Throughout Europe, there is a huge diversity in the way youth information is organised, delivered and recognised. This in turn impacts young people’s right to access quality and neutral information.
Despite different youth information policies in Europe, there is a common understanding that information is a prerequisite in making participation and inclusion possible. Youth information services aim to support and empower young people with full and reliable information on their rights and options to address their needs, interests and well-being. In a society characterised by disinformation and information overload, it is not always easy to grasp that providing quality information is a professional occupation. This is why Eurodesk and ERYICA (the European Youth Information and Counselling Agency) have been advocating for a greater recognition of the sector.
The first step taken together with ERYICA led us to create a European Competence Framework for Youth Information Workers (#YouthInfoComp) which contributes to the recognition of the sector in Europe by being a unique reference framework in the field and for all countries willing to give recognition to the profession. It is a first at European level.
But we did not stop there. A new step in the recognition of the sector has come from the inclusion of the “youth information worker” in ESCO, the EU multilingual classification of European Skills, Competences, Qualifications and Occupations in January 2022. Eurodesk and Eryica initiated this important development by offering their expertise to the European Commission. It contributes to defining common standards for professions in Europe in line with recognition and transparency mechanisms such as the European Qualification Framework. Those efforts are also in line with the recently adopted European Youth Work Agenda that calls for the recognition of youth work in Europe.
We are proud of these two accomplishments, but we must not stop there. Now that those two initiatives are in place, it is up to youth information workers and stakeholders in the youth field to cease the opportunity to voice the importance of youth information for building a Europe with and for young people.