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Youth Work Week – Professionalizing youth work in the Solomon Islands
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Youth Work Week – Professionalizing youth work in the Solomon Islands

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

The Commonwealth Youth Programme (CYP) Pacific Centre in Solomon Islands will celebrate Youth Work Week from 7th – 9th November. Two events will be hosted to mark this week which aims to highlight the contribution of youth work to the development of young people and to turn public attention towards the positive roles played by young people in their communities.

Firstly, the CYP Pacific Centre will be hosting a two day workshop in Honiara focussing on the ‘Professionalisation of Youth Work in the Solomon Islands’. Preceding this will be the launch of the first Solomon Islands Youth Worker Association.

‘No longer can we continue to treat the field of youth work as a non-technical area of work that is undertaken by anyone who is, or at one time was young and simply has a love for young people. Whilst these may be important components for a youth worker, it is hardly sufficient if youth work is to have any significant impact on the problems that our young people grapple with on a day to day basis’, said Programme Manager Mr Sushil Ram whom will be facilitating the workshop.

Approximately 40 youth workers from key youth organisations, government departments, local schools, and NGO’s in the Solomon Islands will be undertaking the training from 7th– 8th November.

This programme 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.

This programme is modelled on the outcomes from a report from the Commonwealth Regional Consultation on the ‘Professionalization of Youth Work in the Pacific’, which was held in June 2012, Auckland, New Zealand.

The main objectives of the workshop are to;

–    Introduce the principles of youth work to youth workers in the Solomon Islands.

–     Share existing models of Professionalization of Youth Worker associations and code of practice in some countries.

–     Form a Solomon Islands Youth Worker Association.

‘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 Mr Sushil Ram.

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.

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.

 

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