EVS is an experience that enriches participants on so many levels that I could stay here writing about it for the whole day. But there’s another aspect which is often underestimated and that adds another benefit to the experience: EVS is an effective training for the job market, not necessarily in the non-profit or educational sector.
It provides a lot of learning outcomes throughout the experience, so it’s important for participants to reflect on them over the entire period of EVS, not only at the end of the experience, in order not to miss anything.
In this sense, the Youth Pass is an extremely powerful tool.
What’s the YP? It’s an instrument developed by the EU to document and recognize learning outcomes of projects funded under the Erasmus + programmes.
So, why is the YP so powerful? Isn’t it just a certificate? Well, is way more than that, because not only it recognizes and documents learning outcomes from EVS activities, but, by stimulating the reflection upon personal non-formal learning processes and outcomes, it raises awareness on the competences that are being built and on how they are being built. That’s why it’s a great tool: it helps volunteers describe their competences in a better way, which is a critical success factor in a job interview; moreover, by raising awareness about the learning processes, it helps volunteers become faster and more effective learners.
But how comes that sometimes this just doesn’t happen? In some EVS experiences, participants are not able to harness and benefit of the full potential of this tool, starting to reflect on their learning outcomes just at the end of their experience. Why is that so?
This is often related to the effectiveness of the stimulus received by their supervisors: it’s important for them to provide an effective training at the beginning of the experience (with a proper focus about the YP and the key competences identified by the EU), monitor on a regular basis the learning outcomes (by stimulating a reflection through questionnaires, interviews and other tools) and assess them at the middle of the experience and towards the end.
Another factor that hampers the effective use of the YP, is the difficulty for volunteers to understand the key competences and relate them to specific activities, as each activity often cross-cuts many competences.
Luckily for us youth workers, other colleagues have developed a lot of effective activities and tools to work with volunteers on the Youth Pass and the key competences, to effectively harness the full power of this amazing tool. The focus should not be on the certificate but on the process!
So, if you are a youth worker, check out this amazing guide to learn new activities regarding the YP that you can try on your next training:
(and don’t forget to check out the full set of handbooks available on the Youth Pass website!)
If you are a volunteer or would like to know more about the YP, check out this Junior Woodchucks Guidebook that contains everything you need to know about it:
If you would like to check more resources, we have just the right page for you on our portal! Check it out here.
We wish you a nice journey deep into learning!