Background of the project

“European youth workers unite to empower youth and youth field– Youth worker is a lifestyle” is a project of 9 partners inspired by the Declaration of 3d European Youth Work Convention. The project supports the implementation of the European Youth Work Agenda. During the third European Youth Work Convention, the participating youth workers from the EU and COE member states and other stakeholders strongly recognized the need for an international network of youth workers. Network as the main tool to give youth workers a voice and support peer learning, and quality developments in the youth sector across Europe. Final declaration of the conventions’ call to action – create a European Network of Youth Workers Associations.

The consortium of partners was established on the basis of a common memorandum of 12 organizations signed during 3d EYWC.

Partners realized that there is a need to strengthen youth work and youth workers associations to have a strong voice for youth workers on all levels of governance. As well as the need to have space for peer-learning and discussion to speed up digital transformation in the youth field, ensure that environmental topics are addressed, and quality of youth work is developed. It seemed to be crucial for youth work and youth work policy development to have a strong social partner as a European Network of youth workers to respond to these needs.

To move towards establishing the Association, partners agreed to have a structured project, which enables them to go deeper into the different topics and discussions, as well as involve more stakeholders. With the support of Erasmus+ (Estonian National Agency), the Project started in November 2021 and lasts till November 2024.

Aims and objectives

Project aims are:

  • to increase quality, innovation, and recognition of youth work;
  • to establish a strategic partnership between participating countries to strengthen youth workers’ engagement in policymaking and professional consolidation and improve cooperation between youth workers in Europe (both EU and COE countries) in general;
  • to establish an innovative and green, modern managed umbrella organization for the field and to support the implementation of the European Youth Work Agenda – horizontal.

These aims lead to the objectives to be achieved:

1) explore problems and best practices for political, professional, and learning-outcome recognition of youth work and enforce strategic communication of youth field to improve recognition;

2) increase quality and innovation of youth work via improved peer learning, advocacy, training development, cooperation, between youth workers in Europe (both EU and COE countries); establishing stronger links between policy, research, and practice;

3) prepare, establish, and implement a European network/association of youth workers, based on green and innovative management and communication approaches. As well as analyze needs and possibilities for using (green and digital) tools for peer learning, advocacy, internal and external communication, management of the network, practice sharing between members of the network;

4) build the capacity of the network and its’ members, including development training packages and other necessary services to support national associations of youth workers and youth work quality development.