The project Creating Youth Workers – the Formal Education Edition, reflects young people’s right for access to high quality youth work conducted by competent professionals (whether paid or unpaid) and their right to participate in decision-making processes on issues that affect them, such the education of youth workers.  It responds to the need for deeper analysis of existing education and training opportunities (both institutionally and community based, and is concerned with both formal education and vocational training) for youth workers in countries like Estonia, Ireland and Wales, and at the same time, addresses the lack of fully developed education and training opportunities for youth workers in many European countries, such as North Macedonia.  The project considers issues including:

  • the appropriate balance between learning about, for, and through youth work in the education and training of youth workers and the need for greater synergy between formal education and training and non-formaleducation and learning approaches to the education and training for youth work in Europe; and
  • the need for the continual development of education and training for youth workers in response to socio-economic and technological trends, the changing needs and realities of young people and changes in government policy and priorities.

The main aim of the project is to improve young people’s access to high quality youth work services and contribute towards greater understanding, professionalization and quality development of youth work in Europe. It aims to achieve this by proposing a new approach to developing coherent and flexible competency-based education and training for youth workers, that takes into account existing practice, new trends and arenas, as well as the diversity of youth work. The objectives of the project are:

  • to explore and describe educational approaches, programmes, curricula, resources and practices in the involved countries (and the relationship between formal education and training and non-formal elements of education and learning in these);
  • to analyse and define key factors that need to be taken into account when developing different formal education opportunities for youth workers, having in mind the diversity of youth work, existing practice, new trends and arenas, as well as the European Training Strategy competence model for youth workers;
  • to develop guidelines for an innovative cross-sectoral approach in developing competency-based formal education opportunities for youth workers; and 
  • to intensify the synergies between institutions that are providing education in the field of youth.

The project is coordinated by the Union for Youth Work Macedonia, and the other partners are the Beyond 96 Youth Club (Ireland), Tallinn University (Estonia), and People and Work (Wales). The project is funded by the European Union Erasmus + Programme. It’s implemented with financial support from the Macedonian National Agency for European Educational Programmes and Mobility.