2 November 2012
The Commonwealth’s regional youth centres will host a range of activities to celebrate the youth work profession during Youth Work Week, 5-11 November 2012.
Youth workers and young people from across the Commonwealth are coming together during Youth Work Week 2012 (5-11 November) to showcase the impact of youth work in empowering young people to take an integral role in community development.
Youth Work Week is an annual celebration of youth work, organised by the UK’s National Youth Agency (NYA). This year, for the first time, the NYA has partnered with the Commonwealth Secretariat to make the week a truly international event, bringing together 54 countries across six regions.
In recognition of this partnership, Youth Work Week has adopted the Commonwealth’s 2012 theme, 'Connecting Cultures', with young people and youth workers from the Commonwealth invited to showcase the role youth work plays in bringing people together.
Director of the Secretariat’s Youth Affairs Division, Katherine Ellis, said: “Youth Work Week is a time to focus on the professionals who give so much of their time and themselves in supporting young people. You truly change young people’s lives and by doing that, you also change the society in which we all live.”
Fiona Blacke, Chief Executive of the NYA, said: “This year, we will not only be celebrating the value of youth work in the United Kingdom, but across the globe – demonstrating that youth work not only spans local, but national and international boundaries.”
The NYA works in partnership with a wide range of UK public, private and voluntary sector organisations to support and improve services for young people.
Connecting Cultures celebrates the diversity of the 54-member Commonwealth and recognises the role the association plays in bringing together many different peoples around shared visions and values.
Youth Work Week aims to highlight the role of front-line youth workers in supporting young people and communities across the Commonwealth, to foster positive relationships and a sense of belonging.
On 8 November 2012 the Commonwealth Secretariat will host the UK’s Youth Worker Awards event at its headquarters in London. The awards celebrate the impact of individual youth workers working to improve the lives of young people and maintain quality youth services.
This year a new ‘Commonwealth award’ will be presented to a youth worker whose efforts went beyond the UK into the Commonwealth.
As part of Youth Work Week, the Commonwealth’s regional youth centres have organised a range of activities focused on celebrating and expanding the profession of youth work.
From 7 to 8 November the Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Pacific Centre will be hosting a workshop in Honiara, Solomon Islands, focusing on the professionalisation of youth work and launching the first Solomon Islands Youth Worker Association.
The Commonwealth Youth Programme’s Youth Work Education and Training programme is dedicated to professionalising youth work in Commonwealth member countries.
This includes establishing codes of ethics for youth workers; ensuring that their occupational standards and specialised training are recognised by their governments, so that these competencies become the basis for employment into any youth work field across the region; and organising youth workers into professional associations.
Around 40 youth workers from key youth organisations, government departments, local schools, and non-governmental organisations in Solomon Islands will attend the training, which is part of CYP’s Youth Work Education and Training programme.
On Thursday 8 November the CYP Africa Centre and the University of South Africa will hold a panel discussion in Pretoria, South Africa, on the journey towards recognising youth work as a profession.
The event will also mark the announcement of the first international conference on ‘Education and Training of Youth Workers – Towards Professionalising Youth Work’ to be held from 18 to 20 March 2013 in South Africa.
The conference – hosted by the South African Government and the Commonwealth Secretariat's Youth Affairs Division – is expected to bring together more than 300 delegates to reflect on the education and training of youth workers, and youth work as a skilled and recognised profession.
The CYP Asia Centre will be launching two new publications on the concepts and strategies of professionalising youth work, and a guide to establishing a professional youth worker association.
In September this year the CYP Caribbean Centre launched a set of competency standards for youth development work in the region.
Materials to support individuals and organisations celebrating Youth Work Week can be found at www.nya.org.uk/youth-work-week-2012
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 6387
National Youth Agency
Tel: +44 (0) 7722 879 966