10 November 2016

Dorset County Council has been training youth workers with ABC Awards qualifications since before Jean Arnold joined the organisation, and that was back in 2002.

Recounting the years she has worked with in the organisation’s Partnership and Workforce Development team, Jean said:

“Over the past 13 years we have been able to support many youth workers from a variety of settings to complete their youth work training.

“One of our key successes that springs to mind was working with a group of youth work apprentices in 2010. After completing their training, five secured paid work with young people locally in Dorset.

“For some of these learners it is the first qualification course they have completed. Seeing their satisfaction in their achievements and the increased self-confidence has been a highlight for the training team.”

More recently, one of the learners completing her Level 3 Diploma in Youth Work Practice with ABC Awards became engaged in a project called BIG ideas. This project enabled learners to submit environmental project ideas which could make a difference to their community, and receive some funding to support it.

The youth worker at Dorset County Council worked with a group of young people to organise a swap shop day and invited the local community along, as well as providing information about energy saving and making your own beauty products.

Jean added:

“It was a very successful project which inspired the young people to think more about their lifestyle and how they can help save the world’s resources.”

Giving young people the opportunity to engage in society is part of the role youth workers play in improving life chances, particularly for those from more disadvantaged societies.

The theme of the National Youth Agency’s Youth Work Week this year is “fair chances: how youth work helps young people to brighter futures” and how youth work supports young people in making good life choices. You can find out more about the role youth workers play in this here.

This year the service at Dorset County Council has undergone a restructure with a new Targeted Youth Services being created to replace the old service. Three youth work apprentices training with this services have recently been successful in gaining full time work positions with the council, which Jean called a “clear indication of their continued personal development in their ability to work with young people.”

Whether you are a local authority, employer, further education provider or charity working with young people, there are many opportunities for you to train up your staff to know how to work with young people effectively – particularly those who are most vulnerable.

This could be through a regulated qualification, as part of an apprenticeship, or by offering individual units to help trainee youth workers to tackle particular issues, such as working with young people with mental health issues or young people who are asylum seekers.

To find our more, call our team on 0115 854 1620 or email centresupport@abcawards.co.uk.

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