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Strategy of the Slovak Republic for Youth for the years 2014 – 2020 (2014) (thereinafter referred to as Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020) /Stratégia Slovenskej republiky pre mládež na roky 2014 – 2020/ was introduced in April 2014 as government's decree and came into force in June 2014.
Youth Strategy 2014 – 2020 aims to contribute to improving the quality of life of young people, particularly through the personal development of young citizens of the Slovak Republic as cultured personalities who are prepared to work in a constantly changing democratic environment and utilize their creative potential in practice and active participation in society.
Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 values and approaches:
- Cross-sectorial approach. Youth policy as the outcome of cooperation among institutions, whose remit involves measures affecting youth.
- Participation. Youth policy prepared in cooperation with various key players and consulted with young people.
- Inclusiveness. Youth Strategy is based on human rights’ respect and protection in a multicultural society and on prevention of all forms of discrimination.
- Solidarity between generations. The need for solidarity and dialogue between generations for the sake of sustainable development and in order to meet the needs of various groups of population.
- Considering the real needs: Young people engaged in creation of measures. The Strategy is built on reflection of young people’s and experts’ actual needs and opinions in individual areas.
Pillars of the Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020:
a) Investing in youth (creating opportunities for young people in various fields)
b) Youth empowerment (support of young people to become holistic, independent adults etc.)
Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 defines strategic objectives in following nine thematic areas:
- creativity and entrepreneurship,
- health and healthy lifestyles,
- social inclusion,
- youth and the world (global issues),
- youth work.
Objectives of individual thematic fields:
- Support an inclusive model of education (formal and non-formal education) by means of following tools: legislative changes, validation of the outcomes of pedagogic and andragogic competences for qualifications in children and youth’s education, financing of providers (accredited by law) and encouraging a complex inclusive environment within the life-long learning.
- Introduce systematic career guidance and thus increase young people’s orientation at the labour market
- Emprovement of public employment services.
- Focus on vocational education as one of the main preconditions for young people’s successful entry to the labour market.
- Support of employers in new jobs’ creation with a view to increase number of jobs for young people.
Creativity and entrepreneurship
- More information on programmes-and-projects’ possibilities focused on development of young people’s entrepreneurship and identification of high-quality, functioning and sustainable programmes and projects.
- Support entrepreneurial education
- Encourage entrepreneurial culture by altered perception of businessmen and businesswomen on the base of spreading practical and positive information on their achievements, their benefit for the society and on possibilities of new enterprises’ establishment.
- Support existing and create new mentoring programmes for young people with innovative entrepreneurial ideas.
- Encourage innovative forms of young people’s participation in society, at the national, regional and community level.
- Encourage a respectful and partnership approach to young people in the school environment at all stages of the educational system.
- Create qualitative standards of youth participation at national, regional and local level.
- Ensure young people’s participation by means of information and counselling in the matters that concern them
- Encourage e-Democracy and ensure delivering information to young people in a comprehensible language in order to engage a greater number of organised and unorganised young people in participation.
Youth and the world
- Global issues (Global Education) - to create opportunities for youth and develop their motivation to engagement in global challenges’ solution at local and national level by means of youth activities.
- Encourage and recognise contribution of youth’s and youth workers’ mobility and develop international cooperation with an aim to support transition of know-how from other countries, increase the quality of youth work and increase awareness of interconnections between local actions and their global impacts.
Health and healthy life-style
- Enhance young people’s health by strengthening health promotion and health protection, which includes mainly awareness of prevention of diseases, injuries, violence and delinquency, as well as healthy life style education.
- Create conditions for an effective cooperation among all sectors (horizontally and vertically) and by means of a society-wide approach support, protect and enhance young people’s health.
- Continuously study and evaluate trends, factors, forms and consequences of young people’s social exclusion and complexly map needs of young people affected or threatened by social exclusion.
- Define the content and extent of the measures, tools and services aimed at elimination and prevention of young people’s social exclusion.
- Improve the quality of existing measures and mutually interconnect existing measures, tools and services and create, test and introduce new services focused on elimination and prevention of young people’s social exclusion.
- Engage in volunteering as many young people from various groups as possible by means of creating varied voluntary opportunities reflecting young people’s current needs and trends within volunteering and ensure young people’s sustainability in volunteering.
- Support in a long-term period (also financially) activities leading to recognition of youth work’s value and its benefits and thus communicate youth work’s benefits towards various target groups.
- Encourage youth work´s interconnection to the current needs and challenges faced by young people in the Slovak Republic.
- Support cooperation of various institutions and entities active in the field of youth work, emphasising the involvement of local and regional governments, in order to ensure a wider impact of youth work in society.
Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 is dedicated to all young people, putting equal importance to each and every need of individual young people or specific groups. Thematic priority Social inclusion underlines inclusiveness as one of the value of Youth Strategy 2014 – 2020.
MESRS bears the responsibility for preparation, coordination of implementation, monitoring and evaluation of youth policy.
Other tasks of MESRS concerning Youth Strategy 2014 – 2020:
guarantees implementation of Youth Strategy 2014 – 2020 in the following areas: education, participation and youth work;
- creates conditions for systematic development of youth work (outside the formal education process);
manages and directs activities of the Interministerial Working Group for State Policy in the Field of Youth (further IWGY);
- supports research activities that are related to preparation of the Youth Report.
Evaluation of Youth Strategy
Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 is reported to the Minister of Education, Science, Research and Sport on a yearly bases. Reports (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018) summarise activities of individual youth policy actors, especially such elaborated and implemented in cooperation of various sectors.
Mid-evaluation of Youth Strategy 2014 - 2020 was commenced in 2017. Evaluation results were submitted to the negotiation of Government of Slovak Republic in the form of Youth Report 2018 (Správa o mládeži 2018).
Some Youth Strategy thematic fields, such as Education, Employment and Social Inclusion, have been reflected in the National Reform Programmes of the Slovak Republic in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.
The general evaluation of Youth Strategy will take place in 2021.
In 2019 the process of preparation of new national Youth Strategy started and continued during 2020. Working group consisted of umbrella organisations active in youth work and youth policy such as National Youth Council, regional Youth Councils, Association of Leisure-Time Activities Centres etc. The preparation was coordinated by the MESRS.
In March 2021, IUVENTA was commisioned by MESRS with the realization of eight regional consultations with youth organizations, youth workers and stakeholders in order to collect final comments on the draft of the new Strategy.