Excellent apprenticeship businesses in tourism

Topic area
Agriculture and forestry, incl. value chain
Basic services, Leader, municipalities

Disaggregation level
Local amenities
Direct marketing
Value added
Site development

Project region

Local Action Group (LAG)
LAG Thermenland - Wechselland

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period

Project costs overall

Subsidy from LE 14-20

EN - 19.2.1. Umsetzung der lokalen Entwicklungsstrategie

Project initiator
Qualifizierungsagentur Oststeiermark GmbH

Short description

Through the project " Excellent apprenticeship businesses in tourism", a network of apprenticeship businesses is to be further established and strengthened (development of a network of trainees and a joint training association of apprenticeship businesses).Through the project " Excellent apprenticeship businesses in tourism", a network of apprenticeship businesses is to be further established and strengthened (development of a network of trainees and a joint training association of apprenticeship businesses).

Point of departure


With approximately 450 employers and 4,400 employees, tourism is one of the most important leading economies in the district of Hartberg-Fürstenfeld (Styria). The center of tourism is located in the LEADER region Thermenland-Wechselland, particularly because of its four thermal spa locations.


For the younger generation living in the region, tourism offers the opportunity for professional training and work locally - choosing among a variety of more than ten apprenticeship professions in differently structures businesses from small guesthouses to five-star hotels.

However, it has proven difficult to communicate these opportunities to young people who are about to start their professional education. The apprenticeship programs do not seem to be sufficiently attractive. In certain cases the reasons are young people`s reservations about apprenticeship programs in the tourism sector as well as the fact that these target groups are not sufficiently informed about the prevailing offer and hence do not sufficiently consider such jobs when making a choice regarding their professional career. In short, supply and demand of apprenticeship positions do obviously not match.

In recent years, two trends have been observed within the businesses concerned. Certain businesses responsibly dedicate themselves to training and modern personnel management, while others have been maintaining poor working conditions.

It is often difficult for young people, and above all their advisors such as parents, teachers and vocational trainers, to adequately assess businesses in this regards, as there is no sufficient guidance to distinguish between them.

Targets and target groups

-        Establishment of a network of apprenticeship companies offering higher quality apprenticeship training and hence reducing regional inequalities in the field.

-        Establishment of a certification program and related award for apprenticeship businesses that shall provide guidance for young people and their advisors.

-        Strengthening the quality of apprenticeship programs on the long term and hence supporting young people of the region with their professional careers.

-        Raising awareness by introducing complementary apprenticeship programs and advanced training for trainers.

-        Strengthening networking and mutual knowledge exchange between young people (apprentices) and trainers

-        Providing information to young people and parents, teachers, etc. about the opportunities of an apprenticeship in tourism in the region

-        Developing new approaches on vocational guidance, directly addressing young people

-        Crosslink activities of apprenticeship businesses and regional apprenticeship providers

-        Providing support to young people who have a.) not yet completed school and b.) recently finished their education in the fields of tourism.

Project implementation and measures

Networking and establishment of cooperations

Employee-oriented companies are already cooperating in terms of apprenticeship programs. However, this rather loose network of companies is to be transformed into an established and solid cooperation platform.

The cooperation should be based on the fulfilment of criteria, which will be regularly evaluated by means of the certification process that is to be developed. The network shall essentially support young people in their career choices. At the same time, the quality of apprenticeship training is to be increased.


·       Development of a network involving at least 70 apprentices

·       Development of a certification process including relevant documentation

·       Implementation of apprenticeship trainers' meetings

·       Implementation of a networking event involving teachers specialized in vocational orientation.

·       Development of a manual on minimum training standards

·       Development of a supplementary training program for apprentices and trainers

·       Organization of coordination workshops with regional training providers to enable apprenticeship program including a school-leaving diploma (Matura) in tourism.

·       Development and implementation of an administrative structure for the monitoring and controlling of apprenticeship programs and their certification.

Production of PR and print materials such as brochures and website

Results and effects

The geographical scope of the project lies in the LEADER region Thermenland-Wechselland, which is also where the majority of the apprenticeships are located. By nature, the recruiting and training of apprentices is not limited to the borders of the region. The size of the tourism sector of the region requires that young people from neighboring regions are also approached and that the cross-regional exchange of skilled workers can take place.

The overall quality of training in the neighboring regions therefore also has a significant impact on the availability of skilled workers in this specific LEADER region. Consequently, the Thermenland-Wechselland region represents the nucleus for activities related to cross-regional exchange.

Furthermore, companies from other regions are also involved in the cooperation, which means that the project will have a durable effect that reaches well beyond the region itself.


Some more projects and image building campaigns will be needed to improve the visibility of the jobs in the tourism sector.

To date many businesses are still looking for qualified employees, while the situation has worsened due to the pandemic (employees have moved to other business sectors).