Civilian service is Regional service

A civilian alternative service worker leads an elderly woman by the arm
Photo: Wiener Rotes Kreuz / M. Hechenberger

The formation of Austria’s new Federal Government and the corresponding amendments to the Federal Ministries Act bring about some change as regards ministries’ competences. Affairs concerning the alternative civilian service (“Zivildienst”) are now the responsibility of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Regions and Tourism.

“Every town and every village needs civilian service workers! We have a well-working system, which is indispensable for Austria’s regions. In fact, alternative civilian service is regional service. Therefore, I will take efforts to ensure that we will be in a position to rely on this pillar also in the future”, the Minister in charge of alternative civilian service, Elisabeth Köstinger, said.

Every year about 15,000 civilian service workers (“Zivildiener”) are employed at approximately 1,700 organisations. Throughout Austria, more than 90 percent of the demand for civilian service workers can be satisfied. Especially in the healthcare sector, civilian service workers are of great help. Red Cross, Samaritan Federation, Lebenshilfe, Caritas, Diakonie, fire figthers associations, hospitals and residential homes for the elderly are the largest organisations employing civilian service workers.
 Work at educational centres and memorials or assistance for farmers are important as well.

All operational matters are managed by the office for alternative civilian service, ZISA (“Zivildienstserviceagentur”). For more comprehensive information and contact details, please see the homepage www.zivildienst.gv.at.