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«Youth Work: Enhancing Youth Employability? About the Youth in Action programme Youth in Action is a programme the European Union has set up for young ...»

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Youth Work:

Enhancing Youth Employability?

About the Youth in Action programme

Youth in Action is a programme the European Union has set up

for young people. It aims to inspire a sense of active European

citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans

and to involve them in shaping the Union's future. It promotes

mobility within and beyond the EU's borders, non-formal learning

and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the employability and inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural backgrounds: Youth in Action is a programme for everyone!

The Youth in Action Programme aims to achieve the following

general objectives:

• promote young people’s active citizenship in general, and their European citizenship in particular;

• develop solidarity and promote tolerance among young people, in particular in order to foster social cohesion in the European Union;

• foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries;

• contribute to developing the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field;

• promote European cooperation in the youth field.

The Programme is structured around 5 Actions:

• Action 1 - Youth for Europe: encourages young people's active citizenship, participation and creativity through youth exchanges, youth initiatives and youth democracy projects.

• Action 2 - European Voluntary Service: helps young people to develop their sense of solidarity by participating, either individually or in group, in non-profit, unpaid voluntary activities abroad.

• Action 3 - Youth in the World: promotes partnerships and exchanges among young people and youth organisations across the world.

• Action 4 - Youth Support Systems: includes various measures to support youth workers and youth organisations and improve the quality of their activities.

• Action 5 - Support for European Co-operation in the Youth Field:

supports youth policy co-operation at the European level, in particular by facilitating dialogue between young people and policy makers.

The permanent priorities of the Youth in Action programme are:

• European citizenship • Participation of young people • Cultural diversity • Inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities

More information:


Youth Work:

Enhancing Youth Employability?

Youth Work: “Enhancing Youth Employability?”


Institute MOVIT, Ljubljana, Slovenia

Published by:

Janez Škulj

Director of publication:

Tadej Beočanin, Vesna Miloševič, Janez Škulj

Text written by:

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CIP - Kataložni zapis o publikaciji Narodna in univerzitetna knjižnica, Ljubljana 331.5-053.6(082) BEOČANIN, Tadej Youth work : enhacing youth employability? / [text written by

Tadej Beočanin, Vesna Miloševič, Janez Škulj]. - Ljubljana :

Institute Movit, 2011 ISBN 978-961-6826-09-9 1. Gl. stv. nasl. 2. Miloševič, Vesna 3. Škulj, Janez Table of Contents

–  –  –

Employability is the Hit of the Day Even in the Field of Youth Work 17 Outcomes of the “Youth Work: Enhancing Youth Employability?” seminar 20

–  –  –

This booklet is based on the results of the seminar entitled “Youth Work: Enhancing Youth Employability?”, which took place in April 2011 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The seminar was organised by the EU Youth in Action programme with the National Agencies of Slovenia (Zavod Movit), Portugal (Agência Nacional para a Gestão do Programa Juventude em Acção), Italy (Agenzia Nazionale per i Giovani), Estonia (Archimedes Foundation), Finland (Kansainvälisen liikkuvuuden ja yhteistyön keskus CIMO), Poland (Fundacja Rozwoju Systemu Edukacji) and Sweden (Ungdomsstyrelsen – National Board for Youth Affairs) and in close cooperation with Salto Inclusion Resource Centre.

The aim of this international seminar was to review the role of youth work and competences acquisition to enhance the employability of young people, with an emphasis on non-formal learning in learning mobility programmes.

The seminar started with the situation regarding youth (un)employment, determining the reasons for the present unpleasant situation. Knowing the reasons, participants approached possible solutions towards higher youth employment, looking for ways to develop competences for higher employability through youth work. In the main part of the seminar, participants occupied themselves with the role of youth work and other policy measures in young people’s competences acquisition and development, focusing on learning outcomes that enhance the employability of young people.

Because it was open for youth workers, youth researchers, decision makers and experts, all working in the field of youth employment, it provided a diverse group of participants. This group proved to be highly motivated to actively participate throughout the seminar. A month after the seminar, almost all participants together applied a new project to Youth in Action programme, dealing with the same subject. I could not imagine a better follow up.

I would like to use this opportunity to thank all of the participants for their contributions with stories and good practice examples. I want to thank the trainers Andreia Henriques (PT), Ansgar Büter-Menke (GE) and Matej Cepin (SI) for their professionalism and to my colleagues at Institute Movit for their great support. Finally, I want to thank the co-organisers for their input in preparing, implementing and financing the seminar.

Special thanks also to Mr Igor Lukšič, Minister of Education and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia, for his opening speech.

This booklet aims to disseminate the results of the seminar. On the following pages, readers can find some expert articles, opinions, discussion results, stories of success and more, all connected with youth work and its impact on youth employability.

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Democratic societies are based on responsible citizens. Youth organisations, as the basic platform for youth Novembra 2009 je Svet EU sprejel Prenovljeni okvir evropskega work and (at the same time) the basic learning environment for democracy, build upon young individuals as active and responsible citizens, who will keep such attitudes for the rest of their lives. ki je nastal na podlagi sodelovanja na področju mladine 2010-2018, predloga Evropske komisije »Nova strategija EU za mlade: vlaganje 7 For a country to develop, it must recognise the interest both in the upbringing of responsible citizens, and vanje in krepljenje njihove vloge in položaja« in predstavlja nadgradnjo in the highest possible fostering of in prenovo dosedanjega evropskega sodelovanja na področju mladine.

autonomy, i.e. in acquiring competences for independent life. Youth organisations train and enable young people to influence society, to help them on their path to economic and social independence and consequently to have a key influence on the development of the country.

