There are two established guidance and counselling systems in Austria complementing each other:

  • guidance and counselling provided by education and training institutions, and
  • guidance services provided by the employment administration and other institutions in the field of career guidance

A national strategy for lifelong guidance was prepared in 2005 and 2006 under the auspices of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education by an interministerial working group, involving the Public Employment Service Austria (AMS), the social partners and other major partners in connection with this theme.

Guidance in School Education

Career guidance in Austrian schools is organised according to a three-level model: career education lessons are provided by careers teachers; individual advice is provided by student advisors; and both of these are supplemented by a School Psychology Service that can offer specialized assistance. These are supplemented by classroom teachers and a wide range of other individuals and agencies outside the school. (www.bmb.gv.at and www.edusystem.at)

Guidance in Higher Education

The Ministry of Education has established six Psychological Student Counselling Service centres to assist students and prospective students in both universities and Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen).

Career Service Centres in Austrian universities provide guidance regarding choices of profession and serve as recruiting service providers for young students and graduates.

Guidance provided by the Public Employment Service

The Austrian Public Employment Service (AMS) is Austria’s leading provider of labour-market related services. Commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy, the AMS assumes its role as an enterprise under public law in close cooperation with labour and employers’ organisations.

The Public Employment Service is structured into 1 federal, 9 regional and 99 local organisations. Regional branch offices offer self-service „Info Zones“ (career information centres (BIZ), „Service Zone“ (placement, claims and benefits) and “Counselling Zone” (for intensive guidance and assistance). (http://www.ams.at/english)

Guidance at Adult Education Level

Since 1999 the Federal Ministry of Education promotes the development of institution-neutral educational guidance in each of the nine federal provinces of Austria, leading to the establishment of Project Networks for educational and vocational guidance in each province in 2011. (www.erwachsenenbildung.at)