Specific target groups for top-level youth work programmes fostering social inclusion (September 2019)
Youth work is a key tool for the empowerment of young people. As recognised by the EU Youth Strategy 2019-2027, it is the bridge into education, training or work, and has a unique potential to reach out to the most vulnerable young people in society and address their individual needs.
Youth work as a driver of social inclusion can thus be understood as actions in which young people at risk of marginalisation or social exclusion take part voluntarily and that are designed for supporting their personal and social development through non-formal and informal learning.
Among the countries with youth work programmes to foster social inclusion organised and/or funded by top-level public authorities, most target socio-economically disadvantaged youth, e.g. NEETs and the unemployed. Young people from migrant/refugee or ethnic minority (e.g. Roma) backgrounds are the second most common target group. In Turkey it is the sole target group.
A few countries have top-level youth work programmes fostering social inclusion that are directed at both target groups (Flemish Community of Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom (Wales)).
Other groups of young people - such as those with health-related needs, disabilities, etc. - are targeted in few other countries (German-speaking and Flemish Community of Belgium, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom (England)).
In the French Community of Belgium, Czechia, Germany, Cyprus, Slovenia and Finland, youth work programmes fostering social inclusion that are organised or funded by top-level authorities have no specific target group but rather address all young people. In Austria, this universalistic approach coexists with the identification of groups of young people whose inclusion is specifically fostered.