Within essential youth work features (young people choose to participate; work takes place where the young people are; young person and youth worker are partners in a learning process) characterising youth transnational initiatives carried out towards the objectives of EU Youth Strategy by means of non-formal and informal learning processes delivered in different forms and settings at local, regional, national, and European level, it takes on great importance the issue of the “coach”, i.e. the resource persons supporting young people for carrying out youth initiatives, compulsory if the initiatives are carried out by minors, since having youth work and/or youth initiatives experience to accompany groups of young people, facilitate learning process and support their participation, playing different roles depending on the needs of a given group of young people.
Although fundamental resource person for supporting -remaining outside the youth initiative- the group of young people in preparation, implementation and evaluation of their project, sustaining quality of learning process and providing an on-going partnership designed to help the group in producing fulfilling project results, and despite many education and training providers offer learning opportunities (by the way, often based on knowledge rather on competences, and with assessment of them not conducted on related performances) in concerned youth work professional field, the competences (also on ICT) characterising, according to learning outcomes, the supporting activities and tasks provided by the “coach” are not yet defined within European countries and, across Europe, learning systems for the professions of youth work show a wide range of sectoral profiles and figures, qualifications and diplomas, often not clearly defined in terms of learning outcomes but also frequently regulated, in terms of access to the education and training opportunities, in ways limiting the mobility beyond systems “borders” (confines of national and regional VET and HE systems; barriers within different economic and professional fields of a specific territorial system; obstacles concerning recognition of learning outcomes, particularly those coming from informal and non-formal learning).
The lack of a competence standard for coaches supporting youth initiatives, defined applying European principles and tools for transparency and recognition of learning outcomes and qualifications, has both a direct impact on youth work labour market, limiting learning and work opportunities for the coaches, and their mobility across European youth work contexts and learning systems, and a relevant indirect impact on the quality of learning process experienced by the young people engaged in youth initiatives and on the production of fulfilling results in these projects.
Considering this situation and addressing these needs, several education, training and youth organisations, in collaboration with public sector bodies, community and civil society organisations, in different EU countries, sustain together an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership aimed to enhance the professional development of the coaches supporting youth initiatives, by means of the development and testing of a new European competence standard established by MoU ECVET, and a transnational common curriculum applied through joint training events and mobility.
the project aims to:
- analyse the youth work professional field across participating countries, the results of studies on competences needed for coaching in youth initiatives, and of experiences and good practices already implemented for the development of them, as well as for designing common competence standards utilising EQF approach, and for ensuring transparency and recognition of learning outcomes applying ECVET process;
- capitalising and implementing these results, and applying the EQF Knowledge-Skills-Competences scheme, define the design of a common European competence standard for the coaches in youth initiatives;
- formalise, by means of a Memorandum of Understanding ECVET (MoU ECVET “Coach in Youth Initiatives”), the designed common European competence standard, for establishing the correspondence for assessment, transfer, and accumulation of learning outcomes achieved within the project and, for the same competences, in other formal, informal and non-formal contexts too;
- endorse the MoU within concerned NQFs and RQFs;
- design a common European curriculum (training standard) corresponding to the competence standard established by MoU ECVET;
- design, organise and realise a coherent transnational joint learning programme (particularly through joint training events and mobility), to be tested within the project for allowing to coaches in youth initiatives and other interested persons across participating countries, the recognition of learning outcomes accordingly to competence standard established by MoU ECVET.