SPAR Austria Academy in Vienna named “Ambassador School of the European Parliament”

June 11, 2024 IN THE CATEGORY: Awards and prizes

  • From left to right: Head of the SPAR Academy Vienna Robert Renz, Laura Diez, Junior Ambassador and apprentice, Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution Karoline Edtstadler, Junior Ambassador and apprentice Antonio Bornaz and Chairman of the SPAR Austria Management Board Hans K. Reisch. © SPAR/Johannes Brunnbauer

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  • From left to right: Frank Piplat, Head of the Liaison Office of the European Parliament in Austria, Chairman of the SPAR Austria Management Board Hans K. Reisch, Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution Karoline Edtstadler and Head of the SPAR Academy Vienna Robert Renz. © SPAR/Johannes Brunnbauer

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  • Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution Karoline Edtstadler speaks about the importance of European education at the certificate award ceremony. © SPAR/Johannes Brunnbauer

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The SPAR Austria Academy in Vienna recently received the "Ambassador School of the European Parliament" certificate. This recognition was presented by the Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution Karoline Edtstadler.

Since its foundation, the SPAR Academy in Vienna has emphasised community, solidarity, and peaceful coexistence of population groups and nations. As part of becoming an “Ambassador School,” the curriculum expanded to include EU-specific content.

Importance of European Education

Federal Minister for the EU and Constitution Karoline Edtstadler presented the certificate to SPAR Austria representatives at the Vienna Academy. Edtstadler praised the academy’s positive spirit and commitment of its young students, underscoring their role in the EU’s future.

Retail career opportunities

Hans K. Reisch, Chairman of the SPAR Austria Management Board, is very proud of this recognition.

He said: “as the largest private employer and the largest private training organisation in Austria, SPAR is aware of its social responsibility. We support our trainees in Austria and abroad on their career paths. After completing their training, all doors are open to trainees within the SPAR family. With the certification as an “Ambassador School of the European Parliament”, the SPAR Academy Vienna is once again setting a milestone in the training of people.”

The Ambassador School programme

The “European Parliament Ambassador Schools” programme aims to enthuse young people about the EU and promote democratic awareness. The European Parliament Liaison Office, the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, and the Polis Centre implements this programme in Austria. Schools must meet various criteria, including teacher training, appointing school ambassadors, integrating EU content across subjects, organising pre-Europe Day events, and embedding these initiatives in the school’s development plan.

“Talking about community, European values of democracy and strengthening European identity right now were the reasons why we decided to become an ambassador school. I am convinced that our trainees will be better able to master the challenges of our time by learning about the importance of the EU and the economic context”, said Robert Renz, Head of the SPAR Academy in Vienna.

Practical learning

The SPAR Academy integrates current economic topics like inflation and the ECB’s key interest rate, into its curriculum. The third-year “Political Education” course covers EU history, institutions, and policies. Lessons on EU laws, quality seals, and sustainability are essential for professionals in the food retail sector.

Frank Piplat, Head of the European Parliament Liaison Office in Austria, involved in the one-year certification process, praised the professional implementation of the programme at the SPAR Academy.

Junior Ambassadors

One of the criteria for certification is to nominate Junior Ambassadors. These students represent their peers in EU-related matters and support teachers and school management in EU activities. “I was at the House of the European Union in Vienna. There I was able to exchange ideas with EU parliamentarians and expand my knowledge on topics such as climate justice, media and the future of Europe,” said Laura Diez, Junior Ambassador and second-year SPAR trainee.

Special teaching mission

The SPAR Academy in Vienna takes a unique approach to education, preparing young people for life and the professional world. Apprentices not only receive the best training, but also the basis for career advancement opportunities within the SPAR Austria Group. The SPAR Academy in Vienna offers a unique blend of the standard vocational school curriculum and additional innovative training programmes like FAIRTRADE Ambassador, Green Champion, and cheese and sausage experts, specific to the food retail sector.

Source: SPAR Austria

Read more about SPAR Austria

About SPAR Austria

The origins of SPAR in Austria date back to 1954, but the current SPAR AG was created in 1970 when the original founding families joined other regional wholesalers to form SPAR Austria AG – a 100% privately owned Austrian company. With licences granted by SPAR International, ASPIAG (Austria SPAR International AG) has developed the brand in Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, and Northern Italy.

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