STRATEGIC PLAN FOR STRENGTHENING PRACTICAL SKILLS AND CAPACITIES FOR ORGANIZING NON-FORMAL EDUCATION FOR JELGAVA YOUTH
The strategic plan has been created by Rasa Žilionė (VšĮ “Žinių kodas”, Lithuania) within framework of Youth in Action Programme Sub-action 4.3 – Youth support systems: Support to Youth Workers’ Mobility project “ESINE: Inter-organizational learning: Employability and Social Inclusion through Non-formal Education of young people” (ref.no. 550418YFE1-1-2013-1-LT-YOUTH-Y43c).
© European Union, 2014 The content of this publication does not reflect the official opinion of the European Union. Responsibility for the information and views expressed in the publication lies entirely with the author.
VšĮ “Žinių kodas” (Knowledge Code) E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +370 677 83374 Website: www.ziniukodas.lt
TABLE OF CONTENTS
ABOUT JELGAVA IN BRIEF ........................................................................................................................... 6 STATUS QUO ANALYSIS OF YOUTH IN JELGAVA ................................................................................ 7 POSSIBILITIES FOR FORMAL AND NON-‐FORMAL EDUCATION IN JELGAVA ..................... 10 RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR STRENGHENING PRACTICAL SKILLS AND CAPACITIES FOR ORGANIZNING NON-‐FORMAL EDUCATION ............................................................................. 13 REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................................... 17 LIST OF TABLES Table 1. Youth organizations in Jelgava Table 2. Youth employment (age 15-29, percentage) Table 3. Registered unemployment rate in Jelgava (percentage) Table 4. Young people at risk of poverty or exclusion (age 15-29, percentage)
GLOSSARY OF KEY TERMS Capability is the ability to perform or achieve certain actions or outcomes through a set of controllable and measurable faculties, features, functions, processes, or services. Europass is a portfolio of five different documents and an electronic folder aiming to contain descriptions of the entire holder's learning achievements, official qualifications, work experience, skills and competences, acquired over time. These documents are: the Europass CV, the Diploma Supplement, the Certificate Supplement, the Europass Mobility and the Language Passport. Europass also includes the European Skills Passport, a user-friendly electronic folder that helps the holder to build up a personal, modular inventory of his/her skills and qualifications. The aim of Europass is to facilitate mobility and improve job and lifelong learning prospects in Europe. Non-formal education is understood as an organized educational process, which takes place alongside mainstream systems of education and training, and does not typically lead to certification. Individuals participate on a voluntary basis and the individual is usually aware that he/she is learning – unlike in informal learning. Often, non-formal education in youth organizations is articulated through learning in groups, interactive, participatory and experiential methodologies. Skills. In the context of European Qualifications Framework (EQF), skills are described as (1) cognitive (involving the use of logical, intuitive and creative thinking), and (2) practical (involving manual dexterity and the use of methods, materials, tools and instruments). Youth (young persons) is individuals aged between 13 and 30. Youth centre is a place where friendly, open and supporting environment for young people with different interests and life experience is available. The objective of the centre is to create a possibility for the youth to gather together, to plan a good usage of their time, to receive information in compliance with their needs and interests, to give support to drafting and implementing projects. Youth centre cooperates with different persons, who are involved
in youth policy implementation process (different institutions of municipalities, youth organizations, as well as with state administrative institutions). Youth organization is a society that is registered in the register of associations and foundations and in the list of youth organizations, where are registered organizations that meet several criteria defined in the law â€“ (1) one of the purposes of activity specified in the statutes of the association is youth work, the promotion of youth initiatives and participation in decision-making and social life; (2) the association carries out youth work and tasks of the association defined in the statutes correspond to at least three main tasks defined in the third part of the article 2.1. of the law; (3) at least two thirds of the members of the association are children and young people or also several associations, where in total at least two thirds of the members are children and young people; and (4) participation of young people is ensured in administrative institutions of the association, and the procedures for this participation are specified in the statutes of the respective association.
ABOUT JELGAVA IN BRIEF Jelgava is located in the central part of Latvia – in the northern part of Zemgale plain, on the banks of the second largest river in Latvia – Lielupe. Jelgava is the largest city of Zemgale planning region and, according to territory and population, ranks fourth among the cities in Latvia. Territory: 60,32 km2. Situated just 42 km away from Riga. Population: 64 279. Proportion of men in the city is 45,8% (in Latvia - 46,1%). Natural growth of population in Jelgava, just like all around Latvia, unfortunately is negative. Ethnic composition: 57,3% Latvians, 27,8% Russians, 5,7% Belarusians, 2,7% Ukrainians, 2% Poles, 1,4% Lithuanians, 1,2% Romanians, 1,9% other (2012). There is a comparatively high proportion of people of working age – 66,3%; in Latvia it is 65,7% on average. Jelgava is the capital of students, suburb of Riga, strong regional centre, developing city. It is notable industrial, administrative, educational and culture centre.
