian education system.

You have received a printout of what I would like to present in your files. I'm usually used to presenting with PowerPoint, I've been told that it doesn't work here, and that's why I would like to give you the opportunity to take a look right away, because there will now be a lot of empirical calculation results for discussion, and it may help you to see this at the same time.

The subjects I would like to talk about are, by and large, three major subject blocks. First of all, it's about that extent of early school leaving. Then it's about them Connections early drop-out of education, i.e. who is affected by it, what consequences are connected with it and what causes can be named. And the third big topic will be on Strategies, to act against to enter.

First of all, the question of which one might seem simple at first glance extent of early dropouts we have in Austria, a not so simple answer.

First of all, it has to be defined: What are early dropouts? Early dropouts are young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who are no longer in training and do not have a qualification that goes beyond compulsory schooling. These are the early dropouts.

The calculation of this proportion of early dropouts gives very different results, depending on which database is used. They are probably all used to this early school leaving rate, the result of which is that we in Austria have 7 to 8 percent early school leavers. It is calculated on the basis of the microcensus. The microcensus is a sample; samples are associated with fluctuations. The result on this basis is around 75,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 24 who are affected.

This result of 7.5 percent is very good in an international comparison, where I believe we are third or fourth best in the EU-27 comparison. But it is only half the story. Half the truth because we have recently gained access to new administrative data, which are in themselves preferable to survey data, and these administrative data show a share of 12.6 percent of early school leavers. This corresponds to a size of 128,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 24.

This result also fits very well with an indicator that has been known to us for decades, namely the proportion of high-risk students. We know from all of the PISA studies that we have around 20 percent of students aged 15 and over who cannot read meaningfully.

To make a long story short: In Austria, in contrast to the low early school leaving rate, we also have one quantitative Problem with early drop-out in education.

If you now subsequently ask yourself where in the education system this early drop-out takes place, then you can determine this in the various types of school, which proportions of the young people who have chosen these types of school drop out, but drop out so far that they not only drop out of training, but their entire career.

If you take this as a basis, then you come to the conclusion that there are around 7 percent of an entry year in the BHS, 9 percent in the AHS, in the BMS - although there are big differences depending on the subject - there are 13 percent and finally, with the dual system, 21 percent.

Now one can draw a conclusion and say that the focus of the early break-up is the teaching. On the one hand that is correct, on the other hand it is not correct. It is correct because there are 21 percent who drop out, on the other hand, in an international comparison, we also see that those countries that have a dual system or a very well-developed vocational training, like the one in Austria is the case, have a comparatively low rate per se. There are two conflicting tendencies here.

Subsequently, one can ask oneself how early drop-out is distributed in Austria, and one will find that there are very large regional differences.With this new data basis, which I described earlier, we now have the opportunity for the first time to also calculate these differences down to the district level, and we come to the conclusion that we have a range between 6 percent on the one hand District Zwettl and on the other hand of 26 percent in the 20th district in Vienna.

If you take a closer look at the regional results, you will see that it is a urban Problem. That means that in many districts in Vienna we have high drop-out rates or early school leaving rates or early drop-out rates, but also in Linz, Innsbruck, Graz and the like. It is, in fact, an urban problem.

Subsequently, the question arises as to who is affected by early drop-out in education and to what extent, and you will find a graphic in your documents in which I have tried to differentiate this according to the federal states with regard to the country of birth. If you do that and look at the corresponding graphic, you first notice that the early termination is very unevenly distributed depending on the origin. We have around 10 percent drop-out rate for those who were born in Austria, but 30 percent for those who were born outside of Austria.

If you take a regionally differentiated look at this at the same time, you find that the risk of people with a migration background is very different in the individual federal states. In Vienna, for example, the risk for migrants is 190 percent of the risk for those without a migration background. But there are also federal states that clearly exceed 300 percent and approach 400 percent.

