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Recognition of non-formal learning in the youth field
Learning in the youth field takes place in a broad variety of activities. Mostly it is described as non-formal or informal learning and contributes essentially to the personal development, social inclusion, active citizenship and employability of young people.
The recognition of learning in the youth field has become more and more important over the past years. Already in the 2001 White Paper ‘A new impetus for European Youth’ youth work was described as part of the overall package of lifelong learning. The White Paper demands greater recognition of activities in the youth field as well as greater complementaritiy with formal education and training.
The Education & Training 2010 framework identified as one of the key priorities that the outcomes of non-formal and informal learning should become more visible.
The European Youth Pact as part of the Lisbon Strategy confirms and supplements the need for better recognition of non-formal learning in the youth field with a particular view to facilitate transitions from school to work.
In May 2006 the Council adopted a Resolution on the recognition of the value of non-formal and informal learning within the European youth field Based on this the Commission together with the Member States is developing a comparable and transparent youth-specific instrument for the recognition of learning in the Youth field. It builds upon the Europass. And it will provide individual young citizens with a model for comprehensive presentation of their qualifications and competences acquired by active participation and learning in the youth field (Europass-Youth).
Also the Youth in Action programme provides all kind of learning opportunities on European level. To improve the recognition of learning in the different activities of the programme the Commission is developing Youthpass. The first two Youthpass instruments for youth exchanges (Action 1) and European Voluntary services (Action 2) have been tested successfully and are now ready for implementation in the Youth in Action programme.
Europass-Youth and Youthpass are based on a set of key competences. In December 2006 the European Parliament and the Council adopted a recommendation on key competences for lifelong learning. This set of competences provides a framework to describe learning outcomes in the youth field more easily.