Skip to main content

YouthWiki

EACEA National Policies Platform: Youthwiki
Slovenia

Slovenia

10. Youth work

10.3 Support to youth work

On this page
  1. Policy legal framework
  2. Funding
  3. Cooperation

 

Policy/legal framework

 

There is no specific national youth strategy on youth work in Slovenia; the Public Interest in theYouth Sector Act provides youth work with a legal basis.

 

 

Main objectives and principles

 

The Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act states that the public interest in the area of the youth sector shall be implemented by providing regulatory and other conditions for developing the fields of youth work and inclusion of the youth aspect in strategies, policies and measures affecting youth (see Article 5). In accordance with the Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act, the National Programme for Youth as the fundamental programme document defines the priorities and measures that are in the public interest in the youth sector. The objectives and priorities of the National Programme for Youth 2013-2022 (Resolucija o Nacionalnem programu zamladino 2013–2022) are clustered into six domains. There is no separate domain/section on youth work, however, youth work is mentioned in the section 6: “Youth and society and the importance of the youth sector”. Several objectives of the National Programme for Youth 2013-2022 include reference to youth work:

  • 6.2.2 objective: “Promoting the establishment and development of organisations in the youth sector, developing key areas of the youth sector and ensuring the functioning of disorganized youth” (Criterion: Increase in the number of organisations in the youth sector applying to tender for co-financing youth work; Expected development impact: improving the functioning of the youth sector and increased participation of young people in the management of social affairs)

Priority subsection 8: “Creating capacities for quality youth work and establishing a national training and education system for youth workers and youth leaders”.

  • Measure operator: The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth
  • Participants: youth sector, the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, National Education Institute Slovenia, local communities
  • Financial plan: funding is/will be provided within the available budget of the Republic of Slovenia and the budget of local communities
  • Period and time limits: until 2022
  • Assessment indicators:
    • number of persons who acquire a qualification for a youth worker by education or part of programmes of higher education institutions, by gender;
    • established national training system for youth workers and youth leaders.

 

The National Youth Programme divides capacity building for quality youth work into four areas:

  1. Ensuring that the professional profile of the youth worker is formalized (Youth work helps young people to develop their skills and talents, especially in the field of extracurricular activities. It is necessary to regulate the field of youth work and formalize the profile of the youth worker, in particular, to develop models of formal and non-formal education for youth workers in Slovenia, as well as the elective subject “youth work” in secondary education)
  2. Promoting active citizenship,
  3. Development of local youth policies, and
  4. Promoting youth work (It is necessary to ensure the development of a communication strategy for the promotion of organisations in the field of youth work and their activities, and the reputation of youth work and youth activities, among both young people and the rest of the public, with an emphasis on employers).

 

 

  • 6.2.3 objective: “Promoting and strengthening the involvement in international youth work and learning mobility in youth work” (Criterion: Increase in the number of participants in youth mobility schemes in the youth sector; Expected development impact: enhanced mobility of young people within the youth sector)

Priority subsection 10: “Promoting mobility in the youth sector”.

  • Measure operator: The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth
  • Participants: Institute for the development of youth mobility (MOVIT), the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Financial plan: funding is/will be provided within the available budget of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Period and time limits: until 2022
  • Assessment indicators:
    • number of young people enrolled in non-formal education mobility programmes;
    • number of national schemes to promote international cooperation in the youth sector and to promote learning mobility in youth work with individual countries or individual target groups of young people;
    • number of national youth organisations (or more actors) who are members of European and international youth associations;
    • number and volume of guest appearances of umbrella organisations of Slovenian youth organisations in Slovenia;
    • number of municipalities that have measures to encourage youth participation with twinned (partner) municipalities in other countries;
    • number of programmes encouraging local units to become involved in international youth work and the implementation of learning mobility by national youth organisations;
    • number of international training activities in the field of youth work in Slovenia;
    • number of youth leaders and workers who participated in such trainings (either in Slovenia or abroad) in a given year.

 

 

  • 6.2.4 objective: “Strengthening the research and analysis segment in the youth field (Criterion: the existence of an organisation that considers youth research as a core activity; Expected development impact: ensuring long-term and stable youth research)

Priority subsection 11: “Establishment of a national youth research organisation”.

  • Measure operator: The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth
  • Financial plan: funding is/will be provided within the available budget of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Period and time limits: until 2022
  • Assessment indicators:
    • establishment of a unit for youth research (within existing research organisations);
    • number of analyses and surveys that analyse and substantively evaluate the impact of international youth work and learning mobility in youth work.

