3.7 Cross-border mobility in employment, entrepreneurship and vocational opportunities
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EURES (European Employment Services)
Austria is part of the EURES-programme. EURES, the European cooperation network of employment agencies, promotes the free movement of workers and works to ensure that European citizens can enjoy the same benefits despite language barriers, cultural differences, bureaucratic hurdles, differing labour laws and the lack of Europe-wide recognition of educational qualifications. The Austrian Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice, AMS) is responsible for the implementation of the programme. The publication Living & Working in Austria by the AMS provides a detailed overview of the subject. AMS Austria offers enterprise and job seekers additional services in the area of European job placement.
Austria also takes part in the Europass network. Europass helps Europeans who are studying or training, starting their career or looking for new challenges to present their competences and qualifications. The service is free of charge and available in 29 languages. It also provides tailor-made suggestions for learning opportunities and jobs across Europe and reliable information on working and learning in Europe.
IFA Austria is the Austrian branch of IFA consisting of all IFA members resident in Austria. It represents their interests within the IFA and helps to support the objectives of the IFA in Austria. IFA has been organizing work placements abroad for apprentices, students, skilled workers and training officers since 1995, and since 2013, also for young entrepreneurs. All the work placements organized by IFA are paid for with funds from the EU or Austria. Since its foundation, IFA has organised work placements abroad for more than 7,000 people. Through these projects, IFA has established far-reaching business contacts in Austria as well as with international partner organizations in Europe and beyond – an international network that is expanded with each work placement. IFA is involved in numerous activities concerned with quality in mobility and the recognition of skills acquired abroad, including
- the introduction and marketing campaign for the Euro pass VET (renamed Euro pass Mobility) to improve the transparency and comparability of qualifications obtained in Austria (from 2002 to 2011 IFA served as the central advisory and issuing authority for the Euro pass Mobility in Austria)
- the participation of IFA staff in various working groups of the European Commission as well as on behalf of UEAPME and the EUROCHAMBRES for promoting mobility of apprentices and
- the participation in European cooperation and networking projects for quality development in occupational mobility.
Two or three times a year, there is a call for apprentices to participate in a work placement abroad. IFA then selects a group of four to twelve apprentices, organizes the entire stay abroad, including the travel arrangements, accommodation, work placement etc. A work placement abroad during the apprenticeship is credited towards education. The work placement is unpaid, but the apprentice will still receive the usual apprenticeship wages and funding is available for the travel and accommodation expenses. The company can apply for a refund of apprenticeship wages for the time of the work placement abroad. For a three- to six-week stay abroad, the apprentice will only have to pay about 200 to 650 Euros. Among others, IFA works with the following European funding programs
- Erasmus+ (formerly: Leonardo da Vinci; IFA has been carrying out projects under this program every year since Austria joined the EU) and
- EYE – Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs
- In addition, IFA organizes work placements for apprentices
- as part of the 'Grant for Gifted Students Mobility of the Austrian Economic Chambers',
- funded by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and
- the apprentice exchange projects on behalf of the Province of Styria and the Styrian Economic Chamber.
Officially launched at the IFA Amsterdam Congress 2006, the Young IFA Network is growing and developing at full speed. It aims at attracting more IFA members in the early stages of their careers, providing a forum for the development of international relations in the tax field and for exchanging ideas on international tax matters.
Austrian Young IFA focuses on organizing special get-togethers of particular interest for young tax professionals in conjunction with regular IFA events. Those events serve as a great opportunity to network. To keep the target community informed about past, recent and future events, YIN Austria has been distributing a newsletter regularly. Furthermore, Austrian Young IFA strongly encourages YIN members to get involved not only in national YIN activities but also at worldwide level through participation at the Annual IFA Congress. For this purpose, it has arranged for several local tax consulting companies to sponsor the attendance and travel costs of some YIN members to the Annual IFA Congress.
Students and recent graduates can complete one or more funded traineeships in Programme Countries or Partner Countries worldwide. The monthly funding amount varies depending on the host country. Graduates can complete a traineeship abroad within one year of graduating. They must apply for this during their studies at their home university. In Austria, the programme is administered by the National Agency OEAD.
Recognition of international vocational training and vocational qualifications
The Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairscooperates with Member States of the EU/EEA and other countries on numerous initiatives and at various levels to further develop mutual recognition and accreditation of prior learning.
Upon application, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs may declare vocational training credentials obtained abroad to be equivalent to corresponding Austrian apprenticeship credentials and the related final apprenticeship examination taken under the Austrian system. Furthermore, the Ministry may declare the admission to a 'restricted' practical examination to achieve full equivalence with the final apprenticeship examination. Based on special vocational training agreements, a number of vocational training credentials obtained in Germany, Hungary or South Tyrol have been declared equivalent. The Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs provides the relevant information on request.
Work experience and internships abroad of up to four months per training year are credited towards Austrian apprenticeship training periods. The IFA Association(international young workers exchange) assists apprentices, pupils and instructors in finding work placements abroad.
Incoming young workers
There is no specific legal framework for incoming young workers, trainees/apprentices and professionals/entrepreneurs, therefore the general rules apply.