U25 – Together for Young People in Vienna

Countries

Austria

Policy areas

Organisation name City of Vienna, Municipal Department for Social Welfare, Social and Public Health Law

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Contact person: Bettina Steffel, Head of Project Management

For many years, the City of Vienna has run a Vocational Training Guarantee scheme which encompasses a networking body of all relevant organisations dealing with issues on the transition from school to work. The aims of this body include the strategic coordination and further development of the city’s services provided under its training guarantee.

It became clear that the number of young, unemployed recipients of means-tested minimum income was going to increase significantly. Therefore, an in-depth problem analysis was conducted to identify possibilities to coordinate individual case management activities, to minimise the risk of people needing long-term financial support.

The project ‘U25 – Together for Young People in Vienna’ helps young, unemployed recipients of means-tested minimum income to provide for living on their own. It is crucial not only for their personal interest, but for the society as a whole. This project works to provide young people with early and effective support to help them find their way into the labour market, and therefore minimise the risk of people needing long-term financial support.

At the strategic level, the new support scheme aims to reduce the time young unemployed people are registered with the public employment service and time over which they receive means-tested minimum income in the medium term. In addition, it aims to increase the target group’s long-term integration in training and employment, and improve the matching of the target group to available training and integration services. This goes hand in hand with an increase in the effectiveness and efficiency of the support processes. Furthermore, a longer-term strategic goal is the consolidation of expenses for the target group’s labour market integration and means-tested minimum income payments.

At the operational level, the major goal is to provide tailor-made support to young people and young adults, if possible, by assigning them an individual advisor in the relevant organisation. This advisor helps them to find their way into training or employment and, if needed, to increase the amount of social work support.

The U25 project has not been established for a set period, but it is here to stay. The project has reached its operational phase and can unfold its full potential. Experience from its implementation will be integrated into the further development of the support structures and services, and the cooperation itself. Besides, the basic conditions and needs of the target group may change and thus require an ongoing further development of the U25.

The significant financial expenses (renting the premises, installation of an electronic client steering system for example) made by both organisations also require the U25 to be of a long-term nature. To realise the project, it was necessary to make amendments to means-tested minimum income legislation. Political decision makers have recognised the need to redesign the benefit and support system and have included this need in different government programmes. The U25 is considered an important lighthouse project both at the federal and provincial levels.

The terms of this new type of cooperation are set out in a jointly elaborated and approved concept and a signed cooperation agreement between the public employment service and the social welfare department.

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