It is unevenly distributed, we know that. The question below is which one Consequences are associated with early school leaving. We can best look at these consequences Labor market data look at. If one compares the early dropouts with those who were able to obtain a qualification at the secondary level II, then one finds first of all that the young people without a qualification have twice as high an unemployment rate as those who have a qualification. If they still manage to get into employment, then their risk of not getting beyond auxiliary work is four times greater than those who have graduated. And finally, the risk of not being part of the labor force at all, of inactive status, so to speak, is seven-fold higher for those who dropped out compared to those who were able to graduate. If you then keep in mind the importance of professional life for social integration, you can also draw the conclusion that social exclusion is the logical consequence of these data.

A question that naturally arises then is: where does it come from? What are the causes? Why do the youngsters drop out? If you ask yourself that question, I think you have to answer that question on two levels, on one level system-related Level on one side and on one individual-related Level on the other side.

First of all, at the system-related level, we can achieve interesting insights by comparing European education systems. First of all, the employment opportunities found by early school leavers or early school leavers are relevant and important. Those countries that make hardly any difference in terms of educational qualifications on the labor market, so to speak, have much higher early drop-out rates than those countries in which there are hardly any opportunities without a qualification. Austria tends to belong to the second category.

What we also learn from the comparison of European education systems is that staying seated or repeating school years has a negative effect on the early school leaving rate. At the same time - and I have already mentioned this - expanded vocational training in the form of apprenticeship - we not only have apprenticeships, but also vocational middle and higher schools - has a lowering effect on the proportion of early school leavers. With things like comprehensive school or with low numbers of classroom students, there is no such thing primary Effect on the proportion of early dropouts, but they have a very strong effect on the social composition and thus again one indirect Effect on early school leaving.

Finally, the length of compulsory schooling has no influence on the proportion of early school leavers. One could say that more of the same does not change the problem, and this again offers the chance of “training up to 18”, since “training up to 18” is not an extension of compulsory schooling, but from a qualitative perspective it is something different.

Another answer at the system level with regard to the causes - for example, if one asks the question why migrants are affected to a much greater extent by early school leaving - can be found when one looks at the extent of the over- or Underrepresentation of migrants or people with a non-German colloquial language examined in more detail according to school types. If you do that, you find that people with non-German colloquial language are clearly underrepresented in AHS and BHS and, in return, are clearly overrepresented in special schools.

This graphic on which the whole thing is based contains three things that I would particularly like to point out. One is the teacher training schools. In the teacher training schools we have the greatest extent of underrepresentation of people with a migration background differentiated according to school type. This in turn has the consequence that the training of role models that young people would need to see, aha, there are also people with a migration background among the teachers, so you can do it, or be hindered the opportunity that arises from this is not used to the extent that we could use it.

The other is the over-representation of migrants in special schools. This makes a vicious circle obvious: People with a non-German mother tongue or colloquial language have more difficult starting conditions. Because of these more difficult starting conditions, they come to school types in which they have much less chance of obtaining a qualification that would then enable them to continue their educational career. And with that the cat bites its tail.

The third thing I would like to talk about - you can also see that in the graphic very well - are the differences between federal states with regard to this over-representation of migrants in special schools. We have a range of 10 percent in the best-performing state on the one hand and 90 percent on the other. I would say that this is not a calling card for increasing federalization in the education sector.

Finally, the question arises on the individual Level, and at the individual level there are many interdependencies that need to be cited and that can be considered the causes of early drop-out. On the one hand there are selection experiences; Selection experiences in the sense of "not enough", i.e. not getting enough, staying seated and the like, i.e. constantly collecting feedback in the sense of "you are not enough", which undermines the self-confidence and self-worth of the young people and thus the premature dropout promoted to a certain extent.

A second causal relationship is a lack of professional and training information or the young people's knowledge of potential. This is not primarily or exclusively about additional information, but also about the fact that the young people often do not know where their Strengthen and where yours weaknesses lie. They know very well what they are Not can, but what they can really do they hardly know. This leads to disorientation and may lead to choosing the wrong school, and if the wrong school is then chosen, dropping out early is obvious.

After all, we have an education system that also has a great deal of learning performance in the private Area outsourced. If the family background shows a lack of financial resources, for example to buy this learning achievement in the form of tutoring, or just a cultural deficiency - in the sense of supporting the children in achieving this learning achievement - performance deficits are that Episode. And performance deficits result in premature termination.

