A key role of the NYA is to ensure youth workers – whether they work in a traditional youth club, a faith-based organisation, delivering detached youth work, or are based in a healthcare or other allied setting – have access to high quality training and continuing professional development. This should be available from their first day as a volunteer, to their last day as a qualified Head of Service. 

Our work with training providers and academic partners to deliver a range of courses, apprenticeships and degrees that will help attract people into the sector, and upskill those already working in it, is fundamental to our strategy to build back Youth Work, so it can meet the growing needs of young people and communities, and help them to thrive.  

In the meantime, we’re relentless in our efforts to demonstrate the impact Youth Work has on society in order to influence policy and funding decisions at a government level. 

With the launch of the Level 6 apprenticeship at several UK universities from September and a new Level 4 CPD qualification launched, which will enable existing youth workers to build their specialist knowledge, we’ve made great strides even in the last year. But designing and validating courses is one thing, we also need to be confident that those delivering training are doing so to a high standard and that students are receiving the optimum support throughout their studies.  

That’s why the opportunity to learn from other countries’ experience of developing, delivering (and funding!) new education opportunities at the upcoming Commonwealth Conference on Youth Work is going to be so valuable. 

Sharing the learning with youth work academics based in the Maldives

Among the plethora of sessions which are taking place across the three days, there’s a key focus on education and learning.  

Highlights include a paper on the challenges of experiential learning for student Youth Workers in South Africa , delivered by Ngadi Rankakane of the University of Venda. The findings will help shed light on how students can be better supported to embed their learning in real-world situations.  

There’s also a presentation about two training programmes for youth workers being delivered in Mauritius, by the esteemed Dr Mrs Aumwatee Sreekeessoon, Director of Youth Affairs, Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation there. The research reveals what the best conditions are for students to engage with their programmes.  

Closer to home, Dr Mike Seal, of the Professional Association of Lecturers for Youth Work is sure to give a thought-provoking perspective on the future of youth work, posing questions about the diversification of courses and the impact on traditional university courses.   

I’m looking forward to discussing what all this means for the courses and training we design and validate, as well as how we can work with our academic partners to build the profile of Youth York as a career.  

If you’re as passionate about Youth Work and up-skilling the next generation of youth workers as I am, don’t miss this opportunity to take part in the sessions online via the vFairs conference platform.  Click below for all the details

Hope to see you there!

Kevin Jones, Head of Workforce and Professional Development 

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