The Youth unemployment crisis has had a profound effect on young people and the societies in which they live and it also constitutes one of the most significant challenges that Europe is facing. The EU Youth Strategy stresses that “the quality and outcome of non-formal Education should be further recognised, also in order to ease access to employment for those young people heavily involved in youth organisations”. For the past years, youth and civil society organisations have tried to develop internal self-assessment tools for their volunteers; CEDEFOP is updating the European inventory on validation of Non Formal and Informal Learning and the European Commission has proposed the Youth Pass, as a tool for self-recognition.
In that context, the GR-EAT project aims at increasing the internal and external recognition of the NFIL provided by youth-led organisations, to ensure that the competences developed by long term volunteers are being identified, assessed and recognised by the learner himself, his organisation as well as external stakeholders such as employers.
- Creating common guidelines for recognition of NFIL acquired in a volunteering context, supporting youth organisations in providing internal validation systems which can be recognised externally.
- Helping long-term volunteers to raise the self-awareness on their acquired competencies, their value in an employment context, and acquainting them with the identification and documentation procedures. This will be useful to go through National Validation Systems.
- Raising awareness of employers on the benefits and impacts of long-term volunteering for the development of transversal abilities.
Project actions and outcomes
The GR-EAT project is proposing a comprehensive and inclusive tool to implement recognition systems that can be recognised externally, hence giving an opportunity to all citizens to learn outside school and to use it for their career and contributing to the overall advocacy process towards the recognition of NFIL led by youth organisations: quality indicators that can be adapted to different realities and backgrounds. The goal is also to look at what external stakeholders, such as employers, or universities (Formal Education) expect in terms of assessment methodology and recognition of competences from non-formal and informal settings.
To summarise, the project’s overall aim is to provide solutions to organisations willing to create their own tool for the recognition of competences acquired through NFIL that will benefit their long-term youth volunteers, especially in entering the labour market. It is implemented through the following elements:
- Study report on expectations from external stakeholders (formal education institutions and employers) regarding competences and recognition processes of NFIL, especially employers’ understanding, views and needs regarding this recognition.
- Assessment methods for non-formal and informal learning.
- Common guidelines for recognition of NFIL within youth organisations.
- Online platform enabling stakeholders to find all the developed tools and more!
- Training 15 youth activists to act as coaches supporting organisations and individuals willing to implement an internal recognition system in their organisation or willing to go through the process.
- Awareness-raising campaign towards European youth-led organisations and companies.