The education and training of
youth & community workers:
Challenges and opportunities for Youth and
Community Work courses...
Recognising the context we are in
None of us have escaped the current ideological
attack on public sector services, and th...
Why are we both here ...
Alan Smith
Head of Youth & Community Work at Leeds Met
Member of NYA ETS representing Training Ag...
Who and what is TAG?
We are the professional association for lecturers in youth
and community work education, covering 60+...
Younger students enter with limited range of experience and very few with Youth Support qualifications
Students exit to a ...
What are the key challenges for HEIs?
Our next intakes will graduate in 2016, having followed a
course of study, possibly ...
Internal Changes to Higher Education
• Withdrawal of HEFCE ‘block funding’ and full-fee loans for
undergraduate study-‘the...
How does it work ... ?
• We all follow NYA Validation Guidelines
• Our students will be engaged in (action) research
aroun...
What is the role of Higher Education in
the education and training of Y&CW
• Graduate skills are more than just subject sp...
Facilitator of young
people’s learning
and engagement
Advanced
practitioner
coach - mentor
Advocate for young
people and c...
Adapted from Tony Gallagher, HMI – April 2013
Sec of State
Priority?
1 ‘Positive for
Youth’ 2012
impact ?
2 Strategic
Lead...
Adapted from Tony Gallagher, HMI – April 2013
Mergers
- cluttered
world?
4 Diminishing
narrative
about quality
and outcome...
.
.
Authenticity
• Lack of
consensus
about the
purpose of
youth work
Youth Work
• A
‘contributor
to’ or ‘in its
own right’...
Tony’s challenge to our students …
.
.
.
Communicating
outcomes
• ‘Poor at
communicating
outcomes’ – case
not proven
2013
...
Some examples of creative responses;
• Sheffield Hallam working with voluntary sector to manage a
disused youth centre, ru...
• What might a degree curriculum look like, given the range of
‘stakeholders’ and your expectations? (NYA re-write)
• Supp...
What more do YPS need to do?
- developing a joint agenda
• Consider how can you better engage with
programme management an...
What can we do in the near future
- developing a joint agenda
• External Examiners
• Inputs to meetings – possibly trainin...
And finally for follow up
Janet Batsleer: Chair
J.Batsleer@MMU.AC.UK
Alan Smith: ETS Rep
A.S.Smith@leedsmet.ac.uk
Graham G...
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Trainingof youth&communityworkers

  1. 1. The education and training of youth & community workers: Challenges and opportunities for Youth and Community Work courses in England Graham Griffiths, Bradford College Alan Smith, Leeds Metropolitan University TAG Representatives on NYA ETS
  2. 2. Recognising the context we are in None of us have escaped the current ideological attack on public sector services, and that includes the so-called ‘ivory towers’ of academia and yet, we are all still here! So lets consider how we can work together more effectively?
  3. 3. Why are we both here ... Alan Smith Head of Youth & Community Work at Leeds Met Member of NYA ETS representing Training Agencies Group Graham Griffiths Head of Youth & Community Work at Bradford College Member of NYA ETS representing Training Agencies Group Member of Institute for Youth Work Steering Group Both ETS and IfYW involve representatives from CHYPS – Rod Norton and David Wright - Garath Symonds and previously Mike Counsell, ETS Chair
  4. 4. Who and what is TAG? We are the professional association for lecturers in youth and community work education, covering 60+ institutions across the UK, N. Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. We have more than 250 members, and are represented on all the Education and Training Standards Committees. Our membership includes the writers, researchers and teachers of the profession, and also covers teams / courses that deliver QCG and other related qualifications.
  5. 5. Younger students enter with limited range of experience and very few with Youth Support qualifications Students exit to a wide range of post professional qualification employment in Young People’s Services, Youth Offending Services, Voluntary and Statutory settings, Health provision, Residential provision, Outdoor Education settings, Commercial and Business sector, mutuals and co-operatives and increasingly Housing Associations, Social Enterprises and Schools Youth and community work Other forms of work with young people and communities JNC Programmes in Youth and Community Work which meet NYA Professional Validation Requirements Other forms of work with young people and communities Other forms of work with young people and communities Professional (JNC) Youth and Community Work QAA Benchmarks Student Finance NYA Requirements HEI regulations Employers Other forms of work with young people and communities The challenge for Higher Education Changing Job Market NOSSNC -Cap
  6. 6. What are the key challenges for HEIs? Our next intakes will graduate in 2016, having followed a course of study, possibly written and approved in 2010/11. Our students will leave with debts in excess of £27,000 We are in competition for student numbers within our own Institutions, and we are relatively costly (time / resources) There are fewer ‘established’ placements with experienced supervisors Students need nearly 900 hours of assessed practice (U/g) and 600 hours (p/g) in a ‘shrinking pool’ of placements that remain ‘unpaid’.
