In Graz the local YOUMIG Kick-off event took place on June 19th. In two separate sessions, a Migration Forum and a Training Session, experts discussed youth migration in the Danube region from different perspectives.
The YOUMIG Kick-off Event took place in Graz on June 19th. A morning press conference started the event to which several members of the Austrian and Styrian media were invited. After that, Priska Pschaid from the Department of Women & Equality, City of Graz, opened the Migration Form and stressed the importance of the project for Graz.
Graz is a fast expanding city in which migration plays a major role. Therefore, migration should be seen as something with potential rather than as a problem, Ms Pschaid said. Since the City of Graz has opted to focus on migrant girls and women in the project, Ms Pschaid especially emphasised the importance of gaining more insight into this target group and their living conditions.
Elisabeth Gruber from the University of Vienna presented the aims of the YOUMIG project and provided the participants with detailed information on migration in Austria and the Danube region. The participants – academics, teachers, youth workers,
politicians, civil servants and other experts – then engaged in a
long and animated discussion, debating a very wide range of
topics from Austrian immigration policies, education and the
recognition of certificates, degrees and qualifications to the
increasing competition on the Austrian market. They agreed
that Austria was not making the best use of its young immigrants’
skills, resulting in brain waste and wage dumping, and that
administrative burdens discourage businesses from hiring them.
The experts’ dialogue also revolved around the Austrian market for nursing care for the elderly, which is a crucial topic. In Austria, round-the-clock care is mostly provided by women from neighboring countries, such as Slovakia or Hungary. They leave their families behind for a job with low pay, poor working conditions and a bad reputation.
During the discussion it also became apparent that the term Danube region is not frequently used and unfamiliar to most of the audience. Participants mostly distinguished between EU and Non-EU countries and did not specifically take into account the Danube region as an entity. To conclude the end of the event, questionnaires were distributed and answered by the participants.