European Volunteer Center (CEV)
Coordinated by the European Volunteer Centre (CEV), MOVE (Mutual Recognition of skills and competences learned through volunteering) focuses on mutual recognition of skills and competences learned through volunteering amongst different stakeholders from the voluntary sector, business, formal education and government as well as accreditation bodies. It brings together various stakeholders with their tools and experiences in the field of identifying, assessing and recognizing skills gained through volunteering. The main objective is to create a space for the exchange of approaches, needs and knowledge between these actors. The core of MOVE will be a three day conference in Brussels in May 2007 bringing together 100 experts and practitioners in the field and providing a space for presentation of good practices, identification of barriers that hinder collaboration of the different stakeholders and discussion on common standards. The participants will debate the possibility to develop a "European Volunteer Pass", a portfolio of skills and competences learned through volunteering that could contribute to the current work of the European institutions on the recognition on non-formal learning and the European Qualification Framework. The results and the experience of the seminar will establish a European Thematic Network that will take further the debate and work on implementation of the results.
Non-formal and informal learning plays a major role when it comes to opportunities for citizens to gain skills and competences needed in the knowledge society. Volunteering is a key activity when it comes to non-formal and informal learning and to make learning opportunities available for all - especially for those that fall out of the formal educational sector or that find it difficult to enter the labour market. However, the contribution volunteering can make to people in terms of gaining skills and competences remains often invisible. There are many projects at local, regional, national and European level to remedy the problem of assessing or accrediting skills and competences learned through volunteering and, thus, raising awareness on the contribution volunteering can make to reduce social exclusion and to enhance employability.
What is lacking is a European overview on these different projects and a debate on how best practices are transferable to other countries and target groups and an ongoing debate on mutual recognition of methods and instruments between different sectors: The voluntary sector, business and the formal educational sector. Finally, we need a better recognition in national and European life long learning policy on the positive impact volunteering can have in terms of alternative learning opportunities. In this context we will discuss ways of developing the "European Volunteer Pass".
ICVolunteers participated in the reporting of the conference.