Non-Formal Education helps employability of young people, research finds.

European Youth Forum, Brussels, 25th October 2012
Among the six soft skills mostly demanded by employers, five are also among those developed through involvement in youth organisations: communication, team work, decision-making, organisational skills and self-confidence.

A study by the European Youth Forum in cooperation with the University of Bath and GHK Consulting on “The impact of Non‐Formal Education in Youth Organisations on Young people’s Employability” will be presented tomorrow in Brussels at the European Economic and Social Committee, from 9am to 1pm.
Through consultation with 245 youth organisations, a survey with over 1,300 young people and focus groups
with employers from across Europe this research assesses whether the competences and skills obtained through non-formal education in youth organisations contribute to the employability of young people.
The Impact of Non-Formal Education. Long-lasting and frequent engagement and participation in youth
organisations brings high soft-skills development. Amongst the six skills mostly demanded by employers, five
are also among those developed through involvement in youth organisations: such as communication, team
work, decision-making, organisational skills and self-confidence. For young people who participated in nonformal education activities abroad, this includes also higher development of language, intercultural and
leadership skills.

Experience in youth organisation and the skills this develops are valued by employers especially when
young people have no – or very little – formal working experience, thus making the work of youth
organisation an important contribution to the transition of young people from education to the labour market.
The participation in youth organisation is particularly valuable in developing social capital (network and
connections) and in creating new vocation paths, especially for NEETs, early school leavers and young
Some recommendations: Invest in Non-Formal Education. The quality of Non-Formal Education and the
accessibility of it to all young people, as well as increased mobility, are crucial factors to increase the impact
in employability of young people.
Employment services, employers and recruiters must be aware on the benefits from young people's
involvement in youth organisations, and the skills gained be taken into account in the recruitment process.
Young people should receive career-guidance, coaching and support on how to efficiently make use of the
skills in recruitment processes and better present the experiences and competences gained through nonformal
education and volunteering experiences in youth organisations.
“This research - says Peter Matjašič, President of the European Youth Forum - provides the long awaited
evidence of the need for more political and financial investment in youth organisations to ensure that they
can deliver quality Non-Formal Education, to more young people, thus providing more needed skills to more
young people and ensuring a better access to the labour market”.

Non-Formal Education can be understood as an organised educational process which takes place alongside
mainstream systems of education and training, and does not typically lead to certification.
The European Commission last month presented a “Recommendation to the Council on the Validation of non-formal and informal learning”. You can read the Recommendation here and the Youth Forum’s Reaction
to the Recommendation here.
Read the full report here: http://issuu.com/yomag/docs/reportnfe_print

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