10.5 Youth workers
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The profession youth worker is still not recognized in the Macedonian national classification of occupations, but, with the introduction of the occupation - youth worker, this is introduced as an occupation. It is expected to enter the national qualifications framework once youth work becomes part of the higher education program.
According to the Union for Youth Workers there are 3 profiles of youth workers in North Macedonia: worker for youth, graduate youth worker and expert on youth work. Worker for youth is a person who has a basic level of knowledge of youth work. Graduate youth worker is a person with good knowledge in youth work and huge experience in practicing youth work, while expert on youth work is a youth worker with the highest knowledge and skills of youth work and long-term experience in practicing it.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy in 2018 adopted the Occupational standard document - Workers with Youth (Стандард на занимање Работник со млади). According to this document, the Workers with Youth plans, organizes, implements, monitors and evaluates activities, prepares instruments and research; design programs and projects for youth according to their needs; takes care of the quality of youth work and contributes to the development of effective, efficient and ethical practice; teaches; mentoring young people to support their personal and social development and their active participation in the community; informs young people; lobbies and advocates for changes that facilitate and facilitate the personal and social development of young people and enable their active participation in the community; organizes youth exchanges, festivals, campaigns, events, youth education camps within the youth organization, youth cultural centers, youth clubs, NGOs, etc.
Youth workers are mentioned in the new Law on Youth Participation and Youth Policies (Закон за младинско учество и младински политики). According to this law (Article 22), in cooperation between the municipalities and the youth forms of organization, youth centers are established in which youth workers are responsible for working with young people.
As mentioned in the previous chapter, the first certified training for youth workers was realized and in June 2021, the Union for Youth Work and the Agency for Youth and Sports awarded certificates to 14 youth workers for a completed adult education program in accordance with the occupational standard Youth Worker. The certified training series continues annually, and up until December 2022, 24 youth worker have been officially certified.
The possibilities for youth workers to take part in exchange opportunities, cooperation and networking at local, regional, national and international level are covered mainly by Erasmus + programs and National Agency for European Educational Programs and Mobility. See more in Chapter 6.5.