Who we are and what we do: Jugend am Werk Steiermark

Jugend am Werk Steiermark GmbH

Lendplatz 35, 8020 Graz, Austria


Managing Directors: Walerich Berger, Walter Ferk


Chairwoman of the Board/President of the Association: Dr.in  Anna Rieder

  • 916 employees
  • approximately 3.150 customers

Because everyone should get the chance in life, they are entitled to

Jugend am Werk Steiermark GmbH is among the leading providers of social services in the Province of Styria. The 76 facilities, which are organised in 25 branches, seek to improve the lives of the people in their immediate environment and to assist them with relevant offers and services, especially in difficult phases of their lives. Together with our customers, we demonstrate new approaches, activate existing resources and develop opportunities while never losing track of the individuality of the people and their environments - with all their needs and desires: That is the attitude, which is also reflected in the work and actions of Jugend am Werk.


As a non-profit enterprise we do not pursue profit-making. Our success is measured in terms of how satisfied the people are who use our services and to what extent their life realities can be improved in terms of equal opportunities.



Diversity? That's our business

Our portfolio is as diverse as the challenges life provides. Our customers are children, young adults and adults with a need for support in professional, social and personal life issues. Children, young adults and families receive support in crisis situations. People of all ages in need of support get the chance to be educated/qualified and to be (re-)integrated into the labour market. People with disabilities receive person-centred support, they become independent and have a real chance for participating in work and employment. When they arrive at their new homes, refugees, grown-ups and minors, are supported in flats rather than large refugee camps.


We are committed to the values of international human rights conventions and we are constantly working to improve the individual chances for people at all levels. Social diversity and inclusion (equal participation of all in society), a focus on social spaces (activation and involvement of the living environment), deinstitutionalisation and focussing on our customers' wishes are the guiding values that we implement in our work every day.


It's good to know, it's better to know how to. Our employees are as diverse as the organisation itself, and yet, they have much in common: They are well-trained and have a love for training and education, they enjoy what they are doing, they show respect and appreciation of others. Their high degree of professionalism and expertise is valued by both customers as well as contracting organisations.



Hello/Dobre dan/Bonjour/Grüezi: A strong European network

Jugend am Werk is a popular coordinator and partner in numerous European projects. This shows our claim to be perceived, in the international context, as an innovative player in the field of social economy. 

  • Exchange of experiences
  • Best-practice learning
  • Sharing experiences in the international context
  • Promoting the bigger picture



Historic overview

1948: Foundation of Jugend am Werk Association. Its aim is to reduce the high youth unemployment rate after worldwar 2.


1960s: Working with people with disabilities becomes an additional key area.


1970s: With the economic slump in the 70s, labour market administration is becoming important again. Vocational preparation courses for unemployed people and trainings in the hotel and catering sector are offered. 


1980s: In 1982, Jugend am Werk introduces the first socio-educational residential community in the Province of Styria. That is also the foundation for the key area of child and youth services.


1990s: When Austria joined the EU in 1995, Jugend am Werk found a new important operational field: EU projects and their shared international initiatives provide the possibility to look at various problems in the social area from a more differentiated and flexible perspective and to find solutions more efficiently.


2000s: Foundation of the Jugend am Werk Steiermark GmbH, which carries out all operational activities of Jugend am Werk. New legal requirements represent a completely new framework for Jugend am Werk in the area of disability services. 

Restructuring the organisation and change of management in May 2009. Start of our equipment and modernisation campaign throughout the province.


2010s: Following first pilot projects, Jugend am Werk has been intensively engaged in the implementation of EU projects. Jugend am Werk Salzburg is founded as a subsidiary of Jugend am Werk Steiermark GmbH; its focus lies on child and youth services and on mobile refugee services. Implementation of non-profit employment projects commissioned by the Austrian Labour Market Service and the Province of Styria: Integration of (long-term) unemployed people into the labour market via transit jobs. Primary support for refugees, grown-ups and minors, in flats rather than large refugee camps on behalf of the Province of Styria.


Currently: Maintaining and constantly improving the service quality, and, at the same time, carefully handling public resources and adapting the services to new legal frameworks and to changing conditions due to strict tendering procedures in labour market policy.