EVS Symposium in Slovenia

Svitac representatives attended a European Voluntary Service (EVS) international symposium of competences for employability from 12th to 15th of May, 2014, in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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EVS is a scheme, supported by the EU ever since 1996, enabling young people (aged 17-30) to express their personal commitment through unpaid full-time voluntary service for up to 12 months in another country (within or outside the European Union). The international symposium “EVS competences for employability” was part of a greater process, which aims to look into the competences EVS volunteers typically develop in their EVS projects and their relevance for future employment, employability and/or entrepreneurship. The process so far has consisted of national focus groups, surveys and meetings analysing this topic at national levels, while the international symposium will enable mapping national commonalities and differences in this field and gaining a broader European outlook on the topic, which will enable identifying future needs and initiatives in this area and hopefully improve communication and mutual understanding between the employment and youth sectors.

Around 40 participants actors and stakeholders active in the fields of EVS and employment, including from Svitac, took part in the symposium, including our Director Gordana Varcakovic.

The objectives of the international symposium were:

  • to present and discuss the results of the surveys;
  • to present and further work on the outcomes of the national meetings and to deepen awareness by conducting an ‘on-the-spot comparative analysis’ of the findings presented at national level;
  • to share success stories or testimonies of ex-EVS volunteers with regard to entrepreneurship and/or employability;
  • to explore and discuss the topic of inclusion from the employers perspective;
  • to link the project to recognition processes of non-formal learning with a particular focus on inclusion of young people with fewer opportunities;
  • to work on recommendations/proposals/strategies for concrete follow-up.