Erasmus+ KA153: Mobility for youth workers
About Lesson


Wow, you continue to impress us! So now you’re interested in the mobility of youth workers, are you? Be warned, once you get into project planning and writing, you can’t stop! Once you realize how much of a difference you can make with these opportunities, you’ll keep doing them! And that deserves a round of applause! Congratulations and follow us through the process!

Let’s start by understanding the name of the key action: mobility for youth workers. The term mobility speaks for itself, the travel of the target group within the territory of one of the participating countries. However, youth workers or youth work in general may be terms that need more explanation, as we don’t hear them as much in our daily lives. The official definition, as found in the legal text of the European Union, is as follows:

“Youth work is a broad concept, encompassing a wide range of social, cultural, educational, environmental and/or political activities carried out by, with and for young people, in groups or individually. Youth work is carried out by paid and voluntary youth workers and is based on non-formal and informal learning processes focused on young people and on voluntary participation. Youth work is essentially a social practice that works with young people and the societies in which they live, promoting their active participation and involvement in their communities and in decision-making.”

As you can see, the definition of a youth worker is quite broad. This is because there are different definitions in European countries, some for a certain age group, such as 15-25 year olds, while in others there are none. Therefore, we believe that the easiest way to capture what a youth worker is is to highlight key words. From the above quotation, we would suggest the following: with and for young people, non-formal and informal learning, social practice, active participation, involvement in their communities and in decision-making. We would also add other terms such as: youth leader, leisure, extracurricular education, voluntary participation, educational and professional development. What would you add to our idea?

As for the action itself, Mobility is looking for non-formal and informal learning activities for youth workers that support quality and innovative youth work, while also creating community. This is usually done by targeting youth workers with development opportunities so that they can then revolutionise and restructure their organisations and make an impact on the quality of youth work at local, national, European and international level.

These activities can include:

Study visits, including workplace observation, youth worker exchanges and peer learning.

Networking and community building among youth workers.

Training to improve the quality of youth work or to try out innovative.

Seminars and workshops on best practices in youth work.

So many to choose from! So many ways to be inspired! Each type of activity should be linked to the Erasmus+ priorities, the EU Youth Strategy, the 11 EU Youth Objectives and the European Training Strategy, which we have already discussed in the previous sections and which you can find in the useful links panel.

According to the Erasmus+ Guidelines, a quality KA153 project should aim to:

  • have a clear impact on the regular work of the participating youth workers with young people and on their organisation
  • rely on the active involvement of the participating organisations and youth workers, who must play an active role at all stages of the
  • be based on the identified educational and professional development needs of youth.
  • ensure that Youthpass gives appropriate recognition to participants’ non-formal and informal learning outcomes
  • the project results (methods, materials and tools) are transferable and usable within the participating
  • encourage participants to reflect on European themes and values and provide youth workers with tools and methods to promote respect and manage diversity in their daily.
  • encourage the use of innovative practices and methods, such as the inclusion of digital youth work activities, to act as a tool to prevent all forms of online disinformation and pseudo-news.

You can apply for this action as an NGO, a public body, a social enterprise or even an informal group of young people active in youth work, following the steps of creating a good project idea and finding an active and reliable partner. The total duration of the project, including all the phases mentioned above, is between 3 and 24 months, but most organisations usually stay around 12 months. As for the duration of the professional activities (listed above), the guidelines recommend 2-60 days, but the usual length is again one week for the action plus travel days. This is why when it comes to double training, it doubles to 14+2.

Finally, the last piece of advice we can give you is to check out the Erasmus+ Results Platform, get inspired, see what projects have been successful, what projects have been implemented in your region and what has been neglected, and make your decision based on that! And of course, don’t be shy, ask around and check out the tricks and tips for filling in the application form!

The motto of this column is: Teach me so you can learn more!

Idea: What to write on the application form? You’ll find a template with the questions on the application form and some advice on how to answer them.

KA 1 Mobility for youth workers template