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Pathways to Youth Work
Start date: Jul 1, 2015, End date: Jun 30, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Pathways to Youth Work is a bi-lateral long term training course for 26 young adults from the UK and the Netherlands and will work on a variety of levels, that include innovation, theory to practice and experiential learning. It follows two professional personal development models for young leaders that explore pathways and progression to becoming a youth worker. It will be delivered through three activities that include and induction and two international training events. Pathways to Youth Work is aimed at young adults the age of 18+ years old. We are looking to recruit people who have an existing interest, experience and commitment to youth work and/or leadership with groups of young people, and also those who have interest and potential despite having no track-record in the field but who are willing to commit to participate and contribute to the training process. We aim to recruit I diverse group of young adults with a wide range of needs, including those already volunteering in the field, those in education, training or employed as well as those not in education, training or employment. Both international groups will be given the opportunity to experience two routes of transitions from young person, to youth leader to youth worker through participation in training activities in each of the partner countries. In the first residential training event in the UK the participants will embark on a learning journey together through a Life Pathfinding Badge based learning programme (that builds on Covey and Winters models of life goals). Then later in the Netherlands the participants experience the training elements of Cultivate a Youth Work Leadership Programme designed by Think Forward and built around the Platinum Youth Achievement Award (a UK accreditation scheme). The journey follows the two groups pathways from their participation, learning and experiences as young people and then explores their progression and developments to becoming a young leader and then identifies their progression to youth work. Pathways to Youth Work will act as a bridge between the two worlds of being a young peer leader within a youth project setting to becoming a youth worker in the field. The expected impact on participants is that they will develop themselves as leaders in the community and as youth workers. These participants will show what they've learned and experienced through learning badges on social media, through digital portfolio's, Youthpass and celebrate their achievements nationally and internationally. The wider working community will benefit through the actions of the participants and through hosting the activities. It is also envisaged that the wider youth work community will develop curiosity of badges and their possibilities, recognition of leadership through accreditation with the Youth Achievement Awards and also Youthpass. It is expected a greater understanding of Erasmus+ and the youth work opportunities available through it will filter through also to the community. The engagement of support workers and NGO's through requiring references and supporting these individuals through the process will also help to spread the activity and therefore promote Erasmus+. Impact for the NGO's and staff delivering is during the preparation phase we want to carry out some research about how we can measure the impact of Pathways to Youth Work. We want to learn more about how to conduct evaluative research so that we can evaluate these impacts, intended or unintended, in the best way that we can. Progression and learning of participants will be tracked and monitored through the badge based learning system and also through their progression through the required elements of the Platinum Youth Achievement Awards. A full evaluation of tools and methods developed and used will form the basis of developing a good practice range of delivery and recognition methods.
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