The Austrian government tabled a bill on Monday to remove the possibility for young asylum seekers to take up apprenticeships. Since 2012, persons below the age of 25 who are awaiting a decision on their asylum claim can obtain a work permit for an apprenticeship in shortage occupations in Austria.

The abolition of the scheme is liable to affect high numbers of people seeking protection in the country. According to figures published by AIDA, managed by ECRE, Austria issued 1,526 work permits to asylum seekers in 2017, of which 697 concerned apprentices, while 727 young asylum seekers held an apprenticeship work permit at the end of the year.

UNHCR and civil society organisations have sharply criticised the government plans for undermining refugees’ integration prospects and swift access to qualifications.



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Photo: (CC) Socialdemokraterna, April 2018

This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin . You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.