Ukrainian Refugees in Austria Feel Welcome

PeopleOther ♦ Published: July 24, 2022; 18:19 ♦ (Vindobona)

Displaced women from Ukraine were interviewed by the Austrian Institute for Family Research at the University of Vienna on behalf of the Austrian Integration Fund about their current life situation, security and care, and plans for the future.

The Austrian Institute for Family Research at the University of Vienna interviewed displaced women from Ukraine about their current situation in Austria. / Picture: © Thomas Topf / © Parlamentsdirektion

To collect scientifical knowledge on the living situation of displaced persons of Ukrainian descent in Austria in a structured way, the Austrian Integration Fund (AIF) and the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI) are cooperating in the collection of data. Further surveys on the situation of Ukrainians in Austria are ongoing. Therefore, the Austrian Institute for Family Research at the University of Vienna interviewed displaced women from Ukraine about their current situation in Austria.

In addition to a high sense of security in Austria (98%) and satisfaction with the provision of care (92%), great uncertainties about their future are defining issues for the more than 800 women surveyed in the study.

Ukrainians arriving in Austria

Slightly more than one-third of the women surveyed say they landed in Austria by chance (35%). Another 27% came to Austria because of friends who live here. Recommendations as well as having already been to Austria once were decisive for about 23% each.

The majority of the women interviewed live in Vienna (42%), followed by Styria (15%) and Lower Austria (13%). The fewest Ukrainian displaced persons live in Carinthia. The willingness to move increases the smaller the current municipality of residence in Austria.

Future Plans of Ukrainian refugees

Concrete plans to return to Ukraine are held by a total of 30% of respondents, with only a fraction (1%) planning to do so in the coming weeks.

More concrete plans to bring back family members do not exist to any great extent overall. Around 10% of the women plan to bring their mother to Austria, and around 6% each plan to bring their partner or siblings.

Ukrainian refugees in Austria want to work

The level of qualification and willingness to work is also remarkable. Almost three-quarters of the women surveyed had a university degree (72%). Nine out of ten women who have not yet taken up gainful employment aspire to do so in Austria (87%).

For the study, 833 women from the pool of displaced persons who had contacted the Integration Fund (ÖIF) were interviewed online. A surprisingly high level of education was found in this group. Seventy-two percent have a university degree, and another eleven percent have at least begun a course of study.

Most of the women who fled to Austria worked in the office, trade and sales sectors in their home countries. The education sector is also strongly represented. The proportion of people who worked in gastronomy is low.

Most of the women who have fled Ukraine have started to work in gastronomy after they arrived in Austria. This is followed by the cleaning sector, although only a tiny proportion of Ukrainian women had earned their living cleaning at home. Accordingly, 57 percent of those already working said that their current work did not correspond to their qualifications or did not correspond to them at all.

As far as desired jobs are concerned, office work followed by social work is in the first place. This is followed by hospitality, education and health.

Support Services for Displaced Persons from Ukraine

In order to support displaced persons from Ukraine in their integration, the AIF offers ongoing counseling, orientation courses, and exchange meetings throughout Austria. A wide range of German learning opportunities, from German courses to numerous online German learning measures, helps with language acquisition.

In addition to language courses, there is a buddy project, for example, for which around 600 interested parties have registered. The idea is to introduce younger people, in particular, to live in Austria through joint activities.

Austrian Integration Fund