Paving the Way for the Creation of Skills Mobility Partnerships in Austria

IOM Feasibility Study: Skills Mobility Partnerships in Austria

Skills Mobility Partnerships (SMPs) refer to cooperation agreements between states that promote skills development and skills-based mobility. They vary in terms of form, modality, and degree of stakeholder involvement, but share the core element of skills development. In a recent research project, IOM Austria has analyzed whether SMPs are feasible in Austria.

The most important finding of the analysis, which is based on theoretical and empirical data, is that relevant stakeholders in Austria and in potential partner countries have great interest in SMPs. However, there are also major obstacles to the practical implementation of such partnerships. In the Austrian context, there is broad support for the approach of promoting education and training structures in partner countries according to Austrian standards. The goal is to develop competencies locally and to enable migration via the Red-White-Red Card, Austria’s main instrument for qualified migration. At the end of the study, a catalogue of concrete steps for the establishment of SMPs in Austria as well as two practical SMP examples (one with India for technicians and one with Indonesia for welders) illustrate potential future implementation of SMPs.

Following the publication of the feasibility study, IOM Austria – in cooperation with the Federation of Austrian Industries and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber – organized an SMP-Dialogue Forum. At this event, representatives of public institutions, civil society organizations, the private sector and research institutions discussed the results and recommendations. The practical examples of SMPs presented in the study were critically examined, and the recommended "first steps" towards an SMP in Austria were further considered.

Further information can be found on the IOM Austria Website and in the following resources:


The project was implemented with the kind support of the ERSTE Foundation, the Federation of Austrian Industries, and the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber.

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