Then I have come to the last point, namely the question of the Activities against the early demolition in Austria. In this context, it was right to call the approach in Austria a deficit-oriented compensation approach for a long time. That is, the cause of the problem was seen in the individual, the individual had deficits. It was necessary to compensate for these deficits, which is why appropriate follow-up training offers were the most effective means of responding to them. We have a lot of good measures in this area, we have a very wide range, but unfortunately we also have a relatively uncoordinated range of these measures. In the meantime - that is a characterization that goes back to an EU project that we carried out 15 years ago - a lot has happened and there are also relevant changes to be mentioned.

First of all, the youth coaching mentioned by the Minister. The Youth coaching should be emphasized because it is a measure that starts before the problem has actually already led to a termination. It is located in the intervention and not in the compensation area, and above all it is a measure with corresponding figures: So 30,000 young people, that actually has an effect. This can then also be observed on the macro indicators.

What also needs to be mentioned are the various strategies that have been developed. On the one hand the Lifelong learning strategy, where the goal was set to achieve 6 percent early dropouts by 2020. That is an ambitious goal, especially given the new data situation that we have.

And what should also be emphasized is that Early school leaving strategy, which has since been developed. Unfortunately, the strategies are not equipped with an appropriate budget or are underpinned with appropriate structures in order to actually achieve implementation on a significant scale.

In a final consideration, from my perspective there are three urgent fields of action. And one of these three urgent fields of action is first of all that selectivity of the Austrian education system to reduce. What needs to be done, I believe, is well known. It starts with relatively simple measures, namely this socially selective school type allocation, which one simply needs to prevent, goes to a modular system, which has already been developed in stages, instead of school year repetitions. All-day and comprehensive schools are certainly a stimulus word. But both things have been shown to have an effect on the social composition and on the social selectivity of the educational system.

The next point here is a bit more challenging, namely the indicator-based financing, which means that all schools do not receive the same amount of money according to the watering can principle, but the financial means are based on the problem they have to deal with differently distributed. And finally, a resource orientation instead of a deficit orientation in the education system would be indicated.

Second big goal should be that effectiveness to increase, by establishing responsibility for results at the school location. However, this cannot simply be demanded of schools, but must also be given the appropriate instruments for what school autonomy would mean. School autonomy in a very broad sense, that is, also in terms of budget and staff, naturally combined with an external evaluation, which should not only be based on performance, but also on the degree of integration that the school achieves.

The third goal should be a politically serious one strategy be. Seriously meant means: There is a shared goal to which all stakeholders are committed. There is a corresponding budget for this and then there are measures that address the need. In this context, I think “training until the age of 18” is an opportunity. - Many Thanks. (Applause.)


† Chairman President Sonja Zwazl |: Mr. Mag. Mario Steiner, thank you very much for your comments. I would also like to thank you very much for the informative documents. A big thank you.

15.54.193. Panel and discussion


† Chairman President Sonja Zwazl |:Ladies and gentlemen! We now come to the introductory statements of the panelists on the subject of "Labor market policy challenges"as well as for the subsequent discussion.

I ask the discussants not to exceed the time of 10 minutes per statement so that we still have enough time for discussions.

Our Vice President Inge Posch-Gruska will moderate this part of our inquiry. I may ask you to take over the moderation and also ask for your introductory words. - Here you go, Inge.

Panel III.1: "Labor market policy challenges"



Vice President Inge Posch-Gruska|: Madam President! Yes, I would also like to warmly welcome you to the second survey in the Federal Council, which deals with this topic.

Half a year ago, under President Ana Blatnik, we had the study on the focus on “dual training”, now the continuation of “dormant talents”. For all those who are new to the Federal Council, I can say: This is also an expression of how the Federal Council works, namely not only superficially, but also looking deeply and not only at the top, but really watching see that we also bring something forward. And therefore, on my behalf, Madam President Zwazl, once again thank you very much for this inquiry today.

What if we have dormant talent Not wake up, we've already heard. There are already some measures. The first four keynote speeches that we hear deal - each from a different perspective and from a different responsibility - with this topic, but always with the same goal of picking up the young people where they are, to involve the young people there where they need it so that they can find the self-worth they deserve in this society.

