The educational programme Competence workshop for young people under 21 (Kompetenzwerkstatt für Jugendliche bis 21 Jahre) was realised by the Volkshochschule Meidling (Adult Education Centre) over a period of one year (27.04.2009 - 26.3.2010) in cooperation with the Austrian Labour Market Service AMS.

The focus on competencies is based on an integral biographic view of a person and her/his individual learning experiences which includes informal learning aspects. However the focus was not only on conceptualising learning experiences; the project was mainly action- and results-oriented. Experience shows that competence-based education should have an increasing influence on the Austrian education system.

Target group: unemployed young people, early school leavers or first-time job seekers at the age of 15-21 years.

Duration: 9 weeks


First step reflection, orientation:

  • Provide and create an inspiring setting where young people have the opportunity to become aware of the competencies (knowledge, skills and willingness) they already have in the form of a concentrated attention and work on their own interests, strengths, personal qualities and particular objectives.

Second step creating and acting:

  • Making them familiar with tools enabling them to achieve objectives step by step, for example find an appropriate internship, make a project on their own initiative and show their competencies in action. The results of the projects were presented to an audience including representatives of the Labour Market Service and the Volkshochschule Meidling.

Third step integration, evaluation:

  • Reflection on: What do these learning experiences mean to my life and what further steps must be taken?

Finally, every participant received a certificate with a description of the project she/he realised and the competencies she/he showed. Furthermore a career development plan was compiled by our team consisting of social workers and coaches.

The programme was successful as more than 25 % of the participants have found a job or an apprenticeship training.

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