“Non-formal learning for employment” was a long-term initiative and a two-year project, supported by the ERDF and the Erasmus + program, implemented on the territory of Bulgaria and Romania.
The main object was:
To develop a comprehensive Model for interventions in the field of competence development among young people, which will increase their realization in the labour market and their social involvement and participation.
The general framework of the Model was based on the following steps:
- Analysis of areas where formal education doesn’t provide practical skills but young people need such skills for employability or social sufficiency – study, research or observation;
- Design methodologies, manuals and training programs( include online platform) based on non-formal learning to provide relevant competencies;
- Preparation of expert Trainers to train and support youth workers in their direct work with young people;
- Preparing Youth workers to provide training programs for young people interested in the field;
- Support processes at each level by methodologies and guidelines concerning NFL1, modern pedagogy and interactive teaching.
Commissioned by the project’s coordinators, I did the extensive research parallel in Bulgaria and Romania which results served as grounds to develop quality training materials. The study was realized in two phases.
In order to define the key competencies and areas where young people do not develop sufficient practical skills, I conducted online survey and face – to face interviews among young people (age between 16 – 25 years) and conducted deep – interviews and focus group with representatives of various business from Bulgaria and Romania.
With the idea to gather professional insights, I facilitated 2 ideation sessions with youth workers. There we formulated objectives of youth work designed activities in the context of the project objectives and even tried to prototype the future learning manuals.
Along with outputs, and together with the survey’s results, this became the main focus points of the Learning methodology’s development.
The analysis of the research can be seen here.
The second part of my research was in the last phase of the project, where I gathered feedback from the participants (youth workers and learners) and prepared an impact assessment report.
At the end of the project, design thinking workshops were organised where the participants shared their experiences in the program. By using creative methods such as storytelling and sketching they shared how they are going to implement the methodology in their fieldwork with youths.