10.6 Recognition and validation of skills acquired through youth work
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General system on skills recognition is described in Youth Wiki chapter 6, section 6.4 Arrangements for the validation of non-formal and informal learning. The same framework applying to non-formal and informal learning also applies to youth work. There is no specific analysis done on the competences that individuals can obtain on trainings, but there are examples of good practice for recording knowledge and skills gained through youth work, such as:
- System of recording non-formally acquired knowledge (Sistem za beleženje neformalnopridobljenega znanja) by the Nefiks Institute; developed in 2005 and accessible on regular basis;
- Learning badges (Učne značke) – utilization of open digital badges to value and recognize learning during non-formal learning activities; developed in 2015 and accessible on regular basis;
My experiences (Moje izkušnje)– a tool developed by student work services for validation and recognition of working experience, gained by student work. The tool is accessible on regular basis.
These tools are being developed in different contexts (international learning mobility, increasing employability, etc.) and different channels (youth work, volunteer, student work, full-time employment). Most of them were created with the active assistance of the Office for Youth Office. Youthpass and Europass are also widely used by young people and youth workers to record their skills and knowledge and have some more space for better recognition.
The profession of a youth worker can be obtained through the National Occupational Qualification System, which means that the candidate draws up a compilation of a portfolio (e.g. certificates, supporting documents, reference letters, products, recognition documents …) with his/her past experience.
Extracurricular activities, organized by universities, other higher education institutions or other organisations and recognized by higher education institutions as relevant for the acquisition of a variety of competences, may be recorded by the institutions in the diploma supplement, thereby enabling the review of all institutionally supported individual activities in a transparent manner (see the Resolution on National programme of higher education (Resolucija o Nacionalnemprogramu visokega šolstva 2011–2020)).
No national policy and/or recognition mechanism that identify specific skills and competences that can be acquired through youth work exist. Many organisations have internal competence framework for different roles in the organisations. Specific competences can be obtained on the individual level of individual organisations, e.g. scouts make it clear, that they educate future leaders, people who are willing to serve, people who are employable. In that sense, they gain these skills and competences through participation in the activities of scouts. However, as none of those are recognised on the national level, it is not possible to talk about national policy on that.
While not every involvement in youth work necessarily allows young people to develop key competences that employers seek and value, organisations in the youth sector can be a place where young people develop competences to the degree that they are flexible enough and transferable to all areas of youth activity.