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Territorial Employment Pacts in Austria

Why have Territorial Employment Pacts been implemented in Austria?

The Austrian labour market and employment policy is confronted with particular challenges that cannot be met by just a few institutions on their own. These challenges for examples are the concentration of unemployment on certain target groups, gender segregation on the labour market or shifts between industries, economic sectors and regions as a result of developments in the business and technology sectors in particular.

The National Reform Programme (NRP) for Growth and Jobs reconciles the aims of the employment policy, especially in terms of economic and structural policy, educational policy and regional policy. With the Territorial Employment Pacts, the NRP can point out in what form improved institutional reconciliation can be achieved between Federal Institutions, Provinces and Municipalities to secure and create jobs.

Innovative strategies can be developed within the framework of Territorial Employment Pacts and new approaches introduced to deal with the complex problem of unemployment.

What is a Territorial Employment Pact?

Territorial Employment Pacts (TEPs) are contracted regional partnerships to better link employment policy with other policies in order to improve the employment situation on regional and local level. In co-operating as partners, the specific aims are:

  • to increase effectiveness and efficiency in the use of resources;
  • to improve the quality of support given to certain target groups;
  • to secure and create jobs;
  • to obtain funding for the regions and
  • to preserve in a sustainable manner the region as a place to live.

What is the objective of the TEPs?

The basic objective is to encourage widespread regional partnership in order:

  • to identify the difficulties, ideas and objectives regions are facing with respect to employment policies;
  • to mobilize all available resources in favour of an integrated strategy which is accepted by all, based on the regions needs and entrenched in a formal commitment - the Territorial Employment Pact;
  • to improve the co-ordination of job-creation measures and
  • to implement measures to boost employment.

What are the main tasks of TEPs?

The main tasks of TEPs are:

  • co-ordinating partners and their topics;
  • developing joint work programmes (TEP-programme) and
  • implementing the measures according to the emphasis of the TEPs.

Where in Austria are TEPs operating?

Employment pacts have been implemented since 1997 in all nine Austrian Provinces (see TEPs per region). Additionally, some TEPs were set up at local level (NUTS III).

What is the national and international framework for the Austrian TEPs?

Partnership models, such as TEPs support local development policies. Through their designing and implementing of area-based development strategies, partnerships gain helpful know-how on local practices. In recent years, partnerships have been successfully developed in many EU member and several non-member countries. Austria is among the few countries in the EU to push ahead employment agreements in the framework of NRP, the National Reform Programme for Growth and Jobs. The Territorial Employment Pacts are in line with the European Employment Strategy and provide an essential instrument for the implementation of targets envisaged in the NRP.

Is there a link between TEPs and the Austrian Operational Programme for Employment 2007-2013 (European Social Funds - ESF)?

The examples of pacts realised have shown that a predetermined organisational structure is essential for activities to be effective. Where full-time pact co-ordinators deal with the entire project, positive results are much more easily achieved. For this reason the support structure is being offered within the framework of the Austrian Operational Programme for Employment 2007-2013 (ESF) on an intensified basis by means of a specific focus (priority 5 of the Operational Programme for Employment 2007-2013).