Access and Barriers to VET for Refugees ? A Comparison of Austria, Denmark and Germany
Sprache des Vortragstitels:
Crossing Boundaries Conference in Vocational Education and Training
Sprache des Tagungstitel:
Vocational education and training (VET) plays a crucial role in refugees? social inclusion. This paper aims to examine how the VET systems of Austria, Denmark and Germany responded to the arrival of refugees since 2015. Methods: The study investigates the research question on two levels. At the political level, refugee integration policy in the three countries is analysed. At the operational level, the experiences of practitioners who implement these VET policy measures are examined using qualitative interviews. Findings: The analysis reveals substantial differences in the access to VET for refugees between the investigated countries. In Austria and Denmark, refugees have only a few opportunities for getting access to regular VET programmes and experience social and institutional exclusion leading to the fact that successful participation in VET is only possible in individual cases. On the contrary, Germany enhanced access to apprenticeships for asylum seekers and introduced various initiatives to support refugees? integration. Nevertheless, barriers for refugees at the operational level are also evident in Germany. Conclusion: Comprehensive support measures are necessary for all three countries to help refugees overcome various barriers that result from their disadvantaged position in VET.