Sixteen local youth workers are celebrating after successfully completing a Professional Development Award in Youth Work.
The SQA accredited award which ran for the first time in Orkney this year, was organised by Community Learning & Development with funding support from the Orkney Childcare and Young People’s Partnership and was run for those with paid and voluntary roles in youth work.
The Professional Development Award in Youth Work is a formal qualification in youth work, designed for those working with young people in a community learning and development context. It’s particularly suitable for people who have experience of youth work in a paid or volunteering capacity but who might not have formal qualifications in youth work.
Participants were required to undertake three study units and also undertake a practical placement within their workplace or the youth club or group where they volunteer.
The course was delivered by Youth Scotland and covered topics such as the core values and principles underpinning youth work, the communication and group work skills necessary to engage with young people in a range of settings and planning, delivering and reviewing a youth work activity.
All candidates were supported through the process by the local Community Learning and Development team.
Lianne Taylor is a Youth and Family Learning Worker with Orkney Islands Council. She said: "By attending the PDA in Youth Work I have gained more knowledge of the policies & procedures that are the starting point for all youth work settings as well as developing new skills in youth engagement and learning lots of new ‘’ice-breakers’’. It has been a great opportunity to meet others in Orkney who are also working with young people and to exchange ideas and opportunities to work together."
Councillor Rob Crichton is Chair of the Education, Leisure and Housing Committee. He said: "It is vital that we grow our own staff locally and build and develop the knowledge and skills of youth workers across Orkney to work effectively with young people in youth work settings.
"Youth work must be seen as a valued profession and by providing a consistently high level of youth work standards across both volunteers and paid staff in the youth work field, we will ensure effective youth work which engages young people and supports them to achieve positive outcomes."
The Orkney Childcare and Young People’s Partnership was formed in July 2015 and provides a meeting point to all those working with and providing services to children and young people in Orkney.
Youth Scotland is the national charity for supporting and delivering youth work in the community. They are the largest national youth work organisation in Scotland, supporting 61,000 young people, 1,300 youth groups and over 7,700 youth workers.