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Training, Recognition and Professionalisation of Youth Workers in Italy: the Contribution of Erasmus+/Youth in Action

TitleTraining, Recognition and Professionalisation of Youth Workers in Italy: the Contribution of Erasmus+/Youth in Action
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsMerico M, Crescenzo N, Quarta S
Secondary TitleItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Date Published02/2019
PublisherPadova University Press
Place PublishedPadova, IT
ISSN Number2035-4983
KeywordsEuropean mobility, Non-formal education, youth policy, youth work

The paper aims to observe the training, recognition and professionalisation of “youth work(ers)” in Italy, paying specific attention – within the framework of European youth policy – to the effects of the Erasmus+/Youth in Action Programme (E+/YiA). In this respect, the paper presents a selection of results from the Italian sub-sample of the international research programme “Research-based Analysis of Erasmus+: Youth in Action” (RAY). Through an analysis based on qualitative and quantitative methods, the outcomes of some of the Actions carried out under E+/YiA are discussed, focusing on their impact on socio-educational instructors’ biographies and training pathways, as well as on organisational development, recognition and professionalisation of youth work(ers) in Italy. The rise of a marked reflexivity encounters the challenges related to the process of recognition and professionalisation, particularly critical in Italy. Aspects and problems subsequently emerge, thus reshaping the ambitions of many Italian youth workers, who identify – as the research results show – in the European (and international) dimension the (only) framework (perceived as) capable of giving meaning and perspective to their experience.