The task force is an ad hoc body composed of relevant stakeholders in youth work in Europe. Its aim is to elaborate a mid-term strategy for the knowledge-based development of European youth work. It will run from January 2018 to December 2019. It will meet at least twice a year.
What is the task force?
Its aims are to:
- improve co-ordination of and access to youth work knowledge and resources at European, national, regional and local levels;
- further support the exchange of youth work practices, peer learning and the creation of sustainable networks and partnerships;
- stimulate co-operation within the youth sector and among sectors and fields of expertise wherever youth work takes place in order to reinforce ties, in particular between formal education and youth work and between public authorities, the private sector and civil society;
- strengthen the dialogue between youth work, youth policy and youth research;
- strengthen the capacity of youth work to respond to the changes and trends in our society and the emerging challenges faced by young people;
- carry out a mapping exercise on existing education and training (such as vocational training and higher education) and existing systems for validation of competences for paid and volunteer youth workers;
- develop a range of assistance measures to support member States in taking forward and implementing Recommendation CM/Rec(2017)4.
Who are the stakeholders?
- European Steering Committee for Youth (CDEJ);
- Advisory Council on Youth (CCJ);
- European Youth Forum (YFJ);
- Pool of European Youth Researchers (PEYR);
- National Agencies for the Erasmus+ Programme;
- Network of the Council of Europe Quality Label for Youth Centres;
- Intercity Youth (European Network of Local Departments for Youth Work);
- Expert involved in the formal education of youth workers;
- Expert involved in developing occupational standards for youth workers;
- Council of Europe Youth Department.
The European Commission has observer status.
Additional participants and experts may be invited to enlarged meetings to allow for wider consultations (for example, additional representatives of the CDEJ and CCJ, representative of youth workers trade unions, representative of European youth capitals, etc.).
What has already been done?
The task force held its first meeting in Strasbourg on 7 and 8 February 2018. The task force was given a good insight into how diverse the picture of youth worker education is across the Council of Europe member states thanks to a mapping of carried out by the Partnership. This education is often linked to the recognition of the practice or the profession. Some gaps do exist but these areas could be further developed by the YWTF in the future.
Developing a Common European Youth Work Agenda: with the approval of the Joint Council on Youth, the task force will support a more dynamic European process of youth work development by drawing up a strong European policy agenda on youth work, to be co-ordinated by the Council of Europe with the European Commission. Member states, the Joint Council on Youth and other stakeholders at all levels will play a proactive role.
To sustain this Youth Work Agenda, the task force will provide guidance to member states on how to improve their youth work policies, based on the policy recommendations in the Recommendation.
Other youth sector activities that support youth work
- Council of Europe Youth Work Portfolio: this is an online tool to help those doing youth work, primarily youth workers and youth leaders, to assess and further develop their youth work competences.
- Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the field of youth: the partnership has carried out a mapping of educational and career paths of youth workers.
- The partnership is supporting the work on the recommendation through its History of Youth Work project and the Youth Knowledge Books series, the latest being Thinking Seriously about youth work and how to prepare people to do it.
- Long-term Enter! training courses for youth workers: these support local youth workers to apply European youth work standards and values as developed by the Council of Europe.
- Quality Label for Youth Centres: a lot of local youth work happens in youth centres, the Quality Label Network has extensive experience to bring to the table. In essence, they do youth work where young people are.
- The YFJ policy paper on youth work (2014), puts young people at the centre of youth work and talks about recognition and quality development. It is advocating a strong focus on youth work in the next EU Youth Strategy.
Meetings of the task force
First meeting of the task force, 7 and 8 February 2018, European Youth Centre Strasbourg
Second meeting of the task force, 4 and 5 July 2018, European Youth Centre Budapest
Seminar on “Education and training pathways of youth workers”, 20-22 February 2019, Helsinki, organised in the framework of the Chairmanship of Finland of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers and hosted by the Ministry of Education and Culture. The outcomes of the seminar will be used to contribute to a youth work agenda in both the CM chairmanship and the EU presidency.
3rd European Youth Work Convention, Germany, 2020, organised during the German Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers and Presidency of the Council of the European Union.