 

 

The focus of section 6 is therefore on promoting the establishment and development of organisations in the youth sector, on promoting and strengthening the involvement in international youth work and learning mobility in youth work, and on strengthening the research and analysis segment in the youth field (also youth work research).

A reference to youth work is also made in section 2: “Education” of the National Youth Programme 2013-2022:

  • 2.2.1 objective: “Improving the competence of young people” (Criterion: increase in youth employment rates; Expected development impact: ensuring young people to easier access the labour market)

Priority subsection 1: “Establish full recognition of non-formal forms of knowledge and experience and link formal and non-formal education”.

  • Measure operator: the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport
  • Participants: Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, youth sector, higher education institutions, social partners
  • Financial plan: funding is/will be provided within the available budget of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Period and time limits: until 2022
  • Assessment indicators:
    • putting the problem of non-recognition of non-formally acquired knowledge and skills on the political decision-making agenda;
    • introduction of the status of youth worker or youth leader in secondary schools and colleges (modelled on the status of athlete, status of cultural student);
    • taking into account the active participation in organisations in the youth sector as part of the compulsory elective content in schools

 

 

Youth work domains & general types of youth work activities

 

The new definition of youth work in Slovenia as established through the Act on Public Interest in Youth Sector provides a framework for all youth organisations and organisations working with young people. The Act (Article 4) defines the areas of youth sector. Main sectors of youth work are:

  • autonomy of youth – supporting young people in to independence
  • non-formal learning and training and increasing the competences of youth;
  • access of youth to the labour market and enterprise development of youth;
  • care for youth with fewer opportunities in society;
  • volunteering, solidarity and intergenerational participation of youth;
  • mobility of youth and international integration;
  • promotion of healthy lifestyle the prevention of various forms of youth dependencies;
  • access of youth to cultural activities and the promotion of creativity and innovation among youth; and,
  • participation of youth in managing public affairs in society.

 

 

Youth organisations and organisations working with young people are operating in all fields of youth work; with larger organisations focusing more on education, and smaller ones on leisure and cultural activities. At the local level, youth centres deliver a range of non-formal education activities including information and counselling services (see report on youth work in Slovenia). In the past years, youth work has mostly been done in the fields of participation and active citizenship. This is followed by the fields of non-formal education, social inclusion and employment. In recent years, youth work has also been increasingly recognized as a mean for supporting young people into employment. There has been an increase in prevention programmes and street-based youth work. Every second year the Office for Youth releases a public call for co-financing youth work programmes, which is the main funding resource of many organisations in the field of youth and thus shapes the themes addressed by the programmes of these organisations. In the 2016/2017 and in the 2018/2019 calls, the priority area of the call was a response to the refugee crisis, while in the latest call (2020/2021), the prioritized themes are hate speech, radicalization, integration, young people that are neither in employment nor in education or training and climate and environmental challenges.

 

 

Youth work providers

 

The main youth work providers in Slovenia are organisations and NGOs working with youth. Youth organisations and organisations for youth are defined in the Public Interest in Youth Sector Act (Article 3): “youth organisation” as an autonomous, democratic, volunteer and independent association of youth, which through its operation enables youth to gain a planned learning experience, to form and express their viewpoints and implement their activities in accordance with their orientation in terms of special interests, culture, points of view or politics, and is organised as an independent legal entity, specifically as a society or an association of societies or as an integral part of another legal entity, namely a society, an association of societies, a trade union or a political party, provided that autonomy of operation in the youth sector has been ensured by the basic act of that legal entity. “Organisation for youth” is defined as a legal entity that implements a youth programme, but is not a youth organisation, and is organised as an institute, an institution or a cooperative.

The Youth Council Act states, that the National Youth Council of Slovenia and the local community youth councils implement or participate in the implementation of youth work and other activities in the field of the youth sector (see Article 5). Youth centres are seen as the main drivers of youth work at the local level. A youth centre is an organised functional centre for youth provided by the local community or other legal person of public or private law or a natural person, in which programmes in the youth sector and youth work are implemented at a local level. Youth centres shall provide for appropriate spatial conditions and equipment for implementing youth work and for the appropriate qualifications of personnel to support youth work, and participate in implementing youth mobility, volunteer youth work, active citizenship, youth research work and integration at an international level (see the Public Interest in Youth Sector Act, Article 28).

 

 

Targets of youth work

 

The Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act (see Article 3) defines youth as “adolescents and young adults of both genders aged between 15 and an attained 29 years”. Since the adoption of the Act in 2010, this has formed the basis for defining the target group of youth work in Slovenia. No other group in the youth population is identified as primary target of youth work.

