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CoRE - Centre of Refugee Empowerment

Submitted by UIA admin on Fri, 12/16/2016 - 14:53
Vienna
Challenge addressed

Last year we saw a dramatic increase in the number of refugees coming to Austria and to Vienna in particular. With almost 90,000 applications for asylum in Austria, the number was one of highest in Europe in relation to the population size. In 2015, Vienna’s demographic growth reached a plus of 43,000 – more than twice the already high average of the last decade, posing huge challenges to social welfare and social housing systems as well as to the labour market. Under these circumstances, integration of such a high number of refugees into the urban society is a task which cannot be fulfilled by one public authority. This calls for new, innovative solutions and new models of cooperation.

Solution proposed

CoRE will address integration challenges by implementing innovative solutions. The project aims at providing refugees with integrated support to facilitate their integration in Vienna, by focussing on three aspects:

Firstly, CoRE is an empowerment fabric jointly planned, utilized and operated by public institutions, NGOs,  civil society initiatives and refugees. By pooling resources and knowhow and by making refugees equal partners instead of passive beneficiaries, it helps to initiate smart transformation processes for the whole integration system.

Secondly, CoRE is a physical infrastructure in the form of a CoRE building, which will be adapted to the needs of the project. The CoRE building will be a location that offers community spaces as well as service spaces. Through new forms of cooperation of a broad range of Stakeholders, CoRE will be the venue for a variety of integration activities to take place.

Thirdly, CoRE is a think tank, which monitors, analyses, and innovates policies and develops and tests new solutions.

Partnership
  • Stadt Wien
  • Fonds Soziales Wien - Public Agency
  • Wiener ArbeitnehmerInnen Förderungsfonds - Public Agency
  • Wirtschaftsagentur Wien - Business Support Agency
  • Stadtschulrat für Wien - Europa Büro - Training Center
Expected results

CoRE aims at strengthening the whole integration system and at making it fit for new challenges.  CoRE develops and provides new integration offers, which address the needs of asylum seekers and refugees in Vienna. CoRE also contributes to the adaption and optimisation of instruments and services in order to make them more user-oriented. Thanks to the innovations implemented within the project, existing ruptures and breaks in the integration process will be overcome.

CoRE’s focus on skills and competences ensures that already during the asylum procedure, refugees’ competences will be routinely assessed and documented in a newly developed data base. Activities in the field of career planning, competence development and specific trainings facilitate refugees’ readiness for the labour market. As a result, refugees’ preparation for the labour market starts already during the asylum procedure.

With a focus on peer mentoring and information offers in refugee’s native languages, CoRE ensures that asylum seekers’ integration in Vienna starts right after they settle in Vienna. Thus, refugees will sooner be able to understand basic issues of life in Vienna, such as housing, education, health care, law, rules and codes for living in the City, etc.

Finally, CoRE shows a wider public that - despite the existing challenges - integration of refugees can be successful and can add to the prosperity of the City. CoRE contributes to making diversity a success in Vienna – by finding solutions to current challenges and by thinking ahead and therefore preparing the City for future challenges.

Main milestones

February 2017: The CoRE building was selected.
July 2017: A competence database was developed in a cross institutional structure.
October 2017: The core group of refugee peers was selected and trained.
January 2018: The health promoting programme was successfully implemented.
March 2018: The first fact finding missions in other European countries were conducted.
August 2019: Min. 200 refugees were provided with accommodation through the Housing First Platform.

"The CoRE project is meant to support the implementation of innovative approaches and methods in integration work. With this project, the City of Vienna will build upon existing services to allow for the even faster and more needs-oriented integration of refugees. The project focuses on close cooperation with partner organizations and, most importantly, with the very people who are trying to make a new home in Vienna.
CoRE allows us to explore new paths together with the European Union, and to promote positive examples of successful integration."

Jürgen Czernohorszky, City Councillor for Education, Integration, Youth and Personnel
The project in numbers
88.430
request for asylum in Austria in 2015
14.413
people were granted asylum and 2478 people were granted subsidiary protection in Austria in 2015
Contact of the project
Birgit WACHTER
Project manager
Christoph Reinprecht
UIA expert

Project News

DevelopMe_: Preparing refugees for IT industry of today and tomorrow

An important key element of the CORE project is to support a quick integration into the labour market. Therefore, various activities are being realized for different target groups. Besides refugee teachers, potential entrepreneurs are being trained and prepared for their professional lives in Austria. Recently, a special training programme for freelancers was successfully finished. In an official event with Renate Brauner, Executive City Councillor of Finance, Economic and International Affairs, the participants of this programme received their certificates.