Enlarged expert group meeting on researching educational and career paths for youth workers
Brussels 31 May – 1 June
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Systems for formal and non-formal education and validation of youth workers

The EU-Council of Europe youth partnership work plan foresees in 2018 the continuation of the research project on mapping education and career paths of youth workers. In 2017 a first mapping exercise was carried out collecting data from over 40 countries and regions on education and career paths for youth workers through the network of correspondents of the European Knowledge Centre on Youth Policy (EKCYP) and other stakeholders. The study focused on five areas:

  • Policy and legislation
  • Formal (including university and vocational level) and non-formal education and training offers,
  • Quality (including quality assurance, occupational standards) and competences
  • Associations of youth workers and their role
  • Employment, career paths and professionalisation.

The study has been reviewed with member state representatives in the European Steering Committee on Youth (CDEJ) and will be presented for discussion during 2018. It has also been presented during the European Training Strategy Conference organized by Salto Training and Cooperation in March 2018. Factual corrections will continue to be made throughout the year to the report to ensure the final picture is as accurate as possible.

The results of this study has been further analysed through the lens of practice architectures helping youth sector stakeholders understand the diversity of architectures across Europe and where different countries stand when it comes to education and career paths of youth workers.

The expert group guiding the research project met twice in 2017 to provide guidelines for planning the first phase of the study and feedback on the report. The group will be convened in an extended format in 2018 to debate the results of the research with representatives of formal and non-formal structures that have put in place education and validation systems for youth workers. The meeting will take the format of a seminar with the main aim to explore in detail the variety of models across Europe, their strengths and challenges.

Specific objectives of the meeting:

  • Present and analyse as many national systems and practice architectures for education and career paths for youth workers;
  • explore the perspectives of non-formal sector as educators/organisers and employers of paid or voluntary youth workers;
  • further nuance the perspective of formal education providers, including VET systems, notably on competencies taught, key curriculum elements, practice support and other relevant aspects;
  • identify approaches to building partnership for youth worker education and work support between formal and non-formal providers and the challenges they entail, including but not limited to questions around competences, standard setting and quality check, professionalization and career paths).

Contributors will be invited to speak about the different experiences of developing youth work education systems exploring critical aspects of building and/or maintaining such systems at country or organization level and making them work.