Julie Goodwin, Head of Development
It was a pleasure to attend the launch of our new qualification with our collaborative partners the National Youth Agency and awarding bodies AIM Qualifications and Assessment Group, Agored, NCFE, NOCN and the Skills and Education Group.
Over the last two years this collaborative project has brought together a host of expert authors and accreditation professionals in a new and exciting way. The launch on Thursday, 12 January 2023 at the Friends Meeting House in Manchester saw the culmination of this project.
The event was attended by colleagues from a variety of youth work organisations and projects from across the country and was opened by Kevin Jones, Head of Workforce and Professional Development at the National Youth Agency. Kevin had been the project lead for the qualification and gave an overview to the purpose and audience of the qualification.
Next to speak was Sally Carr MBE, Northwest Director at StreetGames UK. Sally had been one of the collaborative expert authors of two of the qualification units on Therapeutic Youth Work. Firstly, she thanked all her colleagues who had input into the research for the units. The therapeutic approach to youth work has three core conditions: empathy, unconditional positive regard and congruence. To demonstrate this, we joined in an activity focussed on a person, place and activity that makes us feel good. Sally spoke more of a practice compass (rather than road map) for youth work and always that relationship was at the heart of youth work practice.
Graeme Tiffany, who is an independent consultant in youth work, informal and community education, and community development spoke next. Graeme had also contributed to the authoring of the units. He spoke on the importance of education for youth workers and young people. He was passionate about how education can assist in providing future opportunities.
Finally, Paul Eeles, CEO of the Skills and Education Group, spoke of development, and we all echo his words that we support the development and furtherment of youth work through all of our qualification work.
In the plenary sessions colleagues from the youth work sector applauded the qualification and commented on how it will enhance the skills and knowledge of all youth workers especially those who are returning to the sector.
Our hope is that the qualification will be used fully and more units will be added over the coming years, enabling the continuing professional development of all within the sector and allied professions.