Austria is a country that has a strong industrial base, comprising many export-oriented small- and medium-sized enterprises. Historically, this has been an important element of GDP growth. Vocational education and training plays a major role in the Austrian economy. This is demonstrated by the high attractiveness of VET programmes for young people and the diversity of programmes on offer; some four fifths of all pupils who have completed compulsory schooling opt for a VET path. The success of the Austrian VET system is reflected in the low youth unemployment rate and the international recognition of Austrian skilled workers.
Looking to the future, employment has already recovered to its pre-2008 financial crisis level and is projected to continue to grow in the period to 2025. Most employment growth is expected to be in business and other services, and most job opportunities will be for service and sales workers.
Over this medium-term future, Austria is expected to see an increasing demand for high- and low-skilled workers, whilst demand for medium-skilled workers is set to decrease. Meanwhile by 2025, the share of the labour force with high level qualifications is projected to increase, the share of workers with low or no qualifications to decrease, and the share of workers with medium qualifications to remain at around the same level.
Austria’s working-age population (15-64) is projected to grow in this period, with labour market participation declining but remaining above the expected EU28 average. Over the longer-term future, Austria is expected to have an old-age dependency ratio close to the EU28 average.