Mind the gap! Getting closes
All those who have ever travelled in London tube find the sign “Mind the gap” familiar. It warns about the space between train and platform. Using that metaphor, youth workers and employers are starting to talk about that gap and how to overcome it. The core point is how to recognise and how to assess all those competences reached by youngsters through youth programmes. About all these subjects it was talking about in Istanbul at the early November’s days. It was an initiative boosted by SALTO and several Erasmus + National Agency.
A new scene in front of us
Knowledge, skills and attitudes gained by youngsters due to youth programmes are looked for by the employers. Moreover these competences take part of the future workskills according with Institute for Future.
Owning a degree, even a master is not enough to find a job. We need to be on training the whole time (is a Long Life Learning matter) and not just for a job but for a better life.
Training for a better life and for being better people are the goals of non formal education. Little by little, employers are paying attention at the non formal education outputs. They need people able to cope with the uncertainty times we are living uncertainty. The issue is: How recognising, how assessing all those processes and results shaped on competences.
Assessing and recognising: two non detachable packages
Academic training is easier to recognise: a diploma shows that a detailed content planning it has been followed. Non formal education is not similar. However, news tools of recognition are appearing:
Youthpass tool let to show and recognise all kind of competences achieved on the frame of Erasmus + Youth projects.
Another interesting one is Learning Badges based on Mozilla Open Badges. Learning Badges is a Project granted by the former Youth in Action programme. An Spanish NGO has been partner on that project: Cazalla Intercultural.
All theses tools help to make reliable for the employers all the competences reached in youth programmes. Some of them stated their agreement with the feasibility of all those tools during the Istanbul Conference.
Some Public Employment Services are being involved in this matter too. Slovenia is working with NEFIKS system on the frame of the Youth Guarantee Programme.
What about the youngsters with fewer opportunities?
There are developing specifics programmes in order to promote the competences development among disadvantaged youngsters. For instance, in England, Hetfordshire Youth Connexions, is developing an early vocational guidance programme addressed to children looked after (from 7 to 14 years old) Strongly motivating and preventive.
In Sinzig, Germany Tür-Sinzig implements KOMPA, a competences recognition system for youngsters with fewer opportunities.
Something is moving at these uncertainty times: the gap between labour market and non formal education is on their way to be shut.
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Ayuntamiento de Jaca