However, the Resolution of the National Programme for Youth 2013?2022 identifies the need to attend to youth with fewer opportunities in relation to scholarships, youth work and social inclusion. When defining its priorities, the Resolution (section 6 on social inclusion) particularly accentuates the position of youth with fewer opportunities facing social exclusion where individuals with disabilities and Roma youth are explicitly mentioned. “There are, of course, differences in target groups among different organisations. Firstly, it seems that non-formal youth organisations are membership based such as Scouts; while (state funded) youth centres are primarily focused on open access universal provision. Other youth organisations also work to support specific vulnerable groups such as early school leavers or young people from the Roma community”[1]

 

 

Funding

 

The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth has been co-funding youth work and youth work programmes since its beginnings. Since 2015, the Office for Youth publishes open funding calls for youth work programmes every second year (until then the call was published annually). Due to the financial crisis and cuts in the national budget, there was a decrease in 2012 of 10% in the annual budget (from 1.466.000,00 EUR to 1.280.000,00 EUR) for the Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth in terms of co-financing youth work (see report). The tax privileges for youth work were also partly cut in 2012. The amount of money available for youth work programmes from 2012-2015 was 1.28 million EUR per year. The same amount was allocated in 2016. After years of recession and even declining funds, the state managed to secure an increase of the Office for Youth’s budget in 2018 and 2019 by 500.000,00 EUR, which also increased the co-financing of youth work programmes in 2018 and 2019 by 20%. In 2020/2021, the state again secured 2,9 million EUR (1,45 million EUR annually) for youth work programmes.

The Implementation plan for the period 2020/2021 (Izvedbeni načrt Resolucije o Nacionalnemprogram za mladino 2013-2022 za leti 2020 in 2021) for the National Programme for Youth 2013–2022 consists of measures, financing and implementation of which is in the 2020 and 2021 budgets. The following objectives are funded according to the Implementation plan:

  • 6.2.2 objective: “Promoting the establishment and development of organisations in the youth sector, developing key areas of the youth sector and ensuring the functioning of disorganized youth”:
  1. Measure/instrument: Public call for co-financing youth work programmes in 2020 and 2021 Javni poziv za sofinanciranje programov mladinskega dela v letih 2020 in 2021);
  • Measure operator: The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth;
  • Brief description: Conditions and criteria: youth work programmes in at least one area (or more) of the youth sector referred to in Article 4 of the Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act will be co-financed;
  • Indicator(s): the amount of funding earmarked for organisations in the youth sector; the number of organisations in the youth sector applying to tender for co-financing youth work;
  • Amount of financial resources: 2020 – 179.687 EUR, 2021 – 179.687 EUR.

 

2. Measure/instrument: Call for proposals “Strengthening the skills of young people through active citizenship to increase employability” (“Krepitev kompetenc mladih skozi aktivno državljanstvo za večjo zaposljivost”).

  • Measure operator: The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth;
  • Brief description: Funding will be provided for trainings for young people that will be carried out by organisations in the youth sector in the framework of youth work. The aim is to involve young people in non-formal education and active citizenship processes, with a focus on improving their employability.
  • Indicator(s): the amount of funding from European sources for the development of the youth sector;
  • Amount of financial resources: 2020 – 1.133.135,83 EUR, 2021 – 875.603,40 EUR.

 

 

  • 6.2.3 objective: “Promoting and strengthening the involvement in international youth work and learning mobility in youth work"

1. Measure/instrument: Co-financing the operation of the National Agency for the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme;

  • Measure operator: The Office of the Republic of Slovenia for Youth
  • Brief description: Institute for the development of youth mobility (MOVIT) encourages international youth mobility, in particular through the various key actions of the Erasmus+: Youth in Action programme, and offers the opportunity to participate in international projects and trainings for youth leaders and youth workers;
  • Indicator(s): number of young people enrolled in non-formal education mobility programmes; number of international training activities in the field of youth work taking place in Slovenia; number of youth leaders who have participated in such trainings (either in Slovenia or abroad) in a given year;
  • Amount of financial resources:  2020 – 456.500 EUR, 2021 – 456.500 EUR.

 

 

Two measures help to promote and support youth work and learning mobility via the Erasmus+: Youth in Action programme. Both measures are implemented by MOVIT, the National Agency for the Erasmus+: Youth in Action Programme. The timeframe for the measures is 2020. The first measure is aimed at supporting Key Action 1, Learning Mobility among

individuals, which aims to provide opportunities for individuals to improve their skills, enhance their employability and gain a sense of cultural awareness.