STATUS QUO ANALYSIS OF YOUTH IN JELGAVA Jelgava is “young” city according to the population. It is one of the highest share (15.3%) of youth in the total city population in Latvia. Therefore, youth issues are very significant in the city. There are several organizations dealing with youth problems in Jelgava (see Table 1). Table 1. Youth organizations in Jelgava Izglītības inovāciju pārneses centrs Zemgales NVO Centrs Latvijas Studentu apvienība
Education Innovation Transfer Centre Zemgale NGO Centre Latvia Students Union
Jaunatnes starptautisko programmu aģentūra
Agency for International Programmes for Youth
Latvijas Pilsoniskā alianse
Jelgavas Skolēnu Dome
Jelgava Pupils' Council
Bērnu un jauniešu mūzikas Children and Youth Club klubs "Kovārsnis" “Jackdaw” “Post Scriptum” LLU Studējošo pašpārvalde Bērnu un jauniešu centrs “JUNDA”
“Post Scriptum” N.A. Students' Council of the http://www.llusp.lv/ Latvia University of Agriculture Children and Youth Centre http://www.junda.lv/ “JUNDA”
Youth organizations in Jelgava have their own activities and they are running them according their own vision and mission. It was noticed that youth organizations cooperate within their activities or projects at national level insufficiently. Mostly State Employment Office deals with youth unemployment. Although means for reducing unemployment is used in proper way, rate of youth unemployment is still high in Latvia. Less than half of young people are employed (see Table 2). As the Latvian labour market has recovered during recent years, unemployment remains a key problem affecting young people.
Table 2. Youth employment (age 15-29, percentage)
Source: Eurostat, 2014 Youth unemployment rate in Latvia is projected to trend around 20.13, 20.12 and 20.12 percent in the years of 2020, 2030 and 2050 respectively. In 2015, youth unemployment rate is expected to decrease to 19.15 percent. Table 3. Registered unemployment rate in Jelgava (percentage)
Source: Jelgava in Figures, 2013
Unemployment rate in Jelgava is 6.2 percent. Jelgava has one of the lowest unemployment levels in the state (see Table 3). As capital of Latvia (Riga) is not far away from Jelgava, many inhabitants of Jelgava work in Riga district as well. The main reasons of youth unemployment are (1) lack of practical skills; (2) mismatching needs of labour market; (3) lack of initiative taking and motivation. Young people leave school due to lack of motivation, sometimes the economic, cultural and social circumstances of the young people are the cause to stop studying. They do not realize the importance of a good training and its consequences for their future and employment. Next problem, youth organizations should deal with is young people at risk of poverty or exclusion. Comparing the Baltic Sates, Latvia has the highest rate of this indicator (see Table 4). Table 4. Young people at risk of poverty or exclusion (age 15-29, percentage)
Source: Eurostat, 2014 Jelgava has an issue to deal with social inclusion of people at risk of poverty or exclusion. One of the highest numbers of the Roma people was found in Jelgava after Ventspils (1151) and Riga (1078), 1041 Roma people are living in the city. For example, the Jelgava city council revealed that 60% of the 30 Roma who were interviewed were illiterate. Under such circumstances, they need special attention to social integration into society’s life. Several projects such as “ESINE: Inter-organizational learning: Employability and Social Inclusion through Non-formal Education of young people”, “Musical stop for reducing children and young people exclusion in Jelgava old city” and others are running for reducing youth social exclusion in Jelgava.
POSSIBILITIES FOR FORMAL AND NON-‐FORMAL EDUCATION IN JELGAVA The high status of education in Latvia is reflected in many ways. First, compulsory education was extended to 11 years, including two years of preschool education. Second, the increasing participation in upper secondary education is indicative of the general striving for advanced educational merits as well as, clearly, reflective of the rather bad reputation of vocational and professional tracks. This development causes great concern among Latvian authorities and systematic attempts to anticipate processes of matching labour market are still at an early stage. Third, involvement in higher education, especially at the Bachelor and Masters level, has become a popular way of postponing career decisions among young people and of escaping the labour market that characterised youth transitions in Latvia until recently. The popularity of doctoral studies, however, is very low and institutions are starting to have problems with ensuring an academic succession. Fourth, educational reform is at the core of Latvian policies towards minorities. The school reform of 2004 introduced extensive compulsory teaching in Latvian in minority schools (for example, Russian schools, etc.), Fifth, Latvia has a strong and excellent tradition of hobby and interest education, providing large proportions of the youth population with opportunities for meaningful out-of-school activities. Jelgava municipality supports 38 educational establishments, including 9 public and 8 privately owned preschool educational establishments, 3 elementary schools, 7 secondary schools, 2 boarding-schools, 2 crafts schools, 1 school of arts, 1 music school, 3 sports schools, 1 specialized school for disabled children. In Jelgava on the basis of formal education (vocational training), it is possible to get qualification of several professions such as cook, assistant cook, pastry cook, hairdresser, CNC machine tool programmer, costume stylist, retail businessman, assembly locksmith and others. In order to gain experience in certain field it could be achieved in non-formal way during volunteering activities. But according to European Voluntary Service (EVS) Register, unfortunately there is no any EVS accredited organization in Jelgava. Volunteering is not very common in the city. A message was noticed that Social Care Centre "Jelgava", Children and Youth Centre “JUNDA” invite volunteers to help them in their activities. There are two main training centres: (1) Zemgale Region Human Resource and Competences Development Centre; (2) The Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre.
