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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.9 Awareness-raising about non-formal and informal learning and quality youth work

Last update: 22 January 2021

LAST MODIFIED ON: 25/10/2020 - 22:51

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  1. Information providers / counselling structures
  2. Awareness raising initiatives

Information providers / counselling structures

These information and counselling services may be provided by local authorities (LAs), whether directly or indirectly. They have responsibility for coordinating the overall local offer of all available provision for young people. They do not have to deliver the services themselves but may commission, support and facilitate actors from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (VCSE) to do this. As the main providers or commissioners of youth services, individual local authorities are also the main providers of information on the learning opportunities included within their local offers. Statutory guidance  says that local authorities should take the strategic lead and ‘publicise effectively to young people and their families the overall local offer of all services and activities available for young people locally’.

There is no central source of information and guidance on non-formal, informal and youth work learning opportunities; rather each local authority provides the information on its website, typically on a section such as integrated youth support services, youth support services, community, community learning and/or adult learning. Local authorities commonly also provide directories of youth organisations. As well as local authority websites, local authority run libraries are sources of information on learning programmes and youth organisations. However, Eurodesk, a European network of European and national information centers for young people, offers centralised youth information and international learning opportunities and is an organisation supported by the Erasmus+ programme.

Generation Change is a UK charity partnership and sector-based network of youth social action organisations. Together with Step Up To Serve it coordinates ‘Horizon’, an online mapping tool which shows youth social action programmes across the UK, developed with the support of British Gas.They have now mapped more than 1.2 million social action opportunities for 11- to 25-year-olds.


Awareness raising initiatives

The National Youth Agency (NYA) describes itself as the national body for youth work. Although it no longer receives government funding, and operates as a charity, it is recognised as a leading source of information and expertise in England on youth policy and youth work.NYA runs an annual Youth Work Week, which provides an opportunity for youth organisations, youth workers and young people to celebrate their achievements and the impact of their work. The next Youth Work Week will be held in November 2020.

See also the article ‘Raising awareness about youth volunteering opportunities’.