CORE - Integration im Zentrum
Vienna has always been a place of encounter, a place of cultural diversity. Diverse cultures have defined the city and its inhabitants and continue to do so. Diversity can make a positive contribution to coexistence in the city. Integration is not only a challenge, it is also above all an opportunity for society. CORE, an EU-funded cooporation project of the City of Vienna – Integration and Diversity, Vienna Social Fund, Vienna Employment Promotion Fund, Vienna Business Agency and European Office/Board of Education for Vienna, provides the impulses in the city for further development in the area of integration and thus makes a contribution so that diversity in Vienna becomes a success story.
The project uses numerous measures to already prepare refugees for the labour market in Austria during the asylum procedure: A database for recording competence is thus developed in order to document strengths and abilities from the outset and to use them as best as possible. In addition, refugees are accompanied in their vocational planning and prepared for entrepreneurship in selected professions. A focus is placed on refugee teachers for whom own training and support programmes are offered. For people who want to set up their own business, there are info events in order to clarify potential and boundary conditions. Furthermore, support services for volunteers working with refugees are being developed further and a Housing First programme is being implemented. In addition, in a think-tank, national and international challenges in the integration sector are being discussed and future-oriented solutions developed.
Space for integration
With facilities in the 15th district in Vienna, CORE not only offers the space but also the organisational infrastructure so that organisations, associations, civil society initiatives and above all also refugees themselves can implement integration offers. Within the framework of CORE, information modules are developed that aim to make orientation in Vienna easier. In the process, refugees act as experts for their own account: Selected persons are trained as mentors who support other refugees and make life and settling in the city easier for them. CORE also opts for refugees as experts in the field of health promotion. The participate approach of CORE ensures that refugees can design integration offers themselves and actively collaborate in the project.
CORE thus creates new integration offers that make integration easier for refugees in Vienna from the outset and accelerate the entire integration process. The project is closely associated with the implementation of the concept "Integration ab Tag 1" ("Integration from Day 1") of the city of Vienna with which refugees in receipt of basic services are given perspectives from the first day in Vienna. Existing activities and programmes for integration will be optimised in the course of CORE, oriented more closely to the requirements of the new arrivals in Vienna and expanded through innovative approaches. Gaps in the integration process are thus closed and the city prepared for future challenges through the forging of new paths.
The project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund through the Urban Innovative Actions Initiative. The total budget is around EUR 6 million, whereby 80 per cent is funded by the European Regional Development Fund and 20 per cent by own funds from the project partners. CORE was selected in the autumn of 2016 as one of 18 winning projects from 378 submissions. The project will run until October 2019.