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The "Jugendcollege": Training and education for young migrants in Vienna



The Youth College is a free education, training and mentoring programme for young migrants (mostly asylum-seekers) aged between 15 and 21 in Vienna. As part of the city’s broader “Start Wien” integration initiative, the aim of the Youth College is to help young migrants lead an independent life as quickly as possible by preparing them for further education, vocational training or the workplace.

This is achieved through a series of modules in German language, cultural orientation and personal career development, alongside social integration initiatives such as excursions. With the view that education is crucial to social participation, the programme supports young migrants in accessing their rights to education and employment and contributes to social cohesion through the reinforcement of common values surrounding gender roles, leisure time, customs and traditions, and mutual learning.

The Youth College is currently run from two locations in Vienna and has a total capacity of up to 1000 places. Since its initiation in August 2016, 1270 young migrants have taken part, with 160 having already completed the programme and moved onto further training or employment.

This case study was developed in the framework of the Mediterranean City-to-City Migration Project (MC2CM), a project coordinated by ICMPD and funded by the European Union and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation. The MC2CM project has been working since 2015 with Amman, Beirut, Lisbon, Lyon, Madrid, Tangiers, Tunis, Turin and Vienna to increase the knowledge base on urban migration.

Additionally, the project has sought to nurture a peer-to-peer dialogue and mutual learning on specific urban challenges such as social cohesion, intercultural dialogue, employment and provision of basic services for migrants, among others.