Jelgava inhabitants have a possibility to improve their competencies in these training centres. Usually they are concerned to adult education, but the most part of attending persons in the trainings are young people. While community-based sport programs are also used as non-formal learning tool, sport institutions perform important role in Jelgava. There are several sport institutions: Sports Service Centre, Zemgale Olympic Centre, Jelgava Children and Youth Sports School, Jelgava Specialized Swimming School, Jelgava Tennis Centre, Recreation and Sports Centre “Zemgale”. Jelgava is remarkable for its rich history and significant traditional values, therefore museums education is used for non-formal learning. There are even 8 museums in the city: Jelgava History and Art Museum named after Gederts Eliass; Palace Museum; Crypt of Dukes of Kurzeme, branch of Rundāle Palace Museum; Memorial Museum of Ādolfs Alunāns; Branch of the Latvia Railway Museum; Psyhoneurology Hospital Museum; Museum of Southern Electrical Power Network; History exhibitions of Jelgava Regional Tourist Centre in St. Trinity Church Tower. Every year many events are organized in the city; the most important are the International Ice Sculptures festival and Jelgava City festival. There are many public spaces and green spaces that can be used for different purposes (sports, leisure, etc.). Table 5. Youth participation in non-formal education and training (age 15-29, percentage)
Source: Eurostat, 2014 Although there are several tools and means used for non-formal education, we have a strange situation where Latvia (comparing with other Baltic States countries) has quite low percentage of youth participation in non-formal education and training (see Table 5). And in
general, non-formal education in Latvia is accredited in a non-systematic way and there are no state regulations on validation of prior learning and work experience. Therefore recognition of non-formal education is poor in all country. As formal education in Latvia has strong position, non-formal education is not always recognized as skills development. Mostly employees pay attention to formal education and its qualification.
RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FOR STRENGHENING PRACTICAL SKILLS AND CAPACITIES FOR ORGANIZNING NON-‐FORMAL EDUCATION Youth organizations are very important for strengthening practical skills and capacities for organizing non-formal education for Jelgava youth. First of all, youth organizations in Jelgava should follow not only Youth Policy in Latvia, but also EU Youth Strategy, Europe 2020 strategy and other strategic documents or insights. In order to encourage youth to participate in practical non-formal education, activation of youth organizations is needed. It means that different youth organizations should be very active and members of theses organizations should have very good skills in the field they are working at but also they should have such “soft competences” in the fields as teamwork, public relations, relationship management, resource management, etc. Therefore, organizations working with youth should improve their competences during training courses and workshops, getting the best practices examples. Youth workers or leaders should participate in Erasmus+ and other programmes, which offer possibilities to develop competences. Enriching professional and organizational competencies of youth workers or leaders let them operate as multiplier and enable them to strengthen practical skills and capacities for organizing non-formal education for youth. Youth workers or leaders could learn from sharing experience and the best practices not only local or regional level but also at international level. International cooperation let broaden the point of view and stimulate to “think out the box”. Besides this, partnering for youth organizations provides more power in the policy making and more opportunities for youth. For example, if youth organization joins the projects running by other organizations, more activities could be offered to the youth. Quality youth participation, based on the principle of equality of perspectives and partners, requires young people to be able, capable and motivated to make use of relevant information. As it is some activities where Jelgava’s youth could develop their practical skills and capacities via non-formal education, Youth Information Centre in Jelgava could be established. The Centre could join all organizations organizing activities using methods of non-formal education. Also this Centre could have a function of counselling and professional orientation. It would be an intermediary among youth, different non-formal education institutions and representatives of labour market. Common website could be developed where various opportunities for youth would be presented (for example, not only youth
