Study on Youth Work in the EU

youth work eu

A new study has been published by the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture (European Commission) in the field of social policy regarding youth work in the EU.

This study constitutes the second European-wide comparison on youth work published by the European Commission.

The first European Commission study on youth work, published in 2014, was an exploratory investigation of youth work at European level, seeking to identify commonalities and to map the state of youth work policies across the EU.

Youth Work in the EU

The 2021 publication focuses on the needs of youth workers at the grassroots level to critically analyze whether existing public policies fulfill these needs. This is a timely report as the COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the youth work sector. It has forced youth workers to rethink how they provide their services, and placed many in a precarious position, particularly at the local level and for youth workers who support the most vulnerable young people.

The study investigates the nowadays situation of youth workers across Europe, and to what extent the public institutions understood their needs. It then analyses in a comparative way how youth work developed in the EU member states.

Youth Work and Covid-19 pandemic

The study points out the differences between a pre-Covid and post-Covid situation, focusing on the needs of Youth Workers according to the period, in terms of:

  • Funding;
  • Recognition;
  • Digital Work;
  • Quality;
  • Innovation;
  • Social Inclusion.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, youth workers saw needs arise, as for example a greater financial support, to build new relationships with other stakeholders, a lack of digital infrastructures, access and training, plus a need of maintaining social inclusion.

The role of institutions is an important topic of the research too. The study analyses the policy gaps for youth workers in the EU during the Covid, and points out the means of interventions.


The study is a useful starting point to understand the state-of-the-art of youth work in the EU, especially with a focus on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. On this perspective, DO-IT (Digital Competence to Teach Youth with Migrant Background), is a new approved Erasmus Plus project that aims at tackling the issues arose due to Covid in the education and learning field for teachers and trainers dealing with young people with a migrant background.

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