  7. 7. Internal Changes to Higher Education • Withdrawal of HEFCE ‘block funding’ and full-fee loans for undergraduate study-‘the free market’ but imposes a Student Number Cap (SNC) to limit the overall numbers and availability of places, exemptions for the ‘brightest students’ – ABBs and above • In the new ‘marketplace’ of Higher Education, Institutional decisions are made based on flawed data-sets (NSS / KIS) driven by a managerialist agenda dominated by quantitative data. • Manipulation of market position is achieved by increasing ‘tariff points’ recruiting Doctoral-level staff, at expense of professional experience and over-recruiting ABBs
  8. 8. How does it work ... ? • We all follow NYA Validation Guidelines • Our students will be engaged in (action) research around current issues (Social Media) • The range of placements mean we are preparing students for a changing world – Local Authority context / increase in schools work / changing social world (for young people) and impact of austerity • But there remain a great many constants ... flexibility, self awareness, willingness to take responsibility, inter-personal skills, etc
  9. 9. What is the role of Higher Education in the education and training of Y&CW • Graduate skills are more than just subject specific, and therefore assist qualified workers in an increasingly mobile workforce • Encourage professional discourse within the sector, allowing academic rigour to be applied to research, evaluation and assessment of practice • Equity with other professions – teaching, social work, etc • Allows employers to measure a ‘benchmark’ or have minimum expectations from a potential employee who has undertaken a JNC-recognised programme – through NYA (- we all use the same QAA Subject Benchmarks / NOS)
  10. 10. Facilitator of young people’s learning and engagement Advanced practitioner coach - mentor Advocate for young people and change agent Policy watchdog Manager So what does it mean ... The role of the professional worker is changing... Adapted from Tony Gallagher, HMI – April 2013
  11. 11. Adapted from Tony Gallagher, HMI – April 2013 Sec of State Priority? 1 ‘Positive for Youth’ 2012 impact ? 2 Strategic Leadership - the ‘youth sector’ 3 The policy world we operate in is changing... and it feels like there is very little that we can influence
  12. 12. Adapted from Tony Gallagher, HMI – April 2013 Mergers - cluttered world? 4 Diminishing narrative about quality and outcomes 5 Youth scrutiny and participation- good news ? 6 But maybe some aspects can be developed further ... Students in new settings, telling stories and making news
  13. 13. . . Authenticity • Lack of consensus about the purpose of youth work Youth Work • A ‘contributor to’ or ‘in its own right’? Easy? • It looks easy!! Adapted from Tony Gallagher, HMI – April 2013 Perhaps this is our biggest challenge...
  14. 14. Tony’s challenge to our students … . . . Communicating outcomes • ‘Poor at communicating outcomes’ – case not proven 2013 • An optimistic time for opportunistic endeavour ? Adapted from Tony Gallagher, HMI – April 2013
  15. 15. Some examples of creative responses; • Sheffield Hallam working with voluntary sector to manage a disused youth centre, run as a permanent placement setting • A ‘pilot’ in Yorkshire and Humber to appoint a student to a large voluntary sector organisation for their full period of study, but to ‘be placed’ in a variety of settings • Hosting training events for free, offering CPD to staff who provide placement supervision, exploring KTPs and commissioned research and evaluation • Using the part-time funding methodology to create local access to courses, and generate income for services that host training • Newman University College – accelerated p/time degree in 3 yrs The response of Higher Education to challenges facing the young people’s workforce
  16. 16. • What might a degree curriculum look like, given the range of ‘stakeholders’ and your expectations? (NYA re-write) • Support widening access and student retention for all types of students: work-based; distance-learning; part-time and full-time? • Work with CHYPS to ensure we know what a youth and community work graduate will ‘look like’, and what role will they undertake once they have qualified – remembering this may be 5 years away? What more do HEIs need to do? - developing a joint agenda
  17. 17. What more do YPS need to do? - developing a joint agenda • Consider how can you better engage with programme management and development • Support joint training and practice initiatives • Consider what support and frameworks are required and/or do you need to make the most from working with HEIs?
  18. 18. What can we do in the near future - developing a joint agenda • External Examiners • Inputs to meetings – possibly training • Research specific areas • Establish an on-going form of liaison to encourage policy makers hear the voices from the sector • Continue to liaise and work together with other agencies • Others?
  19. 19. And finally for follow up Janet Batsleer: Chair J.Batsleer@MMU.AC.UK Alan Smith: ETS Rep A.S.Smith@leedsmet.ac.uk Graham Griffiths: ETS Rep g.griffiths@bradfordcollege.ac.uk
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