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Youth Work Policy Development
Start date: Apr 1, 2016, End date: Dec 31, 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Youth work belongs to the area of ‘out-of-school’ education, as well as specific leisure time activities managed by professional or voluntary youth workers and youth leaders and is based on non-formal learning processes and on voluntary participation. The current prevailing trend focuses on youth work as an ‘instrument’ for labour market oriented learning and the recognition of individually gained competences. In European frame it’s emphasized the urgent need to renew the youth work strategy, building upon the EU Youth Strategy until 2018 and the Agenda 2020 of the Council of Europe youth policy. In May 2015 within the framework of the Belgian Chairmanship of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the 2nd European Youth Work Convention whose adopted and addressed to the Member States of the Council of Europe, the multilateral organisations, other European institutions, and political structures concerned with young people at national, regional and local level, the youth work field and young people themselves. So far, the recognition of the youth work in the Republic of Macedonia by the government officials was on very low level. Young people have been heavily hit by rising unemployment rates while austerity policies have endangered funding for youth work. At the same time the crisis created incentive and opportunity for the rise of alternative forms of youth work and innovative approaches to youth participation. The overall objective of this project is "to enable active involvement of the young people and youth NGO's through civil dialog with relevant stakeholders, giving voice and the significant influence on young peoples’ future with special focus on the drafting recommendation for development of youth work programme, thus improve the civil society impact of the reforms in line with the EU criteria for countries’ full membership". The specific objectives of the action are: a) to ensure greater commitment by the young people and youth NGO's to channel their voice and to boost structured dialogue related to youth work programme through the method of structured dialogue; b) to strengthen the influence of young people to the development of key policy documents though development of white paper for the theme youth work. The project will include 371 participants, 321 in the preparation phase and 50 in the main action. This project includes youth NGO's and youth workers experienced in youth work development; representatives of national and local institutions responsible for education, social policy and youth as decision makers and young people aged 18 – 29. The project will include these participant structures on two levels: In the preparation period, SEGA will organize national 2-day workshop with decision makers (Agency of youth and sport, Ministry of education and science, Ministry for social policy and labor market, and different governmental institutions responsible for youth). At local level SEGA will conduct 15 consultation meetings which will include all three types of participants. The youth will be selected based on criteria such as age, motivation, membership in youth NGO's etc. The local process will encourage participation of youth from the rural areas as added value in the entire process. At these meetings, young people will discuss the challenges and barriers on youth work at local level, with particular emphasis on the actual need of local youth workers. The young people will have the opportunity to voice their opinion to the decision makers related to the youth work by the local authorities. The main activity will be 3-day event and will include young people, youth NGO's and national decision makers. The young people and the youth NGO's will be selected via open call for participants again based on defined criteria (such as motivation, experience in youth participation and youth policy activities, affiliation in youth NGO's etc.). The national decision makers will be directly invited with regards to their professional experience in the youth employment sector. The main event is designed as a wide consultation meeting – workshop that has to result with White paper for development of youth work in Macedonia. This workshop represents the Structured Dialogue activity organized in Macedonia, after the previous one related to the youth employment policies, bearing in mind that Macedonia is not a member State of EU. This event is however, an entry point intervention that will ensure solid inception for the young people and youth organizations for further Structured Dialogue actions in correlation with EU integration. The desired impact within this project refers mostly to the changed perception towards youth work as powerful method and opportunity for social development of the young people. We expect the white paper to influence the policy makers to consider further legal recognition of the youth work based on the best EU practices.
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