organizations, their contacts, but also events dedicated to youth, running youth projects, the best practices examples, volunteering possibilities, articles with the aim to motivate youth to be active, etc.). Recognition of non-formal education is crucial factor to motivate youth to participate in non-formal education. Therefore, organizations operating in the field of non-formal education should use the tools for recognition of non-formal education. Europass and especially Youthpass could be used to present the soft skills that young people have acquired in non-formal learning. Non-formal training could be used as a tool to help to young people to find a profession. It is very important to explain the significance of non-formal learning to employers, educators and society. Besides this, it should be contributed to making importance of employability skills and social inclusion visible at local policy level. According the Europe 2020 strategy, 75 % of the population aged 20-64 should be employed. At just under 25% youth unemployment has been declining in Latvia, but is still high. The government has taken some good steps already to tackle youth and long-term unemployment, but still needs to be done more, for example, by implementing a youth guarantee and improving vocational education and non-formal training. Bridging labour market needs and non-formal learning is another significant factor for development of nonformal education. For example, Institute for the Future (2011) identified 10 skills needed in the future labour market: •
Sense making (interpreting the underlying meaning of expressions)
Social intelligence (connecting with others)
Novel and adaptive thinking (finding new solutions and responses to unexpected circumstances)
Cross-cultural competences (ability to operate in diverse cultural settings)
Computational thinking (translating data in abstract concepts)
New-media literacy (critically assessing and developing content)
Transdisciplinarity (understanding concepts from different disciplines)
Design mindset (representing and developing tasks and work processes)
Cognitive load management (discriminating and filtering information)
Virtual collaboration (working in virtual teams).
Following this, while organizing non-formal education, it should be focused on development of these future work skills (see the picture below).
Source: Institute for the Future, 2011 Active volunteering could be used as a mean for non-formal education. It could be even several EVS accredited institutions in Jelgava. Volunteers could help not only for youth organizations to be more active in organizing in non-formal education activities, but also they could contribute to better welfare of the society. Besides this, young people could have better opportunities to participate in volunteering activities and gain experience and skills through non-formal education. For successful active volunteering it is crucial to ensure good image of volunteering within society of Jelgava. It should be highlighted that about 40% of the population in Latvia is at risk of poverty or social exclusion â€“ one of the highest rates in the EU. To address this problem the government should improve the coverage and adequacy of the social welfare system and take particular measures to address child poverty. Therefore, equal opportunities principle should be adopted by youth organizations promoting non-formal education. Youth organizations should focus on the youth with lower possibilities and provide support for young people with fewer opportunities.
Jelgava as a city is very attractive and has a big potential. It could be expected that Jelgava will reach high estimated results until 2020. Jelgava could be shown as a city in the best practice perspective. The key thing is that all organizations should put all their efforts and work together. Some efforts should be added and maybe we could entitle Jelgava as capital of active youth in the future.
REFERENCES 1. Council of Europe (2008) Youth policy in Latvia. ISBN 978-92-871-6448-3. Available at: http://www.youthpolicy.org/national/Latvia_2008_Youth_Policy_Review.pdf 2. Craig G. (2011) Promoting Social Inclusion of Roma A Study of National Policies. 3. Descriptors defining levels in the European Qualifications Framework (EQF). Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/ploteus/en/content/descriptors-page 4. Developing the creative and innovative potential of young people through non-formal learning in ways that are relevant employability: Expert Group Report. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/youth/library/reports/creative-potential_en.pdf 5. EU Youth Strategy for 2010-18. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/youth/policy/youth_strategy/index_en.htm 6. Europe 2020 strategy 7. Eurostat (2014). European statistics. Available at: http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat 8. Excolo Latvia Ltd (2013) COUNTRY SHEET ON YOUTH POLICY IN LATVIA. Available at: http://pjpeu.coe.int/documents/1017981/1668141/Country_sheet_Latvia_2013.pdf/f88bc01ca6ad-458a-a19d-64eedd5aa0c1 9. Jelgava in Figures 2013. 10. Jelgava.lv aktuāli. Available at: www.jelgava.lv 11. Pauna D. (2007) Validation of non-formal and informal learning: Statements and Comments. Available at: http://pdf.mutual-learningemployment.net/pdf/FR07/Latvia_FR07.pdf 12. Trading Economics (2014) Latvia Youth Unemployment Rate Forecast. Available at: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/latvia/youth-unemployment-rate/forecast
STRATEGIC PLAN FOR STRENGTHENING PRACTICAL SKILLS AND CAPACITIES FOR ORGANIZING NON-FORMAL EDUCATION FOR JELGAVA YOUTH The strategic plan h...
Published on Oct 15, 2014
STRATEGIC PLAN FOR STRENGTHENING PRACTICAL SKILLS AND CAPACITIES FOR ORGANIZING NON-FORMAL EDUCATION FOR JELGAVA YOUTH The strategic plan h...