  1. Erasmus+: Key action 1 (Mobility projects for young people and youth workers)

Indicative amount of financial contribution provided, total: 2020: 1.809.157 EUR.

 

The second measure is aimed at supporting Key Action 2, Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices. This action seeks to enable organisations to work together in order to improve their provisions for learners and share innovative practices.

  1. Erasmus+: Key action 2 (Strategic Partnerships projects on the youth field)

Indicative amount of financial contribution provided, total: 2020: 694.276 EUR.

 

 

Status of an organisation in the public interest in the youth sector is a precondition for a youth organisation to candidate for funding. In order to obtain the status, the organisations must meet the following conditions (see Article 11 of the Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act):

  • regular implementation of youth programmes or programmes for youth (hereinafter: programmes in the youth sector) in the fields referred to in Article 4 of the Public Interest in the Youth Sector Act,
  • important achievements in the development and integration of youth work, and
  • appropriate material and personnel capacities for their operation.

 

Erasmus + and European Solidarity Corps support two target groups of young people: young people with fewer opportunities and young people with disabilities.

 

Measures of the National Programme for Youth cover the following fields: education, employment and entrepreneurship, housing, health and wellbeing, the social position of youth, the development of the youth sector, culture and creativity, heritage, media. Each ministry is responsible for its budget allocation for measures on national youth policy. Thus, organisations in the youth sector can receive funds based on the sectoral policy of each ministry. The ministries support different measures according to their field of work (e.g., health policy, employment policy). For example, the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs implements and co-finances different programmes for the support of (social) youth work.

There is no analysis available of the proportion of public funding (of GDP) in Slovenia that is dedicated to youth work, either at the national or local level. At the local level, there is direct financing through calls for local youth organisations, although this is not the case in every municipality. There are also no systematic data available on local budgetary allocation for youth work.

 

There are also other funding possibilities, for example the European Social Fund. There were five public calls using European funds for youth sector only published in the period between 2009 and 2018.

 

  1. European Social Fund (5 million EUR in 2018): The aim of the call was to support employment of young youth workers in the youth sector;
  2. European Social Fund (5 million EUR in a period 2016-2018): The aim of the call was to support innovative ways of youth work and within it employability and employment of young people;
  3. European Social Fund (0.8 million EUR in 2014): The aim of the call was to co-finance projects of non-governmental organisations in the youth sector to develop social and civic competences of young people;
  4. European Social Fund (4 million EUR in a period 2010-2012): Four million euros were allocated through a special tender for establishing eight content networks bringing together youth organisations and external partners;
  5. European Regional Development Fund (13 million EUR in the period between 2009-2011): There were ten new youth centres established in Slovenia by the end of 2011 with ERDF support.

 

 

Cooperation

 

There is no special framework of cooperation between all youth work stakeholders in Slovenia.

 

The Youth Council of Slovenia is partly funded by the Office for Youth to connect stakeholders in the youth sector, primarily national youth organisations. The Office for Youth is organizing the “National conference of the youth sector” in cooperation with the Youth Council of Slovenia. The conference is designed to bring together the main actors in the youth sector once a year and to address the key topics, which the youth sector identifies. Therefore, the conference aims at youth workers and youth leaders, representatives of youth organisations and organisations for youth and anyone else who, in one way or another, co-creates and co-formulates youth fields, policies and programmes. Last year, for example, organisations could present projects, tools, standards and activities on the topic of quality youth work, as well as examples of good practices, to share with other organisations within the youth sector (see Nacionalni posvetmladinskega sektorja).

Within the framework of compulsory elective content in schools (obvezne izbirne vsebine) some youth centres cooperate with secondary schools, usually in the form of giving lectures on topics of citizenship education, hate speech, promoting youth centre and youth work etc.

 

In 2016, the Ministry of Economic Development and Technology allocated funds and announced the Invitation to tender for the selection of operations to launch social enterprises and youth cooperatives in 2016-2018 (Javni razpis za izbor operacij za zagon socialnih podjetij inmladinskih zadrug v letih 2016–2018). The purpose of the invitation was to encourage the start- up of new social enterprises, to encourage the launching of entrepreneurial ventures in existing social enterprises and to encourage the launching of new youth cooperatives with the status of social enterprises. The indicative maximum amount of funding was almost 2 million EUR (1.907.824,86 EUR), of which 1.362.765,41 EUR for the start-up phase of social enterprises and 545.076,55 EUR for the start-up phase of youth cooperatives.

 

 

 

[1] Skrinar, U., 2014. Working with young people: The value of youth work. Country report: Slovenia. Brussels: Directorate-General for Education and Culture (last accessed 13/09/2019).