Dynamic Youthworkers from in and around Glasgow have settled into the fifth month of their course at Glasgow Kelvin College, the first in Scotland to deliver the Certificate in Youthwork Practice.
This brand new evening programme is delivered over 7 months with one session per month and students are currently all involved with supporting young people in a variety of roles within a range of organisations. These include training organisations, community youth groups, addiction support, regeneration and housing providers, youth employability and support networks, activity and sports organisations. All focus on building young people’s confidence, resilience and employability skills, providing all-round support for individuals.
Without exception, the students are experienced workers supporting young people and are eager to formalise the learning they have already gained. Successful completion of the SCQF level 5 Certificate gives students a free and guaranteed place on the College’s PDA in Youthwork. It will also enhance their own employability skills.
All assessments are practice-based, structured around thematic issues where students use their reflective practice skills. They also use the i-develop tool from the Community Learning and Development (CLD) Standards Council. For the majority of them, they acknowledge that the course content is mainly around tasks and skills they already have in their job, but their studies help them to analyse, reflect on and articulate what they do. It formalises and accredits their experience.
Kelly, who works with a homelessness organisation, says;
“I’m finding it really helpful in my day job as it’s giving me the tools to reflect on and develop the service. Anything that helps make a positive difference to the lives of young people has to be a good thing.”
The students agree that catching vulnerable young people at an early age can be a key intervention to prevent issues in their later lives, and the course provides a broader understanding of the impact of effective youth work strategies.
The goal for the majority of the learners is to progress to the HNC Working with Communities or the PDA in Youthwork, and many are using it as a stepping stone in their career journey. Although some of the work can be challenging, the groupwork element has been very enjoyable and provided them with strong support to help each other through the coursework.
Senior Curriculum Manager and course tutor, Maggie Murphy, said;
“I’ve been very impressed with the quality of the assessments being submitted, especially the reflective accounts. The course provides students with access to a collection of tools and skills which are useful in their working practice and they have gelled incredibly well as a group, offering support where it’s needed.”
The impact of the course in its current pilot format has benefits beyond the College. Steve, who works for an organisation delivering employability and personal development skills to young people through outdoor activities, added;
“It’s not just us who benefit – we are going back and involving colleagues in our organisation as well. We all leave here with a greater understanding of what we are doing and better able to influence the work of other people. The positive effects of the course reach much more than just all the people in this room.”
More information on this groundbreaking course is available from Maggie Murphy, Senior Curriculum Manager 0141 630 5000 or firstname.lastname@example.org