Non-formal education and youth work do not get the social and political recognition they deserve, especially as youth workers are often considered as ‘low-status’ professionals and the competences acquired through non-formal education are not recognised.

Non-formal education, youth work and youth organisations should be recognised for their role in promoting active citizenship and preventing discrimination, violence and social exclusion.

Educational and other relevant public authorities should recognise and value youth work as important contributors to community cohesion, for example through consulting youth workers on the development and implementation of youth policies of concern to young people from disadvantaged neighbourhoods and providing funding to youth organisations through clear and simple procedures. National and local policies should support youth organisations and youth workers and provide sustainable conditions (funding and physical support) to deliver non-formal education and learning programmes in disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Equally important is the improvement of the working conditions of youth workers and the promoting the value of youth work, as well as, the provision of lifelong learning opportunities for youth workers and the exchange of expertise between youth workers and other professionals working with young people.

Read more about supporting non-formal education and youth work (Chapter 6 - Publication Taking it seriously)