Evropsko sodelovanje na področju mladine predvideva sodelovanje mladinskih organizacij in delavcev, raziskovalcev s področja mladine Membership in youth organisations leads to active and responsible citizenship and improves young people’s ter mladih samih tako pri oblikovanju ukrepov kot tudi analizi njihovega quality of life, both during and after their membership, because it ensures the acquisition of knowledge, skills, important values and responsibility for society, and Sodelovanje naj bi bilo zagotovljeno preko rednih uresničevanja. thus contributes to their successful development in all posvetovanj oz. strukturiranega dialoga.

areas of life.

Youth organisations are often the most overlooked part of civil society; many do not think they need special Pogoji za uspešen dialog pa so seveda informiranost in zainteresiranost measures. However, such reasoning does not hold, if we consider the importance of activities undertaken mladinskih organizacij in drugih akterjev na področju mladine o aktualnih by young individuals in the framework of youth organisations. If we strive for a healthy, harmonious and dogajanjih ter dolgoročno načrtovanje dialoga, njihova sposobnost, da interconnected society, giving a perspective for the future and enabling a happy and productive life, young oblikujejo svoja stališča in predloge ter jih javno izrazijo ter pripravljenost people need to be properly provided for. nacionalnih in lokalnih oblasti, da tem predlogom prisluhnejo ter jim namenijo ustrezno pozornost.

On 27th April 2009, the European Commission adopted a new EU strategy for youth policy for the coming decade. Entitled “Youth – Investing and Empowering”, the new strategy acknowledges the fact that young Decembra 2009 je Eurodesk Slovenija organiziral nacionalni seminar, na people are one of the most vulnerable groups in society, especially in the current economic and financial crisis, katerem je zainteresiranim organizacijam in posameznikom podrobno and that young people are a precious resource in our ageing society. The strategy emphasises the important predstavil potek evropskega sodelovanja na področju mladine. S to role of youth work in dealing with unemployment, school failure and social exclusion, as well as improving skills publikacijo želimo z njim seznaniti tudi tiste akterje na področju mladine, and providing leisure time.

ki se seminarja niso udeležili.

Non-formal education and informal learning are among the key characteristics of youth work. Youth organisations offer an environment conducive to learning, mainly due to their methods and learning environment, which do Upamo, da vas bo publikacija spodbudila k aktivni vključitvi v proces, ki not put young people merely in the role of students, but often allow them to co-develop the learning process, and strukturirano poteka že deset let - proces oblikovanja mladinske politike to serve as resources of knowledge for their peers, with whom they learn, upgrade and uncover new knowledge v Evropski uniji, katerih neposredni učinki se odražajo v nacionalnih together. In this way, young people develop a positive attitude towards learning and take responsibility for their politikah in zakonodaji na področju mladine. Tudi v Sloveniji.

own learning process and acquired knowledge. This positive approach to learning allows them to realise that knowledge can be gained in different learning situations, in different ways, that different forms of (formal, nonformal and informal) learning are complementary and interlinked. In this way, young people learn to develop Živa Mahkota in Tinkara Bizjak Zupanc, their transferable competences through their whole life, not only in youth.

Eurodesk Slovenija MOVIT, Nacionalna agencija programa Mladi v akciji Igor Lukšič, Ph.D.

Minister of Education and Sport of the Republic of Slovenia About the seminar

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According to the goals, the two-day programme covered a variety of topics, such as identifying obstacles to become employed in the EU in 2011, youth work (and its solutions for youth unemployment), sharing best practices and successful stories, the contribution of youth work for youth employability, other policy measures to achieve higher employment, etc. The

following questions were also discussed:

• How can youth work help to tackle the issue of unemployment among young people?

• If youth work should help to resolve unemployment among young people, does that mean it is being recognized? Is professionalization of youth work needed in order for it to perform this task?

• How can youth work be further supported in order to deliver results?

• How can non-formal learning within youth work be further increased?

• What is the added value of international youth work in terms of increasing employability of young people?

• How is learning mobility increasing working mobility?

We received a good feedback from the participants. The following are a selection of

comments by the participants:

–  –  –

Enhancing Youth Employability?

Youth Unemployment in the EU Author: Vesna Miloševič I. UNEMPLOYMENT


Unemployment is one of the key issues in most European countries these days. While it had already been much discussed before the economic and financial crisis, the crisis itself definitely put it on the top priority list of relevant themes. In addition to unemployment in general, particular attention has fallen on youth unemployment. Youth are a vulnerable group on the labour market and they were struck hardest by the crisis, a fact put forward by the European Commission in the New EU Strategy for Youth (2009). Youth represent a quarter of the world’s workforce, but on the other hand they also represent half of the unemployed population all over the world (Križman in Vertot 2009, 1). Therefore, a special focus should be placed on overcoming the difficulties youth face when entering the labour market and the issues they encounter when trying to remain there.


Sara Elder, an economist from the International Labour Organization (ILO), reports that “in 2009, the youth unemployment rate in the developed economies was 17.7%, the highest this region has ever seen” (ILO 2010a). Still, youth unemployment rates in the European Union rose to a staggering 21% in 2010 and the numbers reached 5.5 million by January 2010 (European Commission 2010). In April of the same year, the unemployment rate among youth under 25 years of age in the EU-27 was 21.1%. The number then gradually declined to 20.3% by April 2011 (European Commission 2011).

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