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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Guidance and counselling in a lifelong learning approach


12.Educational Support and Guidance

12.8Guidance and counselling in a lifelong learning approach

Last update: 27 November 2023

Academic guidance

In Austria there are many different offers focusing on guidance and counselling for education and work. For adult education there are the following providers and offers:

  • Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) is an important stakeholder in educational counselling and career guidance for adults. They are given support to help them look for information, they can take part in events (e.g. on labour market trends) and workshops (e.g. on professional self-exploration and job applications) and can be given individual advice on education/training and career options. In addition, EURES advisors who are employed at AMS provide information about job offers and working conditions in other countries of the European Economic Area.
  • Representations of interests: the career guidance centres of the economic chambers and of the Institutes for Economic Promotion (Wirtschaftsförderungsinstitute, WIFIs) provide education and career offers. The chambers of labour and trade unions mainly offer educational counselling and career guidance via their joint adult learning institutions, the Vocational Training Institutes (bfi). In addition, they publish information material and organise information events.
  • Adult education establishments: many adult education establishments offer IBOBB as part of their range of services. 
  • Provider-independent guidance centres: With the Educational Counselling in Austria” initiative launched in 2011, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) is pursuing the goal of expanding and further developing provider-neutral, free-of-charge educational counselling for adults in the whole of Austria.  
  • Independent counsellors: with the rise of coaching and supervision offers, an increasing number of independent educational counsellors are providing their guidance services on the free market.
  • With, the portal for teaching and learning for adults, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) provides a virtual platform which gives support in the form of different information offers to help people make education decisions.
  • The International Young Workers Exchange (Internationaler Fachkräfteaustausch, IFA) informs pupils, apprentices, young employees and trainers about internships and job opportunities abroad.
  • Educational counselling and career guidance is an integral component of many measures and projects. In the area of labour market policy, there are programmes such as the different counselling and support institutions (Beratungs- und Betreuungseinrichtungen, BBE), non-profit employment projects (gemeinnützige Beschäftigungsprojekte, GBP) and instruments such as the counselling scheme on skills training measures for companies (Qualifizierungsberatung für Betriebe, QBB). Various non-profit guidance centres aimed at specific target groups such as women (e.g. abz austria), migrants (e.g. Counselling Centre for Migrants) or people with disabilities (e.g. biv integrativ) have integrated educational counselling in their offer.
  • Euroguidance provides information on education and career options in Europe. The primary target group is educational counsellors and career guidance officers, but individuals can also be given advice. 


Psychological counselling

Unlike the area of schools (cf. chapter 12.4) and the area of higher education (cf. chapter 12.6), in adult education there are no specific establishments for psychological counselling. This, however, is part of the educational counselling and career guidance offer of other establishments, such as the career guidance centres of the economic chambers and of the WIFIs. Here adults have the possibility to undergo an analysis of their potential in which, with the help of test procedures, a profile of their individual interests, inclinations, strengths, talents and personality traits is drawn up. Then in an individual advisory talk with a psychologist the test results are discussed and possible occupational fields and training/CET pathways are indicated. Some independent counsellors also offer psychological test procedures, the evaluation of which is discussed with the clients as part of advisory talks. 

Career guidance

Providers which offer information about (continuing) education options in adult education also advise adults with regard to career reorientation. Career guidance is therefore also offered by those establishments which are active in educational counselling (cf. Academic guidance above).

For special target groups there are also specific guidance establishments/programmes available. These include the following, for instance:

  • With springboard (Sprungbrett) there is a specific guidance centre for young women aged between 15 and 21. 
  • Fit2Work – the professional (re-)integration management – provides information, advice and support to economically active employees on long-term sick leave or with health problems, unemployed people with physical or mental impairments and also companies and employee representatives.
  • There are four contact points for people with qualifications acquired abroad. These provide free of charge multilingual information, guidance and support in the entire recognition and assessment procedure to make it easier for people to be integrated in the labour market in line with their qualifications. In addition to the contact points, for several years there has also been the online portal for professional recognition (Berufsanerkennung), which provides extensive information about processes and responsibilities connected with the recognition of qualifications acquired abroad.
  • The online work placement platform for refugees has specialised in bringing together and creating a network among refugees and employers.
  • Educational Counselling for Adults (Bildungsberatung für Erwachsene, BIBer) offers advice and information for adults in the province of Salzburg.
  • Education and Training Guidance Network (Netzwerk Bildungsberatung): Each province offers an Education and Training Guidance Network consisting of regional educational and counselling institutions.