The first contribution we hear comes from Dr. Johannes Kopf from the AMS. The AMS sees itself as a service company under public law, and one of the most important goals of the AMS was and is the prevention of youth unemployment.

Dr. In his role, Kopf not only sees himself as one of those who value the key figures, but is also interested in the stories behind the individual people. And I think that's one of the most important things the AMS can do. I therefore ask for your statement.


15.56.20 Introductory statements



† Dr. Johannes Kopf, LL.M. (AMS Austria) |: Ms. Vice President! Dear Madam President! Dear Members of the Federal Council and National Council! Ladies and gentlemen! Thanks for the invitation.

When I got the invitation, I thought to myself: It's easy. This is something I get asked all the time. How is Austria positioned on the subject of youth employment and the youth labor market? I've been able to tell you that from the French Senate to the New York Times and so on. I could even tell you in the form of a properly prepared English presentation. Ten days ago at the Westminster Forum I had the privilege to speak to many representatives of the House of Lords and tell them what we don't do and where we are not well positioned.

Then I thought to myself: You really don't care. You probably want to hear what's not working or where we need to improve. That is why, from my point of view, there is also two weak news in this good news. The good news is: yes, we are on the subject of labor market policy with our apprenticeship, with the training guarantee, with a wide variety of projects - and I also very much welcome the youth coaching, I have to say frankly - in the production schools and the efforts of the AMS and so on Youth employment very well positioned.

But this also includes the following problem, which the previous speaker, colleague Mario Steiner, already mentioned: We have a system that is well standardized. We have a system that pays attention to quality with dual training. We have a system that has quality too secures and so on. And that's a bit of the problem insofar as those who don't take part, namely don't finish their apprenticeship or school, then have big problems on the job market. And that is what sets us apart from other countries. There are countries that have higher early school leaving rates than Austria, but fewer NEETs.

To put it simply, you can compare it a bit with this: We have a great system for how the children learn to swim - with free swimmers, all-round swimmers and whatever, and various swimming courses and quality assurance and so on. But there are a lot of swimming pools that won't let you in if you don't have the certificates. And the job market is a bit like that. Those who do not have any training beyond compulsory school, so to speak, do not play with us.

The unemployment rates of people with only compulsory school as the highest qualification have risen in the last 24 years - that's how long we have data - from 9 to 24 percent, i.e. they have more than doubled. And all other unemployment rates of academics, of people with the Matura as the highest degree or with an apprenticeship have been essentially stable for 24 years. The apprenticeship fluctuates a bit between 5 and 7 percent after the economic situation, but it has been relatively stable for 24 years, while the other rate has increased from 9 to 24 percent, i.e. has more than doubled.

That means we have difficulties with early school leavers. It's not just the NEETs now. These more than 70,000 people who are NEETs in Austria can of course still be subdivided. These include those who do not worry us, including those who wait a few more months for an apprenticeship, who are only brief NEETs, or those who are already with the AMS and will soon be able to do an apprenticeship with good supervision, and so on. There are some - especially women, of course - who are NEETs due to their care responsibilities. These make us more worried, because the question arises as to how good the support is in the country so that they can participate in training and in the job market and so on.

But in a certain way we see a disadvantage in the fact that, if the system is very well set up, those who do not get through this system have a harder time with us than in other countries where one can possibly acquire informal skills and thus one has a better chance on the job market.

The second danger that, from my point of view, lies in this well-developed system - I say that quite frankly - is that there is not much that can be done with labor market policy. From my point of view, this is problematic. Of course you can still think about what else you can think of here and there. Above all, you can improve the point “Addressing young people”. But it is relatively difficult to address the young people. Anyone who has children knows how difficult it is to speak to 15- or 16-year-olds and find the right language. We experimented a lot there.

There is a highly decorated project in Germany where one of the German regional federal agencies, as large as a federal state, in this case comparable to the whole of Austria, has made a youth app that is really, really great, that has won many prizes. This app has only one major catch, it is not accepted by the youngsters.

We have also experimented with the question of whether the AMS should appear more youthful - also in the branches and so on. I think we are generally not very credible towards 15- and 16-year-olds, and this is a public sector problem. We're not Red Bull and neither are we I don't know who.

