1.9 Current debates and reforms
Preparation of the third Strategic Plan on Youth
On 1 January, 2023, the implementation phase of the third Strategic Plan on Youth (Jugendstrategieplan) will begin. The Strategic Plan on Youth is a policy document which has its legal basis in the Decree of 6 December 2011 on the Promotion of Youth Work (Dekret vom 06. Dezember 2011 zur Förderung der Jugendarbeit).
The focal points of the third Strategic Plan on Youth will be civic participation, digitalisation, emotions and self-image and the sustainable development of East-Belgium as living space. To determine these focal points, as a first step, the situation of young people in the German-speaking Community had been analysed. On the basis of this analysis, the focal points have been set. The next step is the elaboration of an action plan with defined objectives, measures and projects. To this end, young people are invited to share their ideas, suggestions and needs. They could do so online and on a so-called live "Wirkshop" which took place in march 2022 in Eupen.
The whole process is being supported by a steering group made up of representatives of the Government of the German-speaking Community (Regierung der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft), of the Ministry of the German-speaking Community (Ministerium der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft), of the Youth Office (Jugendbüro), of the Council of the German-speaking Youth (Rat der Deutschsprachigen Jugend, RDJ) and of Youth Info (Jugendinfo). The steering group is responsible for drafting the action plan, which will then be assessed by the Council of the German-speaking Youth before being passed by Government and Parliament of the German-speaking Community (Parlament der Deutschsprachigen Gemeinschaft, PDG), presumably in autumn 2022. As of 1 January 2023, the new Strategic Plan on Youth will enter into force.
For further information on the Strategic Plan on Youth, please also consult 1.3 - National youth strategy.
Youth Worker Certification
In the German-speaking community, youth workers require a bachelor's degree in the socio-educational field. Most of them have studied as an A1 educator or social worker. However, their training remains very broad. There is no specific training to meet the needs of young people and the youth sector. The government of the German-speaking Community would therefore like to create a specific training or training modules for youth workers.
Consequently, an Erasmus+ funded project was initiated, the purpose of which was to develop a job training for youth workers in the German-speaking Community. Starting point of the project was a noticeable shortage of qualified youth workers in the German-speaking Community, which the Government wants to tackle within its Regional Development Concept “Living East Belgium - 2025". The development of a professional training has to meet certain criteria in order to ensure that the certificate issued to the participants upon successful completion of the training meets the standards of the National Qualifications Framework. This will ensure the recognition of the certificate outside the youth sector of the German-speaking Community (target qualification level was initially level five, but was adjusted to level six during the course of the project), particularly on European level.
The result of the project was a module manual, oriented towards jointly elaborated learning outcomes. A specific competence profile of youth workers in the German-speaking Community was drawn up as a starting point, oriented according to the Austrian competence framework. As such, the project was closely supervised by experts with international experience in drawing up competence profiles of youth workers as well as in validation, recognition and organization of youth worker trainings.
Furthermore, the aufZAQ Office formulated learning outcomes in-line with the Austrian competence framework of child-care and youth work, which could be either used as such or adjusted if required for youth worker trainings in the German-speaking Community. The Erasmus+ project ended in 2018 and was followed up by an ESF project „Shortage of qualified workers: new and more practical Bachelor for youth work and social work“ (Fachkräftemangel: neuer praxisnaher Bachelor für die Jugend- und Sozialarbeit) with a duration from 2018-2020, being organised by the Ministry of the German-speaking Community.