Agree about the validation if done in presence. I was thinking of a remote way to do that. For example, you don't need to go to a hackathon to proof you skills. Could as well build a portfolio of apps / websites / etc. from home.
I can only speak about Germany but everything here is bureaucratics and you need offical degrees, issued by the chamber of commerce or a certified party, to work in certain jobs - this is especially true for low-paying jobs.
For a lot of high-paying jobs university degrees are required by your employer, but not by law. Thus tech hackathons are a legit way to recruit because all you need are your skills. Cooking is pretty much the only area I have in mind right now.