10.4 Quality and innovation in youth work
On this page
On this page
The quality of youth work refers to the achievement of the goals of youth work, as well as incorporating its values and characteristics into the planning and implementation of youth work programs.
The criteria for the quality of youth work in North Macedonia are defined on the basis of recommendations received through consultative meetings organized by the Union for Youth Work, taking into account existing quality standards from other European countries.
Union for Youth Work in 2019 published “Youth work quality standards” (Стандарди за квалитет на младинската работа). According to this publication, the quality of youth work in North Macedonia will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
- The goals of youth work correspond to the rights and needs of young people
- Youth work is based on active and voluntary participation of young people
- Youth work offers opportunities for learning and personal and social development of young people
- Youth work promotes equality and inclusion of all young people
- Youth work is carried out in appropriate spaces by professionals
- Youth work is based on processes of continuous monitoring, evaluation and quality improvement.
The level of fulfillment of the criteria for quality youth work is assessed using a set of indicators that can compare reality with the vision of youth work and identify specific areas for improvement.
The Portfolio of Youth Workers (Портфолио на младински работници) is a document prepared through a broad consultation process with all stakeholders in the field of youth work, and issued in 2019 jointly by the Union for Youth Work, the Agency for Youth and Sports and the National Youth Council of Macedonia. In this document, the three profiles of a youth worker in Macedonia are defined:
1) Youth worker
2) Graduated youth worker
3) Youth work expert
Currently, only the first profile formally exists in Macedonia, with the adopted standard of occupation for Youth Worker from 2018.
Based on this standard, the first adult education program for the occupation of Youth Worker was accredited by UYW in 2020. By December 2022, a total of 24 people have successfully completed the program and received Youth Worker certificates. Thus, for the first time in our country, certified professionals were recognized according to one of the profiles of the youth worker, in accordance with the National Portfolio of Youth Workers. This is the first formal educational program in our country for youth workers, which the Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies ( Закон за младинско учество и младински полиитки) defines as “qualified persons who have competencies to work with young people by implementing activities that support their personal and social development through informal and informal learning.
From the new academic year 2023/2024, for the first time in North Macedonia, master's studies for youth work are being opened. With the program that will be implemented at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University "St. Cyril and Methodius" (UKIM), students will be able to acquire the title of Master in Youth Work.
Research and evidence supporting Youth Work
There is hardly any information available on possible support for better understanding of youth work, provided by national authorities. In 2013 the Agency of Youth and Sport supported the first Youth Work Fair organized by the Center for Intercultural Dialogue. The Agency also supported the fair organized in 2014 by the same CSO. This fair included 70 youth organizations from North Macedonia and Europe, who presented their work to the audience. The fair included presentations of the latest trends in youth work and contemporary ways of functioning of youth organizations throughout Europe. The fair was attended by representatives of the Agency of Youth and Sport, National Agency of European Educational Programs and Mobility, the Council of Europe's Youth Department, the European Commission, the EU-Council of Europe Youth Partnership, the European Youth Forum, SALTO Resource Centers, as well as 70 youth organizations from North Macedonia and Europe.
There is no other available information on this topic, and also there is no specific top-level budget or funds for supporting research on youth work.
Participative youth work
Information can be found in section 5.4.
Although part of the modules of the aforementioned Youth Worker education program were held online, there is no concrete information on the application of digital technologies in youth work.