Winning the bid to host EuroSkills in Graz, Austria, is a strong incentive for keeping vocational education on the country’s national agenda for the Styrian Economic Chamber – together with Austria’s Federal Chamber of Commerce, the other provincial Chambers of Commerce and the countless supporters. The aim is to consolidate Austria’s position even more firmly in the future as a location of economic and educational excellence at national and international level.
For Austria, EuroSkills 2020 is a matter close to the heart. Austria has been participating in skills competitions for more than 50 years, thereby offering young, skilled workers the opportunity to compete with others in a professional contest. This is how our country’s track record at EuroSkills pans out: Austria was repeatedly at the top of the leaderboard (Spa-Francorchamps 2012, Lille 2014, Göteborg 2016).
We see this as acknowledgement of our solid education and training system that combines theory and practice and continuously builds on the foundations of long-standing tradition and the pursuit of innovation. Austria is a nation where young talent is systematically promoted, giving young people the opportunity to do their very best. This fantastic opportunity is something we wish to make known to a wider public.
Austria is a fascinating country: it is not only a synonym for economic success, efficiency and strong performance, but also equally famed for its hospitality, heartbeat and exceptional brand of congeniality. Located at the heart of Europe, the country offers a unique blend of qualities, echoing the motto of “opposites attract”.
The world’s greatest host
Austria has earned itself a well-deserved reputation as one of the world’s most hospitable hosts. Whether the Salzburg Festival or the Vienna Opera Ball, the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert, the Eurovision Song Contest or the Lifeball, World Ski Championships or European Football Championships: what makes our hospitality stand out is an unrivalled combination of perfect organisation – both on a large scale and in detail – and a public that is as fair as it is enthusiastic.
Besides the events themselves, their venue is just as unforgettable for visiting guests. Wherever you look in Austria, you will find architectural gems showcasing European cultural history, alongside an abundance of natural and cultural landscapes packed into this compact nation. Delights for all the senses – guaranteed and awaiting all who visit.
Success made in Styria
The economic history of Styria dates back several millennia to the era of salt production, with the first traces of iron production appearing over 500 years ago. The University of Graz has a history dating back 430 years, the University of Technology has been around for over 200 years and the University of Leoben was founded 175 years ago.
It goes without saying that this history, closely entwined with science and research, is also rooted in tradition. And in Styria there is no greater tradition than the courage to embrace change and to strive for innovation. As the decline in traditional industries began to loom during the 1970s, economic and political players joined forces in a pioneering transformation of the Styrian industrial landscape. Today the focus is on strengths that account for the region’s global economic success.
The province of Styria is a region noted for its highly motivated and technologically-oriented entrepreneurs. The Styrian economy is characterised by its active creativity and strong commitment to innovation, its highly educated people, excellent entrepreneurial leaders and, above all, by its new and original technological developments. Moreover, an increasing number of entrepreneurs are taking advantage of Styria as being a perfect place for start-ups. This leads to prosperity, security and – of course – creates job opportunities for the locals.
at the heart of Europe
The lively and vibrant capital of the province of Styria currently has a population of around 275,000. Situated in the south-east of Austria, approximately two hours from Vienna, it serves as an excellent gateway to the neighbouring south-east European regions.
Graz is a city of diversity, and a centre for research and science, with six universities and state-of-the-art congress and convention venues. Its economy is focused on mobility, energy, environmental technology, creative industries, biotech industry and – last but not least – a strong tourism industry.
The historic town centre, which is a World Heritage site, the Mediterranean flair and the friendliness of the city are key assets with which Graz will welcome organisers and their delegates.