10.6 Recognition and validation of skills acquired through youth work
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Participants in youth activities supported by Erasmus+: Youth in Action and European Solidarity Corps programmes can gain recognition of their acquired skills and competences via a Youthpass certificate. Youthpass is an online self-assessment tool, where participants list the skills and competences they acquired throughout the learning period.
A Youthpass certificate is a confirmation of participation, by the organisers of a specific Erasmus+: Youth in Action or European Solidarity Corps activity. It does not give any rights to the recipient and it is not a formal accreditation of competences. Accrediting a Youthpass certificate, towards a qualification, would be unusual in Ireland. It is the individual educational institutes’ choice to accredit a Youthpass certificate and if so, how to do so.
The key competences address by Youthpass are:
- Multilingual competence
- Personal, social and learning to learn competence
- Citizenship competence
- Entrepreneurship competence
- Cultural awareness and expression competence
- Digital competence
- Mathematical competence and competence in science, technology and engineering
- Literacy competence.
Skills Summary is a free, online tool that measures the skills young people gain through participating in youth work or other forms of non-formal education, such as volunteering. Skills Summary supports the dialog between a young person and a youth worker or mentor. It can be used as a self-assessment and self-reflection tool for young people and as a measurement tool for organisations. While it is available to anyone working on, or interested in, their personal/professional skill development, it is particularly tailored to young people aged 16-25. The tool aims to build young people’s confidence, so that they can better communicate the value of these essential skills to future employers.
Skills Summary was created by the National Youth Council of Ireland, Accenture and SpunOut.ie. It is funded by the Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and recognised as a measurement tool in the Youth Employability Initiative.
There are 12 core competencies measured by Skills Summary:
- Communication Skills
- Interpersonal Skills
- Decision Making
- Problem Solving
- Organisation Skills
- Drive and Resilience
- Ethics and Integrity
- IT Skills.
Ireland’s National Policy Framework for Children and Young People 2014-2020 recognised quality youth work’s value “both as a protective factor contributing to the young person’s overall development and in reaching out to young people at risk of crime or anti-social behaviour” (pg. 30).
Ireland’s National Youth Strategy 2015-2020 recognised that ‘Involvement in youth work can enhance young people’s connection with and contribution to their community, and enable them to be confident individuals, effective contributors, successful learners, and responsible and active members of society’ (pg 14).