Basic information about mobility of apprentices in Austria

Who is concerned?
The apprentice in Austria is in a training relationship with a training enterprise (apprenticeship contract between apprentice and training company) and a student at a part-time vocational school at the same time. The enterprise-based part of dual vocational training makes up the major part of the apprenticeship period (~80%). The company based training provides job-specific knowledge and skills whereas the education at part-time vocational school (~20% of the apprenticeship period) more concentrates on the provision of basic subject-related theory and extension of general education. Apprenticeship training is particular strong in crafts and manual trades, commerce, industry and the tourism and leisure industry.  

How mobility of apprentices is organised? 
Placements abroad (up to 6 months a year) are recognised as part of the apprenticeship training in Austria if skills and knowledge acquired abroad correspond with the apprenticeship trade. Mobility during initial vocational training for apprentices needs therefore to be approved by the employer and by the training authorities in order to be integrated in the training course. During the time abroad the sending company stays responsible and continues to pay the salary and social taxes. The apprentice remains in the Austrian social insurance system. The Austrian training companies will receive the apprenticeship remuneration for the duration of the placement of their apprentices if they grant them to do the placement abroad during the training time in the company. Apprentices have to attend part-time vocational school in Austria, but the headmaster may release apprentices from school for “special” reasons.

Sources of funding / Mobility programs and initiatives
OeAD (Österreichische Austauschdienst)-Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung
Ebendorferstraße 7
AT-1010 Wien
Tel: (43) 1 53408-0
Fax: (43) 1 53408-999

FEDERAL MINISTRY OF ECONOMY, FAMILY AND YOUTH (BMWFJ): PLACEMENTS FOR APPRENTICES BMWFJ supports those apprentices, who get no funding out of the Leonardo da Vinci programme. The programme is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economy, Family and Youth.
The work placements are organised by IFA, International Young Workers Exchange.

Since 2002 the Department of Economic and Tourism Development of the City of Graz has financed work placements for apprentices of companies in Graz. Apprentices of various professions have done a placement in Denmark, France, Finland, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Sweden and Spain.
The work placements are organised by IFA, International Young Workers Exchange.


Founded as an association in 1995, IFA provides service to support the mobility of apprentices, VET students and skilled workers. Its members are the Economic Chambers in Austria, the Federation of Austrian Industry, the Junior Chamber Austria and the Young Industrialists.
As the central information and consulting centre for young people, companies and VET providers, IFA organises work placements, applies for them, awards the necessary grants and ensures the recognition of competences acquired abroad. IFA helps interested individuals plan their work placements and supports companies and VET schools in establishing and carrying out work placement programmes. IFA also supports young people and adults from other EU countries who do a work placement in Austria. IFA focuses on supporting non-university graduates and organises foreign work placements for over 500 apprentices, students of VET schools, employees and trainers a year.
xchange is a regional exchange programme that enables apprentices to complete their vocational training – up to four weeks – in a company of another country.
The xchange office assists with the search for suitable companies, the organisation of exchanges and funding. Holders of the exchange-initiative are the International Lake Constance Conference and the Association of Alpine countries (Internationale Bodensee¬konferenz und Arbeitsgemeinschaft Alpenländer). Funding for placements comes from the European Union under the INTERREG programme.
Rural Youth Austria is an association for the concerns of young people in rural areas.
Education and training in agriculture, agrarian issues, and the strong relationship to the rural community are the focus of the activities of Rural Youth of Austria. Within the project Young and International (YOIN) the Rural Youth provides international placements for apprentices and VET students in agricultural professions. Rural Youth also takes care of application for funds under the Leonardo da Vinci Programme.
atempo – an association for equality - supports young people including apprentices with learning difficulties or disabilities who are interested in work placements. The atempo projects are funded by the European Union. The work placements are transacted under the Leonardo da Vinci programme.