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WORK FORce HEALTH & TOURISM: Sustainable strategies for the development of skilled workers in thermal and health destinations in Bavaria and Austria (BA0100029)

Thermal spa and health destinations in the Bavarian-Austrian program area as well as the entire health tourism industry are suffering massively from an enormous shortage of skilled workers. At least since the Covid-19 pandemic many specialists have left their companies, regions or even their industries ꟷ individual destinations can no longer solve these challenges on their own.

It is therefore important to join forces to counteract this exodus with sustainable strategies and measures in order to (re)gain urgently needed professionals and retain them within the companies in the long run, to improve current trainings and to continue education programs in line with demands, and to make the basic working and living conditions in the destinations more attractive.

Term: 01.01.2023 — 31.12.2025

The “Deggendorf Institute of Technology", the "University of Applied Sciences for Health Professions Upper Austria", the "District of Lower Bavaria" as well as "Gasteiner Kur-, Reha- und Heilstollen Betriebsges.m.b.H. Bad Gastein" jointly face these essential challenges in this present INTERREG project, together with a broad, cross-border consortium of a further twelve partners. The joint project is intended to contribute to the far-reaching competencies and experiences of the involved partners cross-border, and to bring them together interdisciplinarily. To meet the multi-layered requirements and challenges strategies need to be grown from which tailored measures and action plans will be derived. As a result, the development of professionals will be strengthened sustainably.

The selected thermal spa and health destinations from the project area (Lower Bavaria, Upper Austria and Salzburg) form a crucial interface between science and practice and make it possible to examine region specific conditions, scenarios and requirements and help to gain necessary insights ꟷ which at the same time also serve as a basis for the improvement, revision or conceptualization of trainings, further education as well as curricula and syllabi of important training institutions in the program area. Specific communication and image strategies are also intended to support the targeted acquisition and long-term retention of skilled workers.

Only by combining forces and synergies will it ultimately be possible to attract and retain qualified specialists, provide attractive jobs and conditions and thus strengthen the program area as well as the industry sustainably and, at the same time, to give new impulses.

Within the framework of the INTERREG VI-A program Bavaria-Austria 2021-2027, as one of 73 cross-border funding programs within the ETC as the European Territorial Cooperation, the implementing project partners are provided with funding of up to € 885,390 for the project duration, which thus covers up to 75% of the total project costs of € 1,180,521. The funding priorities within these programs are specifically tailored to the respective program area to specifically promote and strengthen cross-border cooperation.