Roundtable follows on Council of EU Youth Ministers agreement on Irish policy proposals on contribution of youth work to youth employment. Conclusions from roundtable to be reported to European Council and European Commission
As part of Ireland’s EU Presidency, Frances Fitzgerald TD, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, is to host a two-day expert round-table event on the contribution of youth work to youth employment, commencing tomorrow Thursday 20th June.
Minister Fitzgerald stated: "Youth unemployment in the EU remains at crisis levels with 5.6 million young people under 25 currently unemployed. I have convened this roundtable so as to ensure a priority focus on this pressing challenge in the last weeks of Ireland's EU Presidency"
Minister Fitzgerald - “This expert roundtable presents an important opportunity to bring together the youth sector, European institutions, government departments, industry, business leaders and academics with the objective of together identifying a collective response to enhancing youth employability and employment.”
“On behalf of EU Youth Ministers, I recently wrote to EU Council President Van Rompuy highlighting the value of youth work as being integral to the response on youth employment. The outcomes of this expert round-table event will be brought to the attention of the European Council, the European Commission and Youth Ministers in all Member States, to inform government strategies for youth employment ,and in particular the implementation of the Youth Guarantee”.
The roundtable follows-on from the Council of EU Youth Ministers meeting in May, which was chaired by Minister Fitzgerald which formally adopted two sets of EU Council conclusions on: Maximising the potential of youth policy in addressing the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy; and the Contribution of quality youth work to the development, well-being and social inclusion of young people. These conclusions include a concrete set of measures aimed at raising the profile of quality youth work at EU level and mainstreaming youth policy into broader EU policy initiatives on education, employment and training, including the Europe 2020 growths and jobs strategy.
The roundtable will consider how youth work based initiatives could enhance access to employment possibilities for young people and how employers and businesses can benefit from the competences and skills that participation in youth work develops in young people. Case studies from abroad and from Ireland will explore how youth work opportunities hold a significant potential for those young people who are not in education or training and for whom volunteering opportunities and bridging programmes focused on developing skill-sets and job-readiness can make a real difference to their prospects for personal development and accessing employment opportunities .
The Minister added: "Quality youth work can crucially accesses young people who are furthest away from the labour market. Youth work services already provide a significant level of engagement with this group and are therefore in a position to provide a value-added not readily-available to other employment and training programmes.”
Minister Fitzgerald will also launch at this expert round-table event new research entitled Youth Work: A Systematic Map of the Research Literature commissioned by the Centre for Effective Services on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It is the first of its kind internationally and illustrates that the ethos of youth work in Ireland, which emphasises participation, empowerment and personal and social development, is shared by much of the international research literature. This report shows that youth work is attempting to make an ambitious contribution to improving outcomes for young people and this evidence-base should enhance the visibility and value of youth work.
Note for Editors
1. Roundtable Speakers
The roundtable will include presentations from a number of Irish and international expert speakers including:
- James Whelton, Co-founder CoderDojo
- Dr Massimiliano Mascherini, Research Manager, Eurofound
- Floor van Houdt, European Commission
- Dr Manuel Souto-Otero, University of Bath
- Guoda Lomanaite, Vice President, European Youth Forum
- Ryan Shanks, Accenture, Ireland
- Fergal O’Brien, Irish Business and Employers Confederation
- James Doorley, National Youth Council of Ireland
2. EU Council Conclusions on: Maximising the potential of youth policy in addressing the goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy; and the Contribution of quality youth work to the development, well-being and social inclusion of young people were adopted by the Council of EU Youth Ministers on 16 May 2013.
Key measures to be progressed by EU Member States and European Commission include:
- Establishing a new EU working group on quality youth work
- Strengthening the working relationship between the Council of Youth Ministers and other Council of Minister configurations
- Mainstreaming youth policy input into the European Semester reporting process
- Recognition of centrality of youth work in contributing to the Europe 2020 growth and jobs agenda
- Recognition of the role of youth work in implementing the proposed Youth Guarantee
- Greater coordination between EU youth policy and education, training and employment policies.
3. Youth Work: A Systematic Map of the Research Literature. This research from the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) at the Institute of Education in London, was commissioned by the Centre for Effective Services on behalf of the Department of Children and Youth Affairs. It is the first of its kind internationally and illustrates that the ethos of youth work in Ireland, which emphasizes participation, empowerment and personal and social development, is shared by much of the international research literature. The ways in which the research literature describes the aims of youth work can be categorised as follows: personal and social development; social change; education and career; safety and well-being; and contribution to society. These studies show that a range of human and social capital outcomes were measured within all activity domains and that youth work is attempting to make an ambitious contribution to improving outcomes for young people. These outcomes can be categorised as follows: relationship with others; sense of self; community and society; health and well-being; values and beliefs; and formal education and training.