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EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Belgium-German-Speaking-Community

Belgium-German-Speaking-Community

1. Youth Policy Governance

1.9 Current debates and reforms

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.

Youth Worker Certification

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 (DG). Starting point of the project was a noticeable shortage of qualified youth workers in the DG, 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 DG (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 DG 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 DG. 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.