Recognition and validation of competences from informal or non-formal settings is commonly understood as one of the most important challenges for educational and training sector nowadays.
One of the most powerful informal learning contexts is represented by the volunteering sector, where young people of all education, cultural and social backgrounds, have the opportunity to experience different challenging situations, putting into practice their own skills and getting wide experience and new competences. Most of this new knowledge can represent an asset for volunteers in other areas of their life, as, for example, in professional career.
Volunteering is an opportunity, not only to be socially active and to feel part of civil society, but it is also a way to gain skills and competences. Volunteering can be considered as a natural learning environment, especially for those that fall out of the formal educational sector or who find it difficult to re-enter the labour market. It is important to increase motivation for vulnerable target groups, such as NEETs (Young people not in employment, education or training) to approach the volunteering sector also as a way to re-engage in social life.
Therefore, in order to improve their options, should they decide to re-enter the labour market, it is absolutely fundamental to properly validate those competences. The project aims to provide an overview about projects, initiatives and methods for the validation of non-formal and informal learning. Providing recognition could motivate volunteers to become either involved in additional learning activities or may also facilitate or improve their employability.
In order to reach this overall objective, the specific objectives will be:
- To implement an e-platform with an interactive database that gives access to initiatives and learning information materials that have been identified and collected in the course of the project, especially concerning successful models and best practice concepts for the validation of key competences acquired during volunteering and systems of recognition of competences acquired through non-formal and informal learning
- To elaborate a “Catalogue for Recognition of Competences Acquired Through Volunteering” which will give an overview about the current situation of the specific project environment in the partners’ countries, and present the initiatives, projects and materials, in English and with explanations in all languages of the partnership;
- To organise an online interactive Forum for exchange of experience and good practice that will promote networking and exchange activities on a European level.