Thursday, August 09, 2007

Two thirds of all unemployed young people registered in the Austrian capital come from families with an immigrant background


A study by Vienna's public employment office Thursday shattered glowing reports about successful integration policies, saying that two thirds of all unemployed young people registered in the Austrian capital came from families with a migrant background.

While only approximately 30 per per cent of Viennese aged between 15 and 21 had a migrant background, the rate of jobless second- generation Austrians was diproportionally high, AMS project managers told the Vienna daily "Der Standard".

Main reasons for the discrepancies were language problems and "cultural" issues, the survey said.

Despite having been in the country since early childhood and being for a large part naturalized citizens, children of guest workers have inferior language skills, often because speaking only their mother tongue at home, and rarely higher education levels than their parents.

Sinking general education levels added to the language problems, AMS workers said. And while their fathers could get away with speaking only basic German, prospective employers today often demand fluency in the language.

On the other hand, 44 per cent of the 600 teens interviewed for the study said they felt discriminated against because of wearing headscarves or their darker skin tones.

Progress in the job world for migrant youths was also hampered by extremely traditional families, project head Gerda Challupner said.

Male Turkish teenagers for example often put on a macho act when dealing with female advisors, while whole family clans accompanying girls at job counsel meetings argued against "unsuitable" jobs.

"Sometimes the parents talk their daughters into menial work or staying at home completely," Challupner said.

The study was intended to break taboos, the AMS stressed. "We cannot tell a whole group of society that they have to be content with the jobs that found no other takers."

Another failure of multiculturalism.


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