Around 7% of Austria’s 15 to 24-year-olds are neither in education or participating in a labour-market policy education or training measure, nor in work. These young people belong to the »NEET« group (not in education, employment or training). The NEET phenomenon also has a demographic component to it: among young NEETs, a comparatively higher share of young people and young adults with a migration background can be discerned.
Not all members of the NEET group require external support when entering or returning to the educational or training system. Some of them face multiple disadvantages, however, and are therefore heavily reliant on targeted individual support measures.
Young people with a refugee background mostly belong to the latter group. They suffer in particular from insufficient language skills, a lower level of school education, psychological problems resulting from traumatic experiences and a lack of knowledge about the local education and apprenticeship system as well as labour market requirements. As with other young people with no connection to the education system, this generally leads to a lack of self-confidence, major problems with motivation – exacerbated by unclear prospects regarding their asylum procedure – and finally to a strong sense of disorientation and a lack of perspective.
This scenario is frequently aggravated by bad or limited experiences in the school system, inadequate assistance in an unknown training and employment market, and the highly selective qualification logic in Austria, due to the exceptionally high importance of formal professional qualifications. This makes it particularly difficult for these people to return to training or employment, and in the long term it can lead to major social and financial insecurity, a tendency for the individuals concerned to withdraw, and to substantial follow-up costs for society.
In Austria, young people with a migration background are considerably more likely to be NEETs than those without a migration background (14% compared to 6% respectively).
Overall, the risk is significantly higher for female migrants: one quarter (just under 24%) of first-generation immigrant women aged 16 to 24 are affected by the NEET phenomenon (the equivalent figure for men is 13.5%).
(According to a study by the ISW, IBE and JKU (2012): »Supporting the Labour Market Policy Target Group “NEET”«)
»Young people who are not integrated into the labour market and training system have less trust in institutions and a lower level of engagement in society.«
— According to Eurofound’s 2012 report »NEETs – Young people not in employment, education or training: Characteristics, costs and policy responses in Europe«
Kicken ohne Grenzen is currently supervising approximately 120 young people.
— Situation at the end of 2018