Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Skip to main content
European Commission logo


EACEA National Policies Platform



Last update: 28 November 2023
Admission requirements admission to technical and vocational schools and colleges

The admission is conditional upon the successful completion of grade 8 (or 9) for graduates of the lower level of secondary academic schools and of a positive assessment in the subjects German, mathematics and modern foreign language for graduates of lower secondary schools respectively.

Apprenticeship Leave Exam 

The exam is divided into a practical and theoretical part and consists of a written and an oral exam at the end of apprenticeship training and is held before a committee of employee and employer representatives.

AusBildung bis 18 (Education/Training until 18)

After completion of compulsory schooling, all persons under the age of 18 permanently residing in Austria are obliged to pursue further education or training. The legal basis is formed by the Compulsory Formation Act (Ausbildungspflichtgesetz). The aim is to prevent early school leaving, reduce youth unemployment, and provide all young people with equal opportunities and a good start into (working) life.

Ausbildungsgarantie bis 25 (Training Guarantee)

Young jobseekers between the ages of 19 and 25 years old who have only completed compulsory schooling and can't find an apprenticeship position in a company, are enabled to enter into an apprenticeship programme in a supra-company apprenticeship training entity. The 'Training Guarantee until 25' package furthermore includes successfully implemented qualification measures such as intensive training for skilled workers, work foundations or qualification close to the workplace. These measures give young adults the opportunity to obtain a subsequent vocational qualification in order to gain a sustainable foothold in the labour market.

'Fit for training' (AusbildungsFit)

The programme AusbildungsFit provides an exemplary practical approach at the interface between school and employment by offering structure, increasing motivation, and providing both basic qualification and specialist knowledge in order to equip young people with the skills necessary for their further school education or apprenticeship training. The one-year programme combines working in workshops, counselling, and teaching and targets young people between 15 and 21 (in some cases 24).

Austrian Youth Strategy (Österreichische Jugendstrategie)

An ongoing process to strengthen and develop Austrian youth policy by bundling, systematising, optimising, and newly introducing measures for young people under their active involvement and permanent screening. As of 2020, the Strategy defines 4 fields of action, namely education and training, employment and entrepreneurship, life quality and social cooperation, and media and information.

Dual Training System (Vocational Training and Apprenticeships)

Young people who take up an apprenticeship in Austria receive on-the-job training in a company and also attend a vocational school on a part-time basis. Voccational training is offered in approximately 200 different occupations according to job profiles, lasts between two to four years and ends with the successful completion of a final apprenticeship examination (Lehrabschlussprüfung). The Austrian system of apprenticeships is further depicted in the EU Apprenticeship toolbox. For apprentices, the Vocational Training Act (Berufsausbildungsgesetz) and respective collective agreement are valid.

Familienlastenausgleichsfonds (Family Burden Equalisation Fund)

The legal basis for the equalisation of burdens for families is the Family Burdens Equalisation Act (Familienlastenausgleichsgesetz, 1967), which expresses the political will for horizontal redistribution: the financial burdens that families with children have in comparison to persons without a maintenance obligation are to be equalised. The equalisation fund for family allowances is therefore available as an instrument to compensate for family-related burdens. Its budget is earmarked for benefits to families. The fund's resources are primarily financed through employer contributions and from settlements of income and corporation tax. The following, among others, are financed from the family equalisation fund: family allowance, childcare allowance, school travel allowances and free rides for schoolchildren and apprentices, free school books, maternity allowance, and hardship compensation for families in need.

Full-time practitioner 

A paid employee with appropriate qualifications who works in children and youth work on the basis of a job description.

Head of the provincial youth department 

The term has different meanings. It can refer to:

  • the respective member of the provincial government in his/her function as political head of the provincial youth department
  • the function at the administrative level
  • a person in charge of youth issues in an organisation
Higher Education Entrance Exam 

This exam provides people not holding standard entry qualifications for universities with access to the relevant course of studies.

Informal learning 

Learning that is not structured in terms of learning objectives, learning time or learning support and does not lead to certification. Informal learning may be intentional, but in most cases it is non-intentional. It can take place in daily activities related to work, family or leisure (European Commission 2001a, p. 33).

Marginal employment (geringfügige Beschäftigung)

Employments are considered marginal employments, if the payment to which the employee is entitled does not exceed the € 438.05 per month (2018).

Marginal employment threshold

The maximum amount of payment to be considered as marginal employed.

Media literacy

“The ability to employ all kinds of media for human communication and action repertoire in a way that actively explores the world.” Media literacy means being able to make use of the individual (new and old) media, knowing their applications, critically examining them, being aware of the dangers, properly handling the dangers, as well as actively contributing towards their design. (Baacke 2015)

Mobile youth work

In addition to centre-based youth work, the second general form of open children and youth work that is community- or district-oriented and geared towards often socially and economically disadvantaged young people who spend their free time in public spaces.

Non-formal learning 

Learning that is at least partially structured in terms of learning objectives and does not automatically lead to certification. It is intentional from the learner’s perspective (European Commission 2001a, p. 35). As a provider of non-formal and informal learning, children and youth work allows self-determined and self-organised learning and competence development without success or outcome pressure – as opposed to the formal education system. Non-formal learning is characterised by the fact that it is, in principle, freely accessible, voluntary, tailored to the students, largely shaped by them, and that it takes place in flexible framework conditions.