Interestingly, what worked well for us is a little something that we introduced, namely the SMS reminder. We have the problem that young people often do not come to our appointments. The SMS reminder that we introduced so that you received an SMS the day before has increased the adherence to deadlines massively. - That was a minor thing that worked well.

What I mean by that is not that you can't do more, of course you can do more. Nevertheless, we have a very well developed system, including the dual training.

Now comes the but: But we still have 7 percent NEETs. We have 7 percent “early school leavers” who quit their education. And we have the problem I already mentioned that those who only have compulsory schooling noFind more jobs. Because the big trends on the job market - no matter what they are called: globalization, greening, technologization - have one consequence, namely that companies demand higher qualifications from young starters than just compulsory schooling. That's the problem.

Therefore, from my point of view: The levers are - and I am saying the same thing as State Secretary Mahrer - in the education system. And they are there very early.

My wife and I have three boys, and the youngest - I apologize to everyone who has heard this example, but from my point of view it is very impressive and shows the problem - is one year old and is called Oskar. The statistical risk that he will only have compulsory schooling and thus belong to the group that has very poor chances on the job market is statistically less than 8 percent, 7 point something. This 7 percent is only because I have a degree. If I only had compulsory school, the statistical risk would be over 30 percent, and if I only had compulsory school and a migration background, it would be 56 percent.

I don't know if there is anyone who thinks it's because of my genes. If there is one, then I hope he doesn't dare to admit that he believes it. If the two babies had been swapped in hospital, then the other would have a good chance. That's not fair. We have to see how we can achieve equality of opportunity with the children. (Applause.)

There isn't a lot of scientific evidence there, but there is a little something from Germany. State Secretary Mahrer raised one point that I am now taking on, that is early childhood education.

Jörg Dräger, one of the board members of the Bertelsmann Stiftung - we invited him on the occasion of 20 years of AMS, where we put a lot of emphasis on education - presented a study that asked how likely a higher education is dependent on attending a Nursery has been investigated in Germany. The result: if the parents are academics, there is no difference whether the child goes to the crèche or not. But if the parents are in compulsory schooling, the child is 80 percent more likely to go to a higher education if the child goes to daycare.

I have no evidence on the question: What about kindergarten? - I think there is also a strong connection. We were very happy about the first compulsory year of kindergarten, and I think further steps should follow.

I very much welcome the project of compulsory training up to the age of 18. But don't forget, we're starting at 15, where, in my opinion, a lot has already happened. An earlier approach would be more important.

In this sense - don't be angry with me, I'll push the problem a little away from the AMS and say -: If the education system and also the early education system work better, then we have less to do. That is a bit selfish, but I am firmly convinced that this is also correct in terms of content. - Many Thanks. (Applause.)


† Vice President Inge Posch-Gruska |: I would just like to point out that we now have four statements in total - we've already heard one, three more to come - and then have 20 minutes to discuss.

We hear the second statement from Dr. Dieter Schaufler. He is with us as a representative of the Mauritiushof Center. The Mauritiushof not only gives young people hope, but also gives them self-worth. That's one of the basics you can read on your home page.

If you look at the photos on your homepage, you can also see that you are not only a project manager, trainer and coach, but also put all your heart into the matter. - Please give your statement.



† Dr. Dieter Schaufler (Zentrum Mauritiushof) |: Dear President! Mr. Federal Minister! State Secretary! Dear ladies and gentlemen, Members of the Federal and National Council! Dear Madam or Sir! Let me introduce myself briefly. My name is Dieter Schaufler. For many years I have been a general practitioner specializing in psychosocial, psychosomatic and psychotherapeutic medicine. I serve as President of the Austrian Society for Animal Assisted Therapy and run and manage the Mauritiushof, one of the first Austrian medical institutions to deal with this topic.

For several years now, I have been able to lead a project of the same name on the initiative of the AMS and the Lower Austria Chamber of Commerce for unemployed young people between the ages of 18 and 25. In the first project rounds, we as a team focused our main attention on the massive support of the participants. We spent many hours in discussion groups in the sense of therapeutic group work, wrote and sent many letters of application, accompanied the participants to various events or official channels and much more. We also organized training and further education offers, which unfortunately were often canceled in the end.