A research regards Non-Formal Education provided by Youth Organisations and young people’s employability was commissioned by the European Youth Forum and authored by Bath University helped by ICF-GHK. The Launch of the results obtained was on the 26th of October 2012 and hosted at the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Brussels which makes it the perfect place for such research to be presented. This is because this is where Employers, Trade-unions and NGO’s plus other Civic institutions from around Europe meet and such research would be of interest to them. European Coordination JECI-MIEC attended the launch.
The main feeling towards the research was very positive. Many felt its need in these times of economic crisis. This research shows both that Youth Organisations have a role to play in society and also gave a concrete view of what this role is.
The research shows the skills, termed as soft skills, which Youth Organisations provide to its members by Non-Formal Education. Ms. Sayeeda Rahman, Division for Basic Learning and Skills Development, UNESCO, also said that Youth Organisations are the new educators of today.
Prof. Manuel Souto-Otero from the university of bath one of the authors of the research gave some quick facts. He started by saying that although the research stated particular skills it does not mean that they are the only skills provided but these are the most relevant to the research. Also the research would not state that young people join Youth Organisations to get employed. What was showed by the research was that the relevant skills were: communication, organisation, problem solving, team-working, numeracy/literacy, confidence, leadership, IT, knowledge of a foreign language. Those who have high level of schooling tend to be better in some skills (such as Language) while those in low level of schooling tend to be better in others (such as teamwork). It was clearly shown that a correlation between youngsters being involved in Youth Organisations and the development of such skills exists.
The research showed that Youth Organisations, through Non-Formal Education, do deliver skills to their members but when it comes to getting employed there is a lack in the presentation and recognition of such skills. To aid for this lackness Ms. Sylvie Laffarge, Director of Citizenship Europe, Legal and Corporate Affairs, Microsoft and Ms. Vesna Miloševi?, Youth Employment Action suggested for Youth Organisations to create forum meetings with enterprises. From the side of the European Commission Mr. Carlo Scatoli, DG Education and Culture, said that through the revision currently occurring to Europass documents they would address such problem.
(by Sergio Fenech)
A virtual copy of the published findings of the research can be found by clicking below: