Youth Work, Outcomes and Non-formal education in Australia

At a moment when we are being thrown into a critical, collective debate about the relationship between youth work as informal education and youth work as non-formal education, never mind the continued emphasis on outcomes and impact, it’s interesting to note this forthcoming conference in Australia.

Image credit: Sketchnoting style graphic Siiri Taimla (Joonmeedia)

The Conference “Youth Work and non-formal education: evidencing outcomes for young people” celebrates 20 years of Youth Work at Victoria University, 19/20 July

We have partnered with the Youth Workers Association to hold a two-day conference for the youth work sector and our graduates.

The conference will focus on the concepts of learning and non-formal education within the context of youth work and evidencing the outcomes of youth work.

It is targeted at:

  • youth work professionals
  • people responsible for the development of youth policies in state and local governments
  • not for profit youth work agencies
  • youth work education providers.

Conference objectives

As a conference participant, you will:

  • be introduced to Youthpass – (external link)the Europe-wide validation strategy for non-formal learning within Youth Work – into the Youth Work practice in Victoria
  • gain a better understanding non-formal learning and its application to Youth Work practice
  • understand how to better evidence the impact of Youth Work, particularly in an environment of rate capping and scarce resources
  • have an opportunity to network with other youth workers
  • learn about new and innovative programs.

One of the keynote speakers is

Paul Kloosterman (Netherlands/Italy)

Paul Kloosterman is a trainer, consultant and author on youth work and non-formal education.

Paul has been instrumental in the development of Youthpass concept since its launch in 2007. He has co-authored numerous books on Youthpass and non-formal learning within the context of youth work. In 2012-2013 he co-authored theYouthpass Impact Study(external link).

Total* 474,295 36,515 17,125

Youthpass is a part of the European Commission’s strategy to foster the recognition of non-formal learning. It is available for projects funded by Erasmus+: Youth in Action (2014-2020) and Youth in Action (2007-2013) programmes. As a tool to document and recognise learning outcomes, it puts policy into practice and practice into policy:

  • While creating their Youthpass Certificate together with a support person, the participants of the projects have the possibility to describe what they have done in their project and which competences they have acquired. Thus, Youthpass supports the reflection upon the personal non-formal learning process and outcomes.
  • Being a Europe-wide validation instrument for non-formal learning in the youth field, Youthpass contributes to strengthening the social recognition of youth work.
  • Describing the added value of the project, Youthpass supports active European citizenshipof young people and of youth workers.
  • Youthpass also aims at supporting the employability of young people and of youth workers by documenting the acquisition of key competences on a certificate.


At times I’m an ignorant soul so I’ve missed completely the significance of the European Youthpass programme and as usual I’m a touch cautious about what sort of individual-focused practice it leads to. Leave that aside it would be very enlightening to hear from youth workers in the UK, who have utilised the programme.


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