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Integration into the labour market: “It doesn’t work without German”

Integration into the labour market: “It doesn’t work without German”
Of the group of people who came to Austria in 2015, only 22 percent of women were employed after six years, but 65 percent of men.
AMS State Director Iris Schmidt, Integration State Councillor Wolfgang Hattmannsdorfer, author Natalie Amiri (from left)

The integration of people with a migration background into the labor market is a major challenge: on average, foreigners are twice as affected by unemployment as Austrians. In 2023, unemployment in Austria averaged 5.3 percent, compared to 9.6 percent for non-Austrians. There is a discrepancy in the employment rate between foreign men and women: of the group of people who came to Austria in 2015, only 22 percent of women were employed after six years, but 65 percent of men.

How the integration of people with a migration background into the labor market can be successful was the topic of the Upper Austria Integration Conference, which took place yesterday in Linz and had the motto “Work creates perspectives.”

“The level of German language skills correlates with the employment rate,” said VP Integration State Councilor Wolfgang Hattmannsdorfer. For people with good German language skills, the rate is 72.4 percent, while for those with poor German language skills, it is only 40.5 percent. For this reason, the range of German courses has been massively expanded and compulsory German language skills have been introduced for social welfare recipients.

“It doesn’t work without German,” said Iris Schmidt, regional director of the employment service. After many years of war, literacy is not common in some cases. People with a high probability of staying, especially Syrians who have a certain level of German, can be placed by the employment service while the process is still ongoing. For all others, the employment service places them as soon as protection status is granted.
Since the recognition of formally acquired qualifications is time-consuming, since the beginning of the year we have been collecting data on what other skills a person has. This is intended to ensure early placement.

“Women have incredible potential and strength”

In order to get more women with a migration background into employment, the state and the AMS are launching the “Neighbors of Upper Austria” project: Well-integrated women are to take their fellow countrywomen by the hand and help them settle in. Educational measures are planned, followed by a subsidized employment relationship.

“Women have incredible potential and strength. But we have to educate them about their rights,” said author Natalie Amiri, former ARD correspondent in Tehran. Women are important role models for their children.

In a press release, Green integration spokeswoman Ines Vukajlovic called for the labor market to be opened up to asylum seekers and for job placement to be viewed more comprehensively.

AMS State Director Iris Schmidt, Integration State Councillor Wolfgang Hattmannsdorfer, author Natalie Amiri (from left)
Photo: Denise Stinglmayr

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AMS State Director Iris Schmidt, Integration State Councillor Wolfgang Hattmannsdorfer, author Natalie Amiri (from left)
Photo: Denise Stinglmayr

Source: Nachrichten

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