Social Integration of Asylum Seekers

The process of integrating refugees always requires a reciprocal thought process: On the one hand, it requires those seeking protection to be both willing and determined to contribute to a successful coexistence. On the other hand, and of at least equal importance, they need to find conditions that allow them to do so. Successful inclusion only works if the ‘receiving society’ offers chances and real options to people who want to build a new existence.

Catering Assistant Trainings at Red Cross Salzburg

About the Research

Being able to participate in the labor market is a crucial factor in the process of social integration. However, it is usually only possible once the asylum procedure is complete. Up to that point, refugees can do community work. This kind of occupation allows them to build networks with local people. In addition, they get to know day-to-day life, improve their language proficiency, and have the chance to develop further skills that will prove valuable for the subsequent integration into the labor market.

In the spring of 2017, the Red Cross Salzburg has launched a training program for catering assistants. The first four such trainings were a great success (140 persons completed the training with a certificate), so that a fifth training began in October 2018. The ifz has academically supervised the initiative from its beginnings, exploring the social impact on the trainees. The focus is on both how the trainees perceive the training as well the perspective of citizens.

Desired Outcome

The ifz has academically supervised three groups of trainees in the context of the project “Training as Catering Assistant”. The results of the project will help to develop and improve the services offered by the Red Cross Salzburg.


Kos Fabian

Research Fellow, Philosophy and Earth