Youthpass Newsletter - March 2016

Dear readers,

Non-formal education has a sustainable impact on individuals and their community. In this newsletter, we provide some information and evidence of this impact. Self-confidence, empowerment, employability and inclusion are only some of the outcomes that experts have determined as highly beneficial for those who participate in youth work activities as well as for society as a whole. Below, we introduce the following recent literature and research about the long-term effects of quality youth work and non-formal learning:

  1. Youth work and non-formal learning in Europe's education landscape – A quarter of a century of EU cooperation for youth policy and practice (European Commission)
  2. The impact of international youth work on career paths (Study by German researchers)
  3. Youth work changes lives (Scottish Hall Aitken Report)
  4. Inclusion in Erasmus+ Youth in Action (University of Innsbruck, commissioned by SALTO Inclusion RC)

Further, in the Youthpass Bulletin Board below we give you the main current news related to the experimentation project Level UP!

25 Years of EU Youth Policy and Practice

The European Commission has released an elaborate publication to mark the 25th birthday of the EU youth programme. Experienced researchers and practitioners put across some ideas that stand behind past and future EU actions in favour of youth. Among the various themes discussed in the publication’s 13 chapters, the significance of the SALTO RCs, non-formal learning and Youthpass also gets highlighted.

Darko Markovic points to the impact of the EU youth programmes and the shifting role of the SALTO-YOUTH Resource Centres over the past ten years, which were originally planned to solely offer training activities. Managing processes like the implementation of Youthpass, SALTO centres now often take the lead in relevant developments in the field of youth. Overall, Markovic considers SALTO-YOUTH a crucial network where expertise is accumulated and which visibly impacts European youth work and non-formal education.

Juan Ratto-Nielsen explores the linkage between non-formal and entrepreneurial learning. He argues that the experiential and learning-by-doing principles applied in youth work help triggering the transformative shift in attitudes that is needed for an entrepreneurial mindset. Entrepreneurial learning is already an implicit part of non-formal learning, but the impact could be widened with the help of relevant practices and tools. Here, Ratto-Nielsen specifically names Youthpass as a transformative tool. He states that the simple question “What have you learned?” can create a so-called critical experience, which in turn leads to a shift in beliefs.

Non-formal learning is also addressed by Monika Novosadova, who describes it as an empowering experience. As a result of involvement in youth projects, young people become more self-confident and develop a sense of responsibility for themselves as well as their surroundings. Novosadova states that this can have a positive effect upon employment, as well as self-employment in particular. Giving youngsters the chance to run their own projects equips them with the skills necessary to face challenges tied to running an NGO or a business.

  • European Commission marks 25 years of EU Youth Policy and Practice in an elaborate publication.

  • 13 chapters on several issue-related topics, including youth work, unemployment, non-formal learning, democratic citizenship and many more.

  • Read the entire publication here.

International Youth Work Benefits Employability

A group of German researchers has examined the effects of international youth activities on the participants’ subsequent career paths. Their study confirms the continuing importance of fostering international collaboration in the field of youth: International youth activities increased the participants’ social and virtual mobility. As they already gained experiences abroad, they were inclined to extend these experiences later in their lives. Moreover, those who were enrolled in vocational training at the time of the activity became more secure speaking with customers and expanded their subsequent job applications to companies in other countries. In return, having spent time abroad made the participants more appealing to potential employers. An impressive proportion stated that their experiences had boosted their self-confidence, which empowered them and was beneficial for their professional career.

  • Study verifies impact of international youth work on employability.

  • Main findings: Activities increase participants’ international mobility, make them more self-confident and more appealing for potential employers at home as well as abroad.

  • Get more information here (in German).

The Effects of Youth Work on Scottish Lives and Communities

Scottish researches have analysed the value of youth work in Scotland. The recently published Hall Aitken report shows that at least £7 are delivered back to society for every £1 of public funds. The report suggests that youth work makes a difference in the lives of one out of ten adults. Survey respondents stated that the activities they participated in as teenagers were an important encouragement for them to achieve their life goals. Typical answers referred to the ability to develop social as well as practical skills, gain self-confidence and the courage to try new things. Based on these findings, the report concludes that the key outcomes of youth work are confidence and motivation, which suggests an economic gain of at least £2,200 million.

  • Scottish report translates value of youth work outcomes into economic gains.

  • Main findings: £7 are returned for every £1 spent on youth work; calculates an overall value of at least £2,200 million.

  • Get more information here.

Erasmus+ Youth in Action: Impact on Inclusion

The SALTO Inclusion Resource Centre asked the University of Innsbruck to analyse how Youth in Action impacts inclusion across Europe, based on data from the reports of the European research network RAY. The researchers discovered that youngsters with fewer opportunities particularly benefit from mobility projects. What is more, projects that focus on inclusion are overall quite effective in terms of their social impact. As participants are encouraged to question situations of disadvantage, they can develop a sense of fairness and injustice, which in return impacts their behaviour in everyday life.

  • University of Innsbruck analysed RAY data to examine the connection between Youth in Action and inclusion.

  • Main findings: Young people with fewer opportunities in particular profit from Youth in Action projects. Projects focusing on inclusion have desirable social effects, as they encourage to think about a fair society.

  • Get more information here.

Youthpass Bulletin Board

We are happy to announce that the experimentation project Level Up! has reached another milestone last week. Level Up! is a project carried out in Estonia and Latvia, about experimenting with the principles of Youthpass on the national level. The dissemination conference Level Up! took place on March 10-11 in Latvia. The outcomes of the initial piloting were shared and discussed with delegations from other countries who consider similar experimentation.

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