Austrian builders are likely to get a better chance at winning building contracts over cheaper foreign firms after a new pilot project was introduced that means companies who employ apprentices will get favorable treatment.
The project that is set to start next year and will be implemented across the country and is officially meant to encourage greater employment among youngsters by giving preferential treatment to building firms who take on apprentices.
But because the apprentice scheme is something that mainly Austrian firms are involved in and is very rarely used in practice by foreign firms it means that Austrian companies will get a better chance of contracts. Under the EU law there should be a free movement of goods and services meaning that foreign building companies can bid for lucrative government contracts in Austria.
The new rules have been welcomed by education and youth spokesman from the social Democrats Christian Oxonotisch.
Patrick Hainzl who is president of the union for private employees and journalists said: "The measures that were presented today are a real milestone in promoting education and training in companies. It will encourage firms to be more involved in training young people and therefore strengthening their social responsibility."
In only 9% of the Viennese companies in private business are apprentices taken on. But at the same time there are many complaints about a shortage of qualified personnel. He said: "this measure is a really important measure."Source: http://austriantimes.at/news/Business/2012-09-20/44287/Austrian_builders_get_advantage_from_investing_in_training