The Commonwealth Secretariat has launched a new study, ‘Youth Work in the Commonwealth: A Growth Profession’, to analyse the practices undertaken by Commonwealth countries to enhance the status and profile of youth work.
It was presented as part of Youth Work Week, which took place November 6-12, 2017.
The research will enable Commonwealth member countries and other stakeholders to identify key areas for investment in youth work in order to enhance youth leadership, employability and entrepreneurship.
It breaks down the youth work sector into eight key areas of focus across 35 Commonwealth countries, covering all five of its regions.
These include legislative and policy commitments for youth work as a profession, qualification pathways for youth work training and education, and youth work associations and professional bodies supporting the sector.
Co-author of the publication, Dr Brian Belton, said the report helped to build an international picture of youth work across the Commonwealth.
He pointed to evidence of good practice achieved, particularly in Asia, the Caribbean and Africa, but said the report also highlighted that much more needed to be done by professional associations and higher education institutions.
He made recommendations for a bottom-up strategy, with investment at the base, in order to make efforts to support young people more effective, cost-efficient and sustainable.
Head of Social Policy Development at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Layne Robinson said: “The launch of the baseline study is a seminal moment in the Commonwealth’s youth work history.
“This is the first time we have done a comprehensive survey of the status of the youth work profession in our member countries.
“The report highlights the main issues and challenges that the youth work profession is faced with in our countries, and gives us a snapshot of what we need to do as a Secretariat to support youth work practitioners, volunteers and stakeholders to grow the profession over the medium to long-term.”
Youth Work Week is an annual initiative hosted by the Commonwealth Secretariat that highlights the achievements and contribution of youth work, its workers and organisations throughout the Commonwealth.
Read More: Commonwealth Youth Work Week was celebrated across the Commonwealth during the week November 6-12, 2017 and this year focused on the theme of `Promoting professional recognition for youth work’