In the Youthpass and broader European policy context, ‘competence’ is defined as a combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to a particular situation. ‘Key competences’ are those that support our personal fulfilment, social inclusion, active citizenship and employment. Each of the competences is as important as the other. Many of the competences overlap and interlock: aspects essential to one domain will support competence in another. There are a number of themes that are applied throughout the framework: critical thinking, creativity, initiative taking, problem solving, risk assessment, decision taking, and managing feelings constructively play a role in all eight key competences. All of them are crucial in the broad scope of learning.
Youthpass uses the European framework of key competences for lifelong learning to describe the learning outcomes of young people. So, when you are creating the certificates for young people, you should follow the framework and categorise the learning outcomes described by young people that occurred in your program under one of the following 8 competences:
- communication in foreign languages, which encompasses using different language(s) in different life contexts. Expressing in foreign language(s) your ideas, opinions, feelings, needs, facts by listening, speaking, writing and reading. Understanding others. Being open for others cultures, habits and realities.
Examples of possible learning: learning new words in foreign languages; learning new concept, approaches, methods coming from different country; learning new things about different cultures; being more open toward people coming from different countries and cultures.
- communication in the mother tongue, which in a nutshell means using native language in different life contexts. Expressing ideas, opinions, feelings, needs, facts by listening, speaking, writing and reading. Understanding others.
Examples of possible learning: knowing how to write official letters, being confident in running presentations, create short info for your team, being able to express critical opinions in respectful way…)
- mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology includes calculating, budgeting, controlling and planning expenses, solving problems, logic and critical thinking, looking for data, needs analysis, presenting facts by models and charts, being sensitive toward your environment.
Examples of possible learning: assessing local needs: financial management (as calculating the budget, operating with different currencies, monitoring expenses etc.); presenting the project in form of numbers, charts, models, etc.; looking for data and interpreting them; evaluating the outcomes of the project; solving problems; dealing with any specific topic or theme linked with science or technology.
- digital competence – use means of IT in your free and working time and as a mean of communication. Producing, storing, analysing information. Sharing information via internet. Using different media means as mobile phones, digital cameras, etc.
Examples of possible learning: using computer for filling a project application form; learning new computer programmes and applications; communicating via e mail; using internet, mobiles phones, digital cameras and other IT means for realizing and documenting the project/program and also for disseminating it’s outcomes.
- learning to learn: to be able to organize and manage own learning. To set own aims and objectives, identify the optimal ways and means to achieve them and to monitor and evaluate own learning process. To know own learning abilities and optimal use of time, information and learning opportunities. To develop further on already gained experience and competences. To be able to apply achieved competences and experiences in ones personal, professional and social life. To know how to increase own motivation and self confidence.
Examples of possible learning: learning new things about you as a learner – how do you learn best, with whom, in what situations, what stimulates you, what blocks you etc.; learning how to set individual aims and objectives for yourself; learning how can you use in your project the competences and experience you have already and what new things you can learn to develop further; learning how to motivate yourself and what helps you to feel more confident; using concrete things you learnt in your project in other situations – at school, at work, at home etc.
- social and civic competences: to be able to participate in social, civic and working life. To be able to deal with people coming from different social and cultural backgrounds. To be able to cope in a constructive way with conflicts. To have a knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to be active as a citizen. To participate as much as possible in civic live at local, regional, national and global level.
Examples of possible learning: taking responsibility for planning and implementing social change within your local community, promoting at local level new or underdeveloped activities and opportunities of general interest, providing also support activities for target groups with special needs or fewer opportunities, serving as role models and good practitioners for young people in your community, contributing to promote the image of the local community at regional, national or international level.
- sense of initiative and entrepreneurship: to turn ideas into actions, to be creative and innovative, to take a risk, to plan and manage projects, to be aware of different working contexts and being able to optimally use given opportunities for own development. To be aware of ethical values.
Examples of possible learning: turning a project idea into action; to plan and manage a project; to organize a support and a cooperation to realize your idea; to use in an optimal way human resources and talents which is present in the group; to be creative and innovative in realizing project’s activities; to discover new talents and future development ideas for yourself.
- cultural awareness and expression: to be creative in expressing ideas through music, all possible ways of art, literature and theatre. To be appreciative for expression of ideas through music, theatre, literature and other forms of art. To be aware of own cultural context and cultural context of others.
Examples of possible learning: learning about your own culture, tradition and cultural heritage; participating in or organizing festivals, exhibitions, concerts; involving local artists from different generations in the project; learning about other cultures and sharing your culture with the local community; using some artistic methods as painting, singing, acting, writing, etc.
Text sourced from: Youthpass website and EU legislation on key competences
Images: Youthpass Guide and Siiri Taimla (Joonmeedia(