Police give asylum seekers bike training

Whilst Austria has stopped processing asylum requests in a bid to make the country less attractive to refugees, one town in Styria has been doing its part to help integration - by giving asylum seekers cycle safety training.

Police give asylum seekers bike training
Photo: Styrian police/Maximilian Ulrich

Local police in Judenburg say the move not only helps improve road safety in the town, but is also a way to get asylum seekers involved socially.

“Learning to give hand signals and understand road signs, as well as being able to assess dangerous situations may be a matter of course for many people, but for people from other countries it’s not – and this has nothing to do with recklessness but the fact that they haven’t learnt our system,” inspector Rudolf Pöschl told the Kronen Zeitung.

42 asylum seekers voluntarily attended an initial two-hour cycle safety training course on Sunday. They learnt how to interpret road signs, with the help of English and Arabic speakers, and then practised cycling on a course set up at a local primary school.

“All the participants were very interested, showed a lot of enthusiasm and had a lot of questions – which in my view will greatly contribute to road safety – both for the asylum seekers and locals. It should also help improve and reduce tensions between asylum seekers and the police,” Pöschl said. He added that more training sessions are planned.

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Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna’s economy

International business owners in Vienna bring in billions of euros in revenue and taxes each year, according to a recent survey by the Chamber of Commerce.

Diversity and jobs: How migrants contribute to Vienna's economy

New figures show that Vienna’s international entrepreneurs do more than simply boost diversity in Austria’s capital city – they also significantly contribute to the local economy.

The Wirtschaftskammer (Chamber of Commerce) has revealed that business owners in Vienna with a migration background generate € 8.3 billion in revenue and create around 45,500 jobs.

Plus, these companies pay around € 3.7 billion every year in taxes and duties, reports ORF.

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Walter Ruck, President of the Vienna Chamber of Commerce, said: “Companies with a migrant background not only enrich the diversity of the corporate landscape in Vienna, they are also an economic factor.”

Ruck added that more than 200 international companies move to the capital each year and said the diversity is helping Vienna to financially recover from the pandemic. 

The Chamber of Commerce considers a business owner to have a migration background if they were not born in Austria and/or they have a non-Austrian nationality.

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According to ORF, there are 34,000 entrepreneurs in Vienna with a migration background and 7,400 of those business owners have Austrian citizenship.

Additionally, 4,500 business owners have Slovakian nationality, 3,800 are from Romania and 2,600 have German citizenship.

The most popular business sector for people in Vienna with a migration background is retail, followed by real estate and technical services.