In Austria, the ‘Produktionschule’ initiative offers training modules for practical training and work. Through coaching, workshops and sports, young people develop cultural and social skills needed to take part in education or enter the labour market.
Early School Leavers and young people “Not in Education, Employment or Training” (NEETs): the measure targets disadvantaged young people between the ages of 15 and 21 (up to the age of 24 in special cases) who have completed compulsory schooling, but who lack the required cultural and social skills to take part in further education and/or enter the labour market.
Education level and sector
Upper secondary Vocational Education and Training (VET); post-compulsory schooling.
Type of policy/initiative
Level of implementation / Scope
Stage of implementation
Pilot since 2014, will be mainstreamed from 2016 onwards (currently national roll out)
Aims of policy/initiative
The aim is to support young individuals to obtain skills (both social and cultural - including Information and Communications Technology) which are required to enter the occupational field that is considered to correspond best to their opportunities and potential.
Features and types of activities implemented
After its original development at regional level, the measure is now implemented (as of 2014) at national level by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs - BMASK (project NEBA - Network of vocational assistance).
The measure is based on four pillars:
- Training modules for practical training and work
Organisation of training activities tailored to the individual situation and targets.
Preparation of an individual development plan with the young adult at the beginning of their involvement. Planning of the individual learning situations.
- Knowledge Workshop
To balance learning difficulties/disabilities via the acquisition of skills (reading, writing, maths and ICT) necessary to start vocational training.
Developed in cooperation with regional clubs, the aim is to strengthen self-confidence and discipline, build character and reduce aggression.
Participants are involved for a maximum of one year, which can be extended twice for 6 months. They receive monthly financial assistance to cover their living expenses, funded by the Public Employment Service (PES).
The measures are funded by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour based on a request by the Service of the Ministry of Social Affairs.
Evaluation of the measure
The pilot phase was evaluated externally based on available monitoring data (provided by the Federal Coordination Office) and qualitative interviews with providers, coaches, trainers and young adults. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour but has yet to be made public.
The measure is monitored by the Federal Coordination Office. The monitoring data is based on the Monitoring Vocational Integration system which includes data on each individual participant (e.g. statistical data, individual problems, participation in the measure, skills, motivation, basic competences, vocational orientation, and expectations). This is based on data provided by coaches.
Monitoring data is available for the 2014 and the first part of 2015.
Evidence of effectiveness of the measure
The measure aims at completing the 'Produktionsschule' and a successful transition to education, training or the labour market. Therefore, the monitoring data provides evidence on the completion rate and the transfer to education and training:
- 68% completed the measure successfully
- 36% transferred to apprenticeship training in the regular labour market
- 8% transferred to apprenticeship training in the secondary labour market
- 22% transferred to an alternative pathway to training or the labour market (e.g. other measures)
- 8% transferred to a training provided by the PES
- 6% transferred to school
Participants in the measure interviewed under the Cedefop study agreed that the measure has an impact on completion rates.
The following success factors are based on the testimonies of participants in the measure interviewed under the Cedefop study:
- A steering committee at national and regional level: the steering committee (SC) ensures the political commitment towards the measure and monitors its outcome. The SC enables cooperation with stakeholders at all levels and is used as a communication platform among stakeholders, including high-level stakeholders whose backing of the measure is important for its success.
- Individualised support (case management approach): the concept of the 'Produktionsschule' is based on a case management approach. Each individual participant is supported based on his or her needs. This includes regular coaching, close cooperation with other social support measures in the region and a flexible process. It is also based on a close relationship between the young adult and the coach. This is considered as the basis for the development of competences.
- Respectful interaction: trainers, coaches and participants value the way in which all involved communicate and interact. In most 'Produktionsschulen' the language is very informal. Coaches and trainers see their role as supporting learning, rather than teaching.
- The programme is valued by the participants: the programme is considered attractive by participants. Many participants discover the measure through the recommendations of friends. Moreover, they value the opportunities they get within the measure to find out about their individual strengths and interests. Participants also perceive their work as useful.
- Interdisciplinary staff: staff at each provider are interdisciplinary and can therefore react to the multi-faceted issues presented by participants.
- Comprehensive approach in one place: the 'Produktionsschule' has a comprehensive approach to the needs of participants, focusing on basic competences, labour market activities and measures/vocational orientation alike.
- Monitoring systems: monitoring is based on the impressions of coaches who provide data at the beginning, during and at the end of the process, as well as information on aspects specifically concerning individual participants.