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Professionalising Youth Work in the Solomon Islands
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Professionalising Youth Work in the Solomon Islands

Youth workers are at the forefront social change and transformation and play an increasingly important role in the national effort to engage young people in activities, structures and institutions that draw on their innate, positive potential.

This week the Commonwealth Youth Programme Pacific Centre joins the Commonwealth family in celebrating Youth Work Week (5th – 11th November) by facilitating a two day training workshop for youth workers on the ‘Professionalisation of Youth Work in the Solomon Islands’.

‘A lot of people do not realise that working with young people is a specialised task. Youth work has to be innovative and relevant to young people and goes beyond just caring for young people in day to day life. It is important we have professionally trained people who are able to receive relevant training in order for them to understand how they are going to address youth issues, said Andre Tipoki, Youth Development Officer from the Ministry of Women, Youth, Children and Family Affairs.

‘Being a youth worker is about helping young people turn challenges into opportunities’, he added.

This year, Youth Work Week has adopted the Commonwealth 2012’s theme: Connecting Cultures, with young people and youth workers across the Commonwealth invited to participate by showcasing the role that youth work plays in bringing people together. In recognition of the increasingly important role youth workers play as agents of change in youth development in the Solomon Islands, over 40 young people and youth workers from all over the Solomon Islands are participating in the workshop.

‘Through this training, CYP intends to build the number of skilled youth work professionals in Solomon Islands who will have the competency to work for youth development in their communities. We seek to foster the youth work profession through support of professional youth worker associations that can help foster and share knowledge in youth work’, said CYP Programme Manager Mr Sushil Ram.

This training is part of CYP’s Youth Work Education and Training programme, which is dedicated to professionalising Youth Work in the Commonwealth. The training will help the CYP achieve its mandate outlined in the Commonwealth Action Plan on Youth Development to; build a body of specialist knowledge, establish codes of ethics, get competency standards recognised by public service commissions, and organise youth workers into professional associations to support the ongoing development of youth workers.

The establishment of these occupational standards for youth work are important in ensuring that youth work training is standardised across the Commonwealth and can serve as a platform upon which trained youth workers can travel the region in search of opportunities.

By the end of the training CYP will be launching the first Professional Youth Worker’s Association here in the Solomon Islands.

‘This association will enable youth workers to be able to advocate on behalf of youth workers in the Solomon Islands and form a unified group that can network, share information, develop their experience, recognise their achievements and be aware of future opportunities available to them, said Mr Ram.

 

CYP’s vision is to have specialised training and occupational standards in youth work agreed to by each member government, and that these competencies become the basis for employment into any youth work field across the region.

CYP would like to thank Tim Corney from the Victorian Youth Worker Association for coming to the Solomon Islands to facilitate this training programme.

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