Youth Policy and Participation


[ Home | Objectives | Work Programme | Partners | Advisory Board | Working papers | Video ]

The project analyses limits and potential of young people's active participation in their transitions to work. Respective policies have not always considered young people's subjective motivation for citizenship and lifelong learning. By enhancing the role of local youth policies within this area the potential of informal learning in transitions to work is expected to be uncovered. Experiences of young people in ten European regions will be assessed, comparing disengaged young people with 'risk biographies' to those with 'choice biographies' combining formal and informal learning. Case studies of good practice will analyse in the potential for empowerment and active participation in local youth policy. European added value is provided by a typology of participatory policies and a European training module for youth workers.

The main objective of the project is to improve the knowledge of the prerequisites for citizenship, focusing upon young people's active participation in their transition to the labour market. It is assumed that citizenship, both at the national and European level, requires the ability to actively influence one's own biography and everyday life. In contrast to young people with high qualifications, those with low qualifications run the risk of a loss of motivation through their enrolment in training schemes. These often neglect their individual aspirations and informal skills. The project aims to assess the potential to increase young people's ability to achieve active participation and the recognition of informal learning by strengthening the role of local youth policies within national transition systems. It is expected that the more local youth policies are geared towards young people's own life worlds participation is likely to increase.

The project consists of a series of case studies conducted in 10 European regions (Romania, Denmark, East and West Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom).
Step 1: Exploratory interviews will be conducted with two groups of young people assessing their own criteria for participation and the prerequisites of motivation and informal learning:
- young people with risk biographies, i.e. low levels of qualification and problems of motivation who have begun one of the measures identified for the case studies (step2);
- young people with choice biographies, i.e. high qualifications combined with informal skills leading to individually shaped trajectories.
Step 2: In each region 3 cases of good practice will be examined through document analysis, expert interviews, video documentation (by young people) and follow-up interviews with young people after participation in the respective measures. Cases will be selected according to regional and economic indicators and target groups (e.g. gender and ethnicity).
Comparative analyse will be conducted on the national case study reports. This will result in the production of a typology of good practice, providing knowledge on the effects of different types of local youth policy addressing the transition to work and on the prerequisites for active participation. Criteria will be developed for application, transfer and contextualisation.
The dissemination process will be assisted by an external board of youth policy experts from European organisations and countries not involved in the study. In addition to scientific publications and information for practitioners, a module for a European youth worker training course will be developed in collaboration with the Youth Directorate of the Council of Europe.

The project highlights the prerequisites of young people's citizenship. It analyses the motivation to actively shape transitions to work and the acceptance of lifelong learning. It contributes to an integration of participatory youth and transition policies. Milestones: Comparison of discourses on participation, interviews with young people on transition experiences, case studies and typology of youth policies, publications for scientists and practitionners, module European youth worker training.

To the top

Validate HMTL | Validate CSS