Recognition of one’s competences is a crucial factor when it comes to applying for a job or learning opportunity. However, when it comes to competences related to non-formal and informal learning, due to various social, educational, and political factors, the level of their recognition varies from society to society. In order to understand better why this is happening, a look at the different forms of education is required.
Education, as it was mentioned before, is structured into 3 forms, formal, informal, and non-formal education.
Taking a look at the above forms of education, it becomes obvious that valuable competences acquired through non-formal and informal education are harder to get recognised than the ones deriving from the formal one.
Recognition though does not only refer to the level of consideration that a document will have to an employer’s eyes, but also to the individual, social, formal, and political recognition of one’s competences. All these factors have an indirect role in the perception of worth for qualifications in general, and thus in the perception of an employer. Which are these factors?
YouthPass is a certification that recognises the value of what people learned beyond the classroom setting and is directly connected to youth work and solidarity projects. As it was mentioned in the lesson about the competences, the most useful tool connected to the 8 key competences is Youthpass certification.
Youthpass is a tool to document and recognise learning outcomes from youth work and solidarity activities. It is available for projects funded by Erasmus+and European Solidarity Corps Programmes. It is a part of the European Commission’s strategy to foster the recognition of non-formal learning, putting policy into practice and practice into policy:
- while creating their Youthpass certificate together with a support person, project participants are given the possibility to describe what they have done in their project and which competences they have acquired. Thus, Youthpass supports the reflection upon the personal non-formal learning process and outcomes.
- As a Europe-wide recognition instrument for non-formal learning in the youth field, Youthpass strengthens the social recognition of youth work.
- Youthpass supports active European citizenship of young people and of youth workers by describing the added value of their project.
- Youthpass also aims at supporting the employability of young people and of youth workers by raising their awareness of and helping to describe their competences, and by documenting their acquisition of key competences on a certificate.
Youthpass certificates are available for all types of projects and activities within the Erasmus+. The certificates can also be issued for projects that were granted under the previous Youth in Action programme (2007-2013). All participants of the projects approved within these frameworks are entitled to receive a Youthpass certificate, and thus recognition for their non-formal learning outcomes. The responsibility to issue the Youthpass certificates to the participants/volunteers, in case they wish to receive them, lies with the organisation that signs the contract for the Erasmus+ grant.
YouthPass is becoming an increasingly used tool throughout the years, a fact that shows the expansion of people’s involvement in youth work and thus the expansion of the demand for youth workers who can prove their skill set. And YouthPass is here to facilitate this process.