Helping newcomers make their mark
A project in Upper Austria is giving first-generation immigrants the skills and confidence they need to find their proper place in the labour market.
The Competence Workshop project starts from the premise that the skills and experiences of immigrants are not always recognised, which means they can end up working well below their appropriate level. To change this situation, personalised counselling is provided to help people make the most of their competences – and gain new ones!
The counselling sessions can take place over a maximum of one year. They are goal oriented and seek to understand the participant’s life story, what they have learned and what interests them. Counsellors can then help them make the right career choices and assist in filling out job application forms. Project workers also provide advice on getting existing qualifications and training recognised in Austria. Plus, training courses are available through the project which focus on improving the language skills of incomers.
In addition, the project offers bridge courses which explore life in Austria, covering topics such as education, work, culture, housing and social affairs. Therefore, as well as helping immigrants make the best of the labour market, the project aids their social integration.