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LAST MODIFIED ON: 29/06/2020
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The policy statements which discuss opportunities for youth volunteering mention the benefits to young people in terms of developing personal skills, while gaining transferable skills and experience which help them in their further studies or in their transition to employment. However, the Government does not provide criteria or mechanisms for formal recognition.
There do not appear to be any arrangements to use the ECTS and ECVET systems to validate learning during voluntary activities.
Some of the nationally accredited schemes include:
- Agored Cymru, which recognises formal and formal learning that young people carry out through accreditation and qualifications. Young people can be accredited in activities such as volunteering and community participation.
- ACF Cadet Force's Proficiency Certificate(APC), which is based on a four-point star qualifying system which is Cadets follow to become Cadet senior non-commissioned officers.
- Duke of Edinburgh's Award, which provides a challenging and rewarding programme of personal development for young people.
- St John Cymru (Wales' first aid charity), which offers theAmalfi Challenge, a self-directed programme in which participants complete challenges in four subject areas: services; challenge; relationships; and society.
TheWelsh Baccalaureate qualification provides accreditation through the curriculum for volunteering activities. It is an overarching school / college qualification which combines general and/or vocational education (through existing qualifications) with the development of key skills that are intended to equip young people they need after leaving school. It incorporates existing qualifications (supporting qualifications) and a common core (the skills challenge certificate).
Further information about the Welsh Baccalaureate can be found in the article on 'Youth Volunteering at National Level'.
Millennium Volunteers (MV) is a national award set up to recognise volunteering by young people. MV is funded by the Welsh Government and part of the Volunteering Wales initiative. . It encourages 14- to 25-year-olds to build on existing skills and interests and to gain new experiences by giving their time to worthwhile and well-organised volunteering activities. Their efforts are recognised through a 50 and 100 hour Certificate and 200 hour Award of Excellence that carries the signature of the First Minister of the Welsh Government.
MV runs according to nine key principles. These are:
- Personal commitment – volunteers must make a sustained commitment to volunteering.
- Community benefit – volunteers will be undertaking activities which result in a clear benefit to their local communities.
- Voluntary participation – involvement in MV is voluntary. Volunteering done as part of the Welsh Baccalaureate qualification (see the article on 'Youth volunteering at national level') does not count towards an MV award.
- Ownership by young people – MV should enable young people to be equal stakeholders in identifying, organising and taking decisions about the voluntary activity they are involved in.
- Quality – It is important that volunteers feel safe, supported and valued as part of offering a good quality volunteering opportunity.
- Recognition – volunteers should have their volunteering recognised and celebrated.
- Inclusiveness – all young people aged 14-25 are eligible to join MV. It must operate across the whole range of communities (including the most deprived areas) and attract young people from a wide variety of backgrounds, cultures and beliefs.
- Variety – MV will provide a rich variety of volunteering opportunities in a wide range of activities.
- Partnership – organisations running MV will work in partnership with the appropriate local organisations.
Note: MV was originally a UK-wide initiative, based on a consultation paper, 'Millennium Volunteers: Labours Proposals for citizen's service' (1996). It has since developed differently across the UK.