Youth Migration – Local Status Quo Analysis Graz

The INTERREG-Project YOUMIG – Improving institutional capacities and fostering cooperation to tackle the impacts of transnational youth Migration – provides Status Quo Analyses for the participating municipalities. The Analysis for Graz has been carried out by Otto Rath (external expert), Elisabeth Gruber and Adam Nemeth (University of Vienna), and Priska Pschaid (Graz, Referat für Frauen und Gleichstellung).

Within the project YOUMIG, Graz represents a main receiving location due to good job availability, high salaries and educational possibilities. This has been confirmed through the quantitative and qualitative research: Graz is receiving immigrants to a high extent, with increasing tendencies visible in the last years. For people from the countries of the Danube region, Graz is attractive. Most of the young people coming to Graz are actually from the YOUMIG countries, or the Danube region. Since the 1960s Graz is already a receiving location, when agreements with guestworkers were signed by the Austrian state. Since then a minority group from former Yugoslavia and Turkey has settled in Graz. Still today these communities play a role as networks for newcomers. Also new minority groups have developed, e.g. from Romania or Hungary.
Most people who migrate from one of the Danube countries to Graz can be considered as “labour migrants”. There are highly skilled, but also less skilled labour migrants coming to Graz as well. Student migrants are often additionally also working in the city. In many cases young people migrate with their family. But also individual young migrants exist, who seek adventure, freedom and an identity of their own by migrating. For young people Graz offers not only chances on the labour market, but also possibilities of leisure activities and education.
Not everyone can build up a proper career in the city when moving here, not even if they have had a good education. Many young migrants from the Danube region work below their qualification level, e.g. in the catering sector. Wages are still higher than in the countries of origin, but from an individual point of view, being overqualified in the job is considered as frustrating.
The report at hand will present the major outcomes of the quantitative and qualitative research of Work Package 3.2. of the YOUMIG project. After an introduction in the first chapter, the methods of the research activity will be presented in Chapter 2. Chapter 3 will introduce the municipality of Graz and its local development to put the following research into context. In Chapter 4 quantitative data on migration and demography for Austria and Graz will be presented. The fifth chapter is divided into three parts: the general characteristics of young migrants in the city of Graz and the chosen interview partners, the perceived characteristics of young migrants to Graz by institutional interview partners and the motivations of the young migrants to migrate. The sixth chapter will give an overview on three typical biographies of interviewed migrants. In Chapter 7 challenges connected to youth migration and policies aimed to deal with them are presented. A summary of the research is presented in Chapter 8, giving also an outlook, conclusions and recommendations on the further use of the data.