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EACEA National Policies Platform:Eurydice
Support measures for learners in adult education and training


12.Educational Support and Guidance

12.7Support measures for learners in adult education and training

Last update: 27 November 2023

Definition of the target groups

On the basis of various strategy papers (cf. chapter 12) as well as European funding programmes, in particular the European Social Fund (ESF), the following target groups are supported in adult education and training:

  • Low qualified people and early school leavers
  • People with special needs
  • People with a migration background 


Specific support measures

In Austria there are many measures for supporting the target groups listed under the item mentioned above: 

Low qualified people and early school leavers

  • The Adult Education Initiative (Initiative Erwachsenenbildung, IEB) was launched in 2012 so that educationally disadvantaged and formally low qualified adults, after the end of the school-based education stage, can acquire basic competences and obtain the compulsory school certificate free of charge later in life.
  • Another important measure for the formal higher qualification of people at a disadvantage is supra-company apprenticeship training (Überbetriebliche Berufsausbildung, ÜBA). It is aimed at people who have not been able to find a company-based apprenticeship place but still want to obtain a vocational qualification. As part of the training held in a training workshop of an educational provider, participants undergo training which is equivalent to a regular apprenticeship. 


People with special needs

  • The Equality Act for People with Disabilities (Behindertengleichstellungsrecht) from 2006 guarantees disabled people an enforceable right to non-discrimination or equal treatment and also covers the labour market.
  • With the “Nationwide Labour Market Policy Programme for the Disabled 2014 – 2017” (Bundesweites arbeitsmarktpolitisches Behindertenprogramm, BABE), the Federal Government was pursuing an employment initiative geared towards integrating people with disabilities in the regular labour market. For this, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Economy had scheduled a series of measures aiming to support people with disabilities so they can find employment. The programme has now expired, but the projects that emerged from it still exist today. Many of these projects are supported by NEBA, the Employment Assistance Network (Netzwerk Berufliche Assistenz). These projects include:
    • Youth coaching: cf. chapter 12.3
    • Production school: cf. chapter 12.3
    • Work assistance: this ranges from an assessment of the individual job opportunities onto accompanying people in the search for work and support in the initial stage of the employment relationship. A second key function of work assistance is crisis intervention to safeguard a job which is at risk.
    • Job coaching provides direct, individual support at the workplace. The aim is to ensure the best-possible, long-term inclusion in working life for people with disabilities or impairments.

In addition to the support services of NEBA there are other measures concerning the labour market for supporting people with disabilities:

  • Integrative companies: these provide specially subsidised jobs for people with disabilities.
  • Targeted qualification measures help people with disabilities meet the high requirements of the labour market (e.g. Fit to Work).
  • Personal Assistance at the Workplace (Persönliche Assistenz am Arbeitsplatz, PAA): people with severe disabilities often have the professional and personal suitability to exercise a profession. But they need support from staff which is provided as part of personal assistance.
  • ABAk (placement service for academics with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses) (cf. chapter 12.5).
  • The platform was launched in order to coordinate the incorporation of people with disabilities and/or chronic illnesses as federal employees.
  • CEOs on Wheels” enables contact between CEOs and people in wheelchairs who, despite physical limitations, have realised their full professional potential.
  • is a job platform with job offers from companies that are explicitly looking for disabled employees.
  • The Austrian National Future-Oriented Representation of Interests for People with Disabilities (Österreichweite Zukunftsorientierte Interessenvertretung für Menschen mit Behinderungen, ÖZIV) offers coaching for people of working age with disabilities or chronic illnesses.
  • The association Vienna Integration Network (WienerIntegrationsNetzwerk, WIN) supports the professional integration of women and men with disabilities/disadvantages.
  • The online project Social Initiative Salzburg (Soziale Initiative Salzburg) offers information and links on the topic of professional integration of people with disabilities.

In addition to these measures, via Public Employment Service Austria and the Social Ministry Service there are a number of financial subsidies, for example to create jobs and training places and for education and training costs. 

Support measures for people with a migration background

People with a migration background have, for a long time, been an important target group of adult education and training who deserve support. With the refugee flows which have intensified since 2015, measures for people entitled to asylum and subsidiary protection have increased both in number and in importance (cf. also the Report on Integration 2019). These measures include:

  • The Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) promotes basic education and literacy courses for asylum-seeking 15- to 19-year-old refugees who do not attend school and have not been accepted in measures of Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) or in initiatives of the provinces
  • The Austrian Integration Fund (Österreichischer Integrationsfonds, ÖIF) has set up courses on values and orientation which mainly concern the fundamental values of the Austrian constitution such as equality between men and women, human dignity and democratic principles. It also provides financial support programmes for refugees.
  • German courses are already offered in the basic services for people who are likely to stay in the country. German courses which teach German for specific occupations, e.g. in the care sector are also subsidised.
  • Public Employment Service Austria carries out “competence checks for professional integration”. The aim is to help the participants with the recognition of their qualifications and, if necessary, to define the additional qualification requirements needed to foster rapid integration in the labour market. It also promotes vocational training (apprenticeship training) for low-skilled people and refugees. In addition, individual companies train refugees as apprentices, mostly in shortage occupations (occupations where there is a considerable shortage of skilled workers).
  • The Mentoring for immigrants project, which was initiated by the Austrian Economic Chambers (WKO) jointly with the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF) and Public Employment Service Austria (AMS) in 2008, aims to support qualified people with a migration background in their entry to the Austrian labour market.
  • In Youth Colleges (Jugend Colleges), relevant education and training is provided to young people aged between 15 and 21 who arrived in Vienna recently.
  • The Counselling Centre for Migrants carries out the “Check in Plus!” project on behalf of Public Employment Service Vienna. The target group is people who have completed intermediate or higher education/training or have gathered qualified professional experience abroad.