It is known that one of the major setbacks for youth in Europe standing in the way of social inclusion is the lack of jobs. This low level of employability in the labor market of young people (especially among women) is a direct consequence of a low level of skills, lack of specific qualifications, and the capacity of the state to intervene. However, despite these social deficits, youth have developed certain skills through nonformal learning. Unfortunately, these advantages were not given enough attention and they are not all the time considered as valid.

A topic discussed during the monomyth project was the validation of nonformal and informal learning and the effective management policies in the field of validation of competences acquired in informal and non-formal manner would have positive effects for youth both on personal and social level.

Non-Formal Education and the increase in its recognition, is a top priority for Monomyths Association. That the recognition has not been sufficiently achieved is in part due to a lack of   confidence in the quality of non-formal education within society and within youth organisations themselves.

The Policy Paper provides a comprehensive set of concepts based on the cornerstone definition: The quality of nonformal education in youth NGOs is the degree to which selected needs of society and of learners are reached and addressed. Based on this definition the learning process is designed with a dual purpose: of improving quality and of communicating clearly with stakeholders about it.

The concept of Non-Formal Education was a real discovery that motivates people and gives them a chance to be educated by doing, a chance to improve their skills and abilities in the work field they hold.

Among the needs and recommendations discussed by these 3 working groups, it may be mention the following:

A.    The fact that youth are not informed about the existence of such validation systems, they do not know the way they work and what are their benefits;
Recommendations:

  • Conducting information campaigns in youth universities by institutions which have activity in this field;
  • General awareness on existing systems should be made understandable for youth: use of simple forms and clear all information material and use of visual communication (videos);
  • Creating a good cooperation between the youth community, youth associations, and public institution, so youth can obtain information in an appropriate manner about the opportunities and the benefits they can access;
  • Provide multiple communication channels (public presentations, posters, flyers, radio, social networks);
  • Training of personnel from the labor agencies and other public institutions to improve communication with the youth community;

B.    The discouragement of youth that consider certification of competencies useless if it doesn’t get them a job;
Recommendation:

  • Offers regarding competencies certifications should be correlated with the labor market.

C.    Most times the cost of validation services exceed the possibilities of the target group;
Recommendation:

  • Granting free access for those wanting to validate their competencies or even giving a bonus for the ones accessing the system and do not have an income;

D.    Lack of a validating system adapted to the specific needs of youth

Recommendations:

  • Review certification procedures for youth that take into account the specific needs of the labour market
  • Existence of information points in youth communities, for consultation with community members;
  • Providing support for individual learning and writing adapted learning materials, easy to understand that would mention every detail concerning  examination requirements;
  • Existence of a personal mentor or a mediator to facilitate communication, and overcoming fears and misunderstandings about the validation process as well.

The policy paper draft can be downloaded here.