Tackling mental ill-health of the working-age population is becoming a key issue for labour market and social policies in OECD countries. OECD governments increasingly recognise that policy has a major role to play in keeping people with mental ill-health in employment or bringing those outside of the labour market back to it, and in preventing mental illness. This report on Austria is the eighth in a series of reports looking at how the broader education, health, social and labour market policy challenges identified in Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work (OECD, 2012) are being tackled in a number of OECD countries. It concludes that the Austrian system provides good opportunities in principle for improving labour market inclusion of people with mental ill-health but that structural fragmentation of responsibilities limits the means of the federal government to develop coherent health and work policies. Successful structural reform requires including a range of actors responsible for policy implementation to achieve coordination across institutions and better integrated service delivery.
Austria has low levels of labour migration from non-EU/EFTA countries. At the same time, intra-EU free mobility has grown significantly and since 2011, overall migration for employment is above the OECD average. It recently reformed its labour migration system, making it more ready to accept labour migrants where they are needed, especially in medium-skilled occupations in which there were limited admission possibilities previously. This publication analyses the reform and the Austrian labour migration management system in international comparison.
Two rounds of the Survey of Adult Skills are under way: Round 1 (2008-13) with 24 participating countries, whose results were released in October 2013, and Round 2 (2012-16) with 9 participating countries, whose results will be released in 2016. A third round is scheduled to begin in May 2014.
This short thematic paper summarises the key findings of the study visit.
Important challenges for the future of Austrian well-being arise from demographic and environmental trends. The ageing of the population calls for a fair balance between life-time pension contributions and entitlements, drawing on the recent pension reform.
Austria enjoys strong material well-being and high quality of life. Steady convergence with top GDP per capita levels translated into decisive improvements in household disposable incomes while significant redistribution has ensured low income inequality and poverty.
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A Skills beyond School Review of Austria
Issues covered during the study visit included exploring features unique to the Austrian system, such as the dual apprenticeship system and qualification guarantees. The structure and targets of the Territorial Employment Pact were discussed and project visits to relevant initiatives organised.
The transition from education to work is not easy for many young people, particularly when it comes to finding sustainable employment with progression opportunities. Recently established national policies to support youth will be only effective if implemented in a coordinated way at local level.
Country Notes from OECD Economic Policy Reforms: Going for growth 2011 presenting OECD recommendations for structural reform priorities for individual countries.