10.6 Recognition and validation of skills acquired through youth work
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There is currently no nationwide accreditation towards a qualification within the system of formal education of non-formally acquired competencies that young people can develop in child and youth organisations and transfer to other areas of their life (e.g. pursuing a profession).
In order to achieve a greater level of awareness of the value of skills obtained in an informal or non-formal environment as a key addition to formal education, the Federal Chancellery is working with specialists in a targeted manner to develop measures taking into account the National Qualification Framework (NQR).
- WIK:I (what I can do through informal learning) is a low-threshold model on making basic and key skills which were informally obtained by young people and young adults visible and recognised.
- In Austria and South Tyrol, “aufZAQ” certifies non-formal education and training courses for people active in youth work.
As part of the description of the Principles and Goals of Children and Youth Work the Federal Chancellery states: “By discovering their own abilities as well as their limits, young people can develop their own perspectives on life. By building relationships – whether with other children/youth or to the children and youth workers – they develop their ability to communicate and strengthen their social skills. Being able to experience a variety of views and interests, different cultural orientations and religious beliefs creates a foundation for dealing with such differences in a reflective manner. This strengthens the basis for solidarity.
When children and youth are actively involved in children and youth work institutions, work on projects and take part in local decision-making processes, they can experience their own potency; they get a sense of themselves as being effectual in the public sector. Seeing that their opinion counts and that anyone can contribute towards the success of a project is a fundamental of political participation and thus for shaping society.
Reflective learning becomes possible when children and youth discuss and reflect on their current experience and then transfer these experiences to their own living environment. In this way, children and youth work facilitates learning experiences that are anchored in reality and that – as opposed to formal learning settings – are neither evaluated nor graded.”