6.9 Awareness-raising about non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work
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Youth work is the main agent of youth policy in the German-speaking Community. All funded youth organisations promote the value of non-formal and informal learning through youth center activities, organised youth work, outreach youth work and youth information.
In that sense, awareness-raising about non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work is done by the main actors in the youth field through their daily activities : youth organisations, Youth Information (Jugendinfo), the Youth Office (Jugendbüro) and the Council of the German-speaking Youth (Rat der Deutschsprachigen Jugend, RDJ) are responsible for disseminating information amongst young people.
The aim of the part-project "Expansion of the Initiatives in the Area of Lifelong Learning" of the first implementation phase (legislative period 2009-2014) of the Regional Development Concept (Regionales Entwicklungskonzept, REK), that was supported by the European Social Fund (ESF) was the awareness raising of adults in the German-speaking Community to lifelong learning. Over and above that, access to education information has been improved, above all by professional development guidance. Here people interested in professional development receive comprehensive information, guidance and advice on their professional development plans. The guidance provision also includes skills analyses. Parallel to this, information platforms such as the Professional Development portal (Weiterbildungsdatenbank) with the Professional Development database on the internet and the Professional Development Manual have been (further) developed. For awareness raising, among other things the "Sommernacht der Sprachen" (summer night of languages) was started.
Against the background of demographic change, extended working life and with a view to the emerging shortage of specialised labour, it is the job of the European Union to promote lifelong learning even more strongly by emphasising throughout Europe the "non-formally" and "informally" acquired skills of the citizens more strongly by the introduction of "validation systems".
The main target audience for validation are people who have no to low qualifications but already possess many skills and capabilities from experience; people who would like to change professions and new arrivals whose foreign diploma has not been recognised in Belgium.
In the project development, care is taken that people with a disability also gain access to the system. All citizens of the German-speaking Community are to have paths and prospects flagged up to them that enable them to have their non-formally and informally acquired skills to be recognised.
In addition, care is taken in the project development that, irrespective of the validation system to be created, the classical school system retains its high importance.
Learning results that have been acquired in non-formal and informal learning contexts can be used by means of validation. For this the government of the German-speaking Community will set up a central validation point within five years of the law coming into force. Then the functioning and procedure of the validation is still to be laid down.