Open youth work 

A form of youth work (in addition to the children and youth work in youth organisations and youth information centres) that is a pedagogical field of action, which offers – in the extracurricular context – extremely broad, voluntary services with low-threshold access for girls and boys, irrespective of their social, educational, religious and cultural backgrounds. The settings of open children and youth work are youth clubs, youth centres, and outreach and mobile youth work in public spaces. Professionals from various (socio-)pedagogical fields are active in these settings. Important success factors of open children and youth work are its interdisciplinary nature and the use of skills relating to living environments.

Personal dependence 

For the employee this is referring to placement in the organisation of the company, being subject to directives of the employer, control, disciplinary responsibility andpersonal service obligation.

Provincial Youth Departments (Landesjugendreferate)

Each Federal Province has established a departments competent on matters of youth. According to the Federal Constitution, the responsibility for out-of-school child and youth work lies mainly with the Laender. The most important coordination body for joint youth policy action by the Laender is the annual political conference of the Provincial Youth Departments.

"Reifeprüfung"- and TVE-Exam 

The “Reifeprüfung” and the TVE-exam at technical and vocational colleges: double qualification including standard entry qualifications for university and vocational qualifications necessary for the exercise of white-collar jobs.

"Reifeprüfung"-Exam (Matura)

The final exam at secondary academic schools which provides students with standard entry qualifications for university.

TVE-Exam (technical and vocational education exam)

This exam provides graduates of the dual apprenticeship system, of at least three years, lasting technical and vocational schools, of schools for auxiliary nursing and of schools for the training of para-medical staff with standard entry qualifications for university.

Voluntary work 

Voluntary work can be formal within institutions, e.g. associations, or informal on a private basis, e.g. neighbourhood assistance. Voluntary work is a central pillar of youth work and is carried out by young people and adults in all fields of action.

WIK:I – What I can do through informal learning (WIK:I - Was ich kann durch informelles Lernen

WIK:I is a low-threshold model on making basic and key skills informally obtained by young people and young adults visible and recognised (e.g. informal learning among peers, in leisure time, in family, sports, voluntary work, hobbies, jobs and others). It's a flagship project of the Department of Families and Youth at the Federal Chancellery and is carried out in cooperation with the Alliance of Austrian Educational Work (Ring Österreichischer Bildungswerke) and the Federal Network of Austrian Youth Information Centres (Bundesnetzwerk Österreichischer Jugendinfos, BÖJI). Qualified WIK:I portfolio guidance supports young people in systematically self-assessing and recording their informal learning experiences - starting from collecting and describing personally significant activities ('What I do'), young people arrive at identifying and describing the competences they have acquired ('What I can do').


The term used for young people in the juvenile phase, which begins with the onset of puberty and ends at a no longer universally definable point in time (i.e. the transition to adulthood) (Schröder 2013, p. 111). The Austrian legal system does not have a uniform age definition or terminology for youth. According to the Federal Act regulating the Representation of Youth Concerns (Federal Youth Representation Act) and the Federal Act on the Promotion of Education and Upbringing outside Schools and the Promotion of Youth Work (Federal Youth Promotion Act), all young people up to the age of 30 are considered youth.

Youth check

In January 2013 the Youth Check (effect-oriented impact assessment) went into effect. The law stipulates that all new legislative and regulatory proposals be evaluated for the potential consequences they could have for children, young people and young adults. This instrument make it easier for youth organisations, in particular the National Youth Council, to become involved in the legislative process.

Youth Competence Centre (Kompetenzzentrum Jugend)

Located within the Department for Families and Youth at the Federal Chancellery, the Youth Competence Centre is the central operating unit for the Austrian Youth Strategy. Established in May 2013, the centre coordinates key activities, offers knowledge and skills, and establishes contact with experts in order to develop a stable network between a diverse group of youth policy stakeholders.

Youth Guarantee

The Austrian Youth Guarantee consists of two key measures: the Training Guarantee and Future for the Youth. Every young person up to the age of 18 is guaranteed an apprenticeship position after registering with the Public Employment Service (Arbeitsmarktservice, AMS). Young people up to 25 receive an offer in line with the council recommendation (as an apprenticeship position, employment, education or formation or subsidised employment) by the AMS within a period of three months. In addition, a focus is placed on outreach activities to reach those young people not registered at the AMS and help them to find (further) education or get registered with the AMS. Furthermore, strategies have been developed to ease the school-to-work transition and reduce dropouts (e.g. ESL strategy).

Youth Information Centres 

They offer young people a first point of contact for their questions. The “one-stop shop” principle helps to prevent stigma and enhances the low-threshold nature of the service. All questions are permissible and are either answered directly or passed on to the appropriate experts. The umbrella organisation of youth information centres is BÖJI (Bundesnetzwerk Österreichische Jugendinfos).

Youth protection 

Legal regulations and educational principles that protect young people from threats to their physical, mental and spiritual development and promote their willingness and ability to take responsibility for themselves. Austria does not have a nationwide uniform regulation of youth protection. The law of the respective federal state in which the children and young people live always applies.