Enhancing young people’s employability via youth work

Commissioned by the European Youth Forum, and conducted by the University of Bath and GHK Consulting, the study on “the impact of non-formal education in youth organisations on young people’s employability” confirms the importance of the COMANITY project.

Non-formal education can be understood as “an organised educational process that takes place outside the 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 (s)he is learning”.

Among the findings are:

  • Young people who report higher levels of involvement in the youth organisations’ activities (in terms of frequency and duration) also report higher levels of skills development;
  • Employers consider involvement with youth organisations as a positive experience, as they have implicit theories that associate certain experiences with certain skills sets;
  • Beyond Skills Development: involvement in youth organisations creates networks and connections for young people

The study also include a set of recommendations, notably to foster young people’s participation in youth organisations and better recognition of any learning that happens there.

The Future of Work and Youth – Publication

The European Youth Forum published in April 2019 a report on The Future of Work and Youth. This is an interesting publication addressing youth work and social inclusion. It looks into the impact of four megatrends on youth and the world of work: globalisation, climate change, demographic changes, and technological advancements.

Among other things, it recommends to invest in young people’s skills! Just like COMANITY 😉

Access the publication here.

Social Innovation – empowerment, youth activism and engagement: examples from South London

Two, of many, very different examples of youth engagement and empowerment organisations in South London.

Ebony Horse Club: On the notorious Brixton Angell Town estate an inner city horse club is making inroads and engaging with some of the local young people at risk of being drawn into gang culture.


The Advocacy Academy:

What is it? The Advocacy Academy is a transformational Social Justice Fellowship for young people who are passionate about making a difference in the world. Across six intense months, we support young leaders from marginalised communities to develop the knowledge, skills and confidence to tackle some of the biggest challenges of the 21st century.




Peer Education

The following extract is from ‘The Substance Use Peer Education Responses Manual’, compiled by Bernie Roe, linked here: https://www.drugsandalcohol.ie/3705/1/1833-1768.pdf

Youth Peer Education is based on the belief that young people are the ones best equipped to inform, challenge and relate to other young people.

This type of Youth Peer Training has a valuable role to play in the health education of young people. It is not an alternative. It is an enhancement, so therefore it can work alongside and compliment other forms of youth work and health education.

The peer group is an important source of support and a place where standards begin to develop so working with Peer Educators means using the positive aspects of this process.

The Youth Peer Education concept makes positive use of potential peer influence, it is an approach which empowers young people to work with other young people and which draws on the positive strength of the peer group. This form of education encourages young people to place more emphasis on their own thoughts and decisions.

Youth Peer Education promotes personal growth and new skills for many young people that will assist them in all areas of their lives.

Peer Education can be an innovative way of breaking down barriers between adults and young people because in the process adults must be prepared to acknowledge the power and skills of young people and allow them to take control and make decisions.


  • promote self-confidence,
  • identify limits and rituals,
  • recognise young people as a valuable resource,
  • promote democratic development,
  • help the competence of young people
  • be voluntary and respect personal responsibility,
  • involve all participants in planning and facilitate joint ownership of project,
  • show clear roles and goals,
  • be supported and evaluated.

Peer Education in Mental Health – When the Students become the Teachers

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This video and the following text are from the Peer Education Project (PEP), linked here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/projects/peer-education-project-pep

The Peer Education Project is a school-based programme that aims to give young people the skills and knowledge they need to safeguard their mental health, and that of their peers.

The project was born out of the idea that a key source of support to young people experiencing mental health distress is their peer group within the school environment. We developed this idea into a solution appropriate for schools.

By training older pupils to deliver mental health lessons to younger student, the project aims to bypass the walls many young people put up when being taught such nuanced, personal topics by adults whom they feel are detached from their personal experiences.

Mental Health and Youth Activism

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‘How a conversation changed my life’, YoungMinds Activist Alex

In this video Alex tells us why he decided to become a YoungMinds Activist, and how talking about his mental health helped him overcome his struggles. If you’d like to learn more about becoming an Activist with us, or want tips on looking after your mental health visit youngminds.org.uk

The DS4Y – Digital skills for You(th) project

The European project “Digital Skills for You(th)” aims at developing and piloting a blended learning offer for professionals working with disadvantaged young people. The offer focuses on a strength-oriented approach for their young target group concerning digital opportunities and challenges regarding their personal and professional development and active participation in society.

The project partners have published a Report on the framework conditions for training offers in digital youth work (only in English).

The project is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Commission and is coordinated by the German Digital Opportunities Foundation with partners from the Czech Republic (NCBI) and Spain (Fundación ESPLAI). The duration of the project is from January 2017 till December 2018.

Game: “The Matrix of (online) Risks and Threats”

Being aware of the many risks and threats of online use is an important aim of the COMANITY project. Because it seeks to reinforce young people’s capacity to detect those threats and to be more resilient, with this game below, youth workers and volunteers will have a practical tool to use to show young people how to be more careful online. What is best than a game to learn about it?

The Matrix of Risks and Threats” is a game that aims to identify the risks and threats of online use. It is one of the resources promoted by the SocialWeb – SocialWork project.

Try the tool here: https://www.socialweb-socialwork.eu/content/modules/4_de/index.cfm/secid.22/secid2.41

The purpose of the SocialWeb – SocialWork project was to improve children’s online safety by availing the positive energy and influence of social work on vulnerable children and youths. Nowadays the Internet is no longer a mere tool for information search but rather the platform for social life and it is only logically consistent to involve the area of social work in strategies for a safer Internet for children and youths. The primary target group of the project were professionals working with children and youth at risk in various fields of activities. For young people who face a higher vulnerability due to social or educational disadvantages, having disabilities or other special needs, educational professionals in the broad field of social youth work often fill the role of a confidant. Therefore the project strategy of SocialWeb – SocialWork was built on the professionals’ detailed knowledge and acquaintance with situations of daily life and the needs of their young target group, and sensitively addressed their possible reluctance to digital media usage in social work.

During the project’s 24 months runtime, a training campaign was piloted in the participating partner countries and evaluated in regular cycles to measure the effects of such qualification for the improvement of Internet safety of vulnerable children and youths. The project resulted in a training programme consisting of both face-to-face and online learning units and an additional train-the-trainer strategy, thereof all elements have proven their transferability and scalability to other European countries and further groups of professionals working with children and youths at risk.

SocialWeb – SocialWork was a knowledge enhancement project in the Safer Internet Programme funded by the European Commission. The project consortium consisted of: Stiftung Digitale Chancen, Germany (project coordinator) Narodni centrum bezpecnejsiho internetu, Czech Republic Association Rural Internet Access Points (RIAP Association), Lithuania Nobody’s Children Foundation, Poland Fundación Esplai, Spain.

Game: “My profile picture and me”

Online identity is an important topic for the COMANITY project. Youth workers and volunteers must know how to introduce this topic to young people to advice them on how they can have a better image of themselves on Internet. What is best than a game to learn about it?

My profile picture and me” is a game to raise awareness about the messages conveyed by profile pictures online.

You’re also in a social network and have a profile picture there? If so, do you know what the picture tells about you? And what do you think about profile pictures of others? Do you believe that they always show exactly what the person in the picture wants to tell?

Try and find it out with this game: https://www.socialweb-socialwork.eu/content/modules/profilbilderspiel/