Best practice examples – Austria
As already pointed out in our texts and in this Project, career counselling for pupils, senior students, or NEETs (young people neither in employment nor education or training) and their parents is very important in raising self-awareness and career orientation. Be it group or individual-based counselling and orientation, its role can be crucial in setting up a student’s mind on which professional pathway to take.
Career counselling is used in practice both in Austria and in Croatia, the methods and approaches vary, but all are based on the same principle and that is practical assistance to all those who need a career guidance, from primary school pupils to young adults.
This Project covers two examples of positive practice of career counselling, based on the experiences of its partners. The first of them is the best practice example from Vienna, Austria.
ÖSB Consulting GmbH Austria experience
ÖSB Consulting is part of the ÖSB Group, the largest independent provider of labour market services in Austria, with more than 30 years of experience. They develop innovative concepts, counselling programmes and pilot projects for the working world of tomorrow. Their projects provide individual counselling to unemployed persons, young people at the threshold from schooling to labour market and/or at risk from dropping out of school as well as vulnerable groups including NEETs, long-term unemployed, migrants/refugees and working poor (with a focus on girls and women).
Their projects “Work|Counselling|Orientation Youth” (implemented since 2015, assist young people to develop their individual career perspective and to foster VET/job placement), “Youth Coaching” (implemented in three federal provinces of Austria since 2013, prevent/reduce young people’s drop-out of the secondary school level and support the integration of NEETs into the VET system), “CheckPoints” (competence profiling through standardised interviews and individual counselling to increase job placement probability) and “Apprenticeship Now!” (special vocational training for youths in danger of becoming NEETs) provide comprehensive support to students and NEETs. It includes individual counselling addressing specific needs of young people in order to find occupational perspectives, to enable apprenticeship and/or job readiness, to place them in VET and/or in the labour market and/or to work with a case management approach on psycho-social challenges. The above-mentioned projects include young people aged 15 to 21 years with a variety of social and educational backgrounds. Currently ÖSB Consulting supports around 8.460 young people at the threshold from schooling to the labour market in compulsory/secondary schooling as well as unemployed youths and NEETs.
ÖSB Consulting as a partner on this Project hosted the project-implementation team in Vienna in the period 25-28 April, 2022. where they presented their best-practice examples and methods of A|B|O JUGEND, Jugendcoaching/ Youth Coaching, and Go!4Stadtwerke.
Austrian not only students, but also any vulnerable categories of youth, can use youth coaching. Youth coaching is funded by the Social Ministry Service and has existed since 2012. For example, it offers young people who have dropped out of school and are at risk of exclusion counselling to help them decide on their further education and career path. It targets young people over 15 years of age and helps them resolve issues such are dilemmas whether to drop out of school, what kind of job interests them, where can they find support, etc.It provides individual support until sustainable integration into a further education system or the labour market is achieved. The counselling services also include supporting young people in those areas (personal and social problem areas), which can hinder their ability to complete their education. The principles of youth coaching are based on the principle of voluntariness of all participants, on a relationship of trust and resource-oriented work with young people. The active inclusion of young people’s social environment is strived for and the coaches/counsellors are helping young people to become aware of their own abilities and skills, find their professional interests and get precise information on their prospective education path.
The coaching system itself is divided into three steps, and all are led by fully qualified counsellors:
- Stage 1 – Initial chat: This is where candidates get general information. If they need more support, they proceed to stage 2 or 3.
- Stage 2 – Advice: This stage gives candidates a little more time to clarify the following questions like:
- Do you want to continue going to school?
- What job interests you?
- Is there anything that makes it more difficult for you to learn or work?
- Stage 3 – Support: This stage can last up to one year. Candidates can get practical experience in the world of work and a report with clear recommendations for their future.
Youth coaching is important to prevent early school and education drop-out and thus low qualification levels, keep young people in education and training until they are 19 if possible, and reintegrate young people outside the school system and work with them to develop suitable perspectives. It is also very important for raising self-awareness in young people as it is crucial in their successful job search. The model is very successful and brings out positive results.
Full analysis report on the visit to ÖSB Consulting can be seen here:
The hosts of the Visit to Vienna, led by the team of Alexandra Weilhartner, Authorized Representative, ÖSB Consulting; Sandra Strobach, Deputy Head International Projects, ÖSB Consulting and the visitors from the CES RO Karlovac and AEI Praxis Karlovac
Working meeting within the visit to ÖSB Consulting, Vienna