9 November 2016

As part of Youth Work Week with the National Youth Agency, we are sharing success stories from our Centres throughout the week to highlight the amazing work of youth workers and the impact of their work on young people.

Today we are sharing the successes of YMCA George Williams College, part of the world-wide Christian movement the YMCA which is the oldest and largest youth charity in the world. The college is named after Sir George Williams, who set up the YMCA in 1844.

There are 133 local YMCAs across England and Wales who work independently to support young people and help them to thrive in their local communities.

YMCA George Williams College is unique, being the only specialist youth work further and higher education college in the UK and has become widely renowned for the quality of their courses, consistently being awarded a distinction by the National Youth Agency.

The college has worked with organisations all across the UK, including in Scotland, Ireland and the Channel Islands. Their system of delivery allows organisations to develop their own staff as trainers, supervisors and youth workers.

Importantly, they deliver youth work training in a variety of settings, including teaching at the college, delivering via an agency, and through distance learning. This flexibility enables them to support more organisations and individuals to pursue careers in community support and youth work, who can then go on to support local councils, charities and communities.

When asked why they chose to offer ABC Award’s vocational qualifications, Marianne Di Clemente, part of the team at YMCA George Williams College, said:

“We needed an awarding body that would allow for some flexibility in our approaches, to enable us to delivery training via each of the different modes.

“We needed support with the development of materials, knowing what to include and what is expected within each of the units covered. The guidance documents ABC Awards offer are easy to navigate and have proven beneficial when we came to writing our programme for the Level 2 Certificate in Youth Work Practice.”

Learners studying with YMCA George Williams College can progress right the way through from Level 1 up to completing a Masters Degree, making them one of only few Centres in the country that offer that full progression pathway.

As well as offering Level 2 and Level 3 ABC Awards qualifications in youth work, the organisation also offers two units from the Level 1 Certificate in an Introduction to Youth Work.

The Level 1 qualification help learners to gain an understanding of the scope of youth work and explore the options for pursuing careers in this rewarding sector of work. As it is available to learners from the age of 16, the qualification is a great basis for young people to understand the nature of youth work as a starting point for pursuing further vocational study in this area.

The Level 1 Certificate was developed with the Prince’s Trust, the National Youth Agency and the YMCA for learners who have an interest in working with young people, and mandatory modules cover legislation and policies relating to youth work, safe working practices, effective team work, and key issues involved in youth work.

If you are interested in offering the Level 1 Certificate or would like to find out more about our wider youth work offer, please call our team on 0115 854 1620 or email centresupport@abcawards.co.uk.

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