One in 10 young Austrians poorly educated and jobless

More than 10 per cent of young Austrians are not in employment, education or training, it has emerged.The European Commission’s (EC) statistic body Eurostat announced yesterday (Weds) that 10.1 per cent of Austrians aged between 20 and 24 were out of work, education and traineeships in 2008. The authority, which did not provide more recent figures, explained this was a 1.1 per cent increase compared to figures from 2003.Malta (39 per cent) and Portugal (35.4 per cent) do worst in this regard among the 27 EU member nations while Poland (five per cent) and Slovakia (5.1 per cent) find themselves on the other side of the ranking.Germany, Austria’s most important trade partner, takes a midfield position as 11.8 per cent of the country’s residents between 20 and 24 are poorly educated and out of work. The EU average is 14.9 per cent, according to Eurostat.These figures come as Austrian statistic agency Statistik Austria announced a 10.6 per cent year on year unemployment decrease in Austria for the fourth quarter of last year.It stressed the number of people aged between 15 and 24 looking for a job in Austria dropped by 1.8 per cent to 7.5 per cent from the final three months of 2009 to the same period of last year.Around 4.4 per cent of Austrians had no job in the third quarter of 2010, according to a previous Eurostat statement. Only the Netherlands (4.3 per cent) were doing slightly better in this regard than Austria among the 27 EU member states at that time.The Greens and the Freedom Party (FPÖ) claimed many of the re-education courses offered by the Labour Market Service (AMS) in cooperation wit the labour ministry headed by Social Democrat (SPÖ) Rudolf Hundstorfer were “pointless” and a waste of tax money. The minister defended the programme by referring to studies which suggest most of those sitting these courses found a new job a short while later.The labour minister also rubbished claims the liberalisation of the Austrian job market will cause wage dumping in the country.As of 1 May, Austria must give up all restrictions people EU states in Eastern Europe (EE) are still confronted with when seeking here.”I don’t expect more than an additional 20,000 to 25,000 people from Eastern Europe to come to Austria because of this change. I’m convinced we will be able to handle this,” Hundstorfer said earlier this week. The minister also dismissed concerns unskilled Austrians will lose out against the expected higher number of possibly better educated people from EE looking for work in the country.The government coalition of SPÖ and the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) of Vice Chancellor Josef Pröll decided last month to introduce a so-called Red White Red Card (Rot-Weiß-Rot Card) to help high-skilled foreigners from outside the EU to find a job and settle in Austria.The new system will come into effect in July. ÖVP Interior Minister Maria Fekter said the card was an attempt to “get away from the rigid quota system” Austria is currently using to control immigration and nationalisation figures.The Red White Red Card may mean an additional 8,000 people will come to Austria to work per year, according to the labour ministry. It will include a points system featuring aspects like German skills, age, education and professional experiences.