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World’s first universal jobs guarantee experiment starts in Austria

The world’s first universal jobs guarantee experiment, designed by Oxford University economists and run by the Austrian Public Employment Service, has just begun in the Austrian town of Marienthal.

The scheme is unique in offering a universal guarantee of a properly paid job to every resident who has been unemployed for more than 12 months. As well as being provided with training and assistance to find work – as happens elsewhere – participants are guaranteed paid work, even if the state must subsidise 100% of the wages or employs participants in the public sector. All participants will be paid at least minimum wage, bringing their income level higher than their previous social security payments.

It works like this: all residents in Marienthal and the surrounding municipality, Gramatneusiedl, who have been unemployed for a year or more will be unconditionally invited to take part. Participants start with a two-month preparatory course, which includes one-to-one training, counselling and, for those who need it, support from experienced social workers, occupational physicians, and psychologists. Participants will then be helped to find a suitable and subsidised private sector job or supported to create a job based on their skills and their knowledge of their community’s needs. Read more via MirageNews

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