10.5 Youth workers
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Currently, there are no top-level policies, measures or guidelines regulating the status of youth workers in the country.
There is, however, an ongoing process for the development of the occupational standards of the youth worker, in the framework of the project “Establishment of mechanisms for the validation for non-formal and informal learning-pilot implementation” which is run by the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth.
Currently, there are not any paths in formal education leading to a qualification as youth worker in Cyprus.
The training opportunities for continuous professional development of youth workers (volunteers and/or professionals), either directly organised or funded by public authorities, are those offered by the Youth Board of Cyprus which acts as the National Agency of Erasmus+ Youth and European Solidarity Corps Programmes. –Specifically, youth workers have the opportunity to continue their professional development and expand their competences by participating in Erasmus+ mobility of youth workers or Cooperation Activities organized by the National Agency in the country.
With regard to skills recognition, as mentioned above, the project “Establishment of mechanisms for the validation of non-formal and informal learning and pilot implementation” is under development. The Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth has assigned, under the process of open government tender, the project "Establishment of Validation Mechanisms for non-formal and informal Learning - Pilot Implementation" (Θέσπιση Μηχανισμών Επικύρωσης Mη-Tυπικής και Άτυπης Μάθησης – Πιλοτική Εφαρμογή) to two private organisations in Cyprus. Within the framework of the project, public consultations were conducted in 2022 with the participation of governmental and private organisations and bodies, educational and research institutions that provide non-formal or informal learning and/or specialising in youth, education and adult education. The project includes the development of the occupational standards of youth worker and the procedure for the validation of skills, knowledge and competences gained by youth workers.
The Youth Initiatives Programme of the Youth Board of Cyprus offers the possibility for youth workers to take part in exchange opportunities on international level. According to the programme, youth workers can get funding to participate in a training activity, seminar or conference abroad, in Europe as well as beyond. The funding covers the travelling and accommodation expenses. The main objective is the professional development of youth workers.
Moreover, mobility opportunities for youth workers are offered in the framework of the Erasmus+ Youth Programme, which is administered by the Youth Board of Cyprus.