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Commonwealth Youth Work Week 2017

Commonwealth Youth Work Week 2017 will be celebrated across the Commonwealth from 6-12 November and focuses on the theme of 'Promoting professional recognition for youth work '. The lobbying and advocacy around Youth Work Week this year will be based on the findings of the new Commonwealth study Youth Work in the Commonwealth: A Growth Profession.

Youth Work Week is an annual initiative by the Commonwealth Secretariat that highlights the contribution and achievements of youth work, youth workers, and youth organisations throughout the 52 Commonwealth member countries.

It was first established by the UK's National Youth Agency two decades ago, and since 2012 the Commonwealth has worked to expand its reach and scope across its 52 member countries.

Youth work is defined in the Commonwealth as “all forms of rights-based youth engagement approaches that build personal awareness and support the social, political and economic education and empowerment of young people, delivered through non-formal learning within a matrix of care”. It is a relational profession built around the skills and competencies of engaging young people to enhance their self-esteem, social connectedness, productivity and employability.

Youth work benefits young people, but it also benefits institutions and society. When adequately funded and resourced, and when comprehensive training is provided to practitioners, youth work is shown to greatly contribute to reducing demands on social services, enhancing public service efficiency, and, more broadly, promoting inter-generational equity and national development. 

It is encouraging that youth development is high on global and national development agendas. However, youth workers, the important professional mediators in processes of young people’s self-empowerment, are often invisible in strategies and plans for youth development. This is more so as youth work, in most cases, is unrecognised as a distinct profession.

The Commonwealth Secretariat encourages youth clubs, national youth councils, youth ministries, departments, and national youth organisations, to get involved by hosting an event or activity for Youth Work Week. Contact us to share your plans for Youth Work Week 2017 by writing to [email protected]

Launch of Youth Work in the Commonwealth: A Growth Profession

When: Thursday 9 Nov, 10.30am-1pm (lunch included)
Where: Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom
RSVP by 6 Monday to [email protected]

The publication sets out key concepts and approaches in professionalising youth work, and assesses the extent of recognition of the profession in 35 member states from across the Commonwealth. A separate policy brief and advocacy tips for the use of the baseline are also available.

This is the first time a broad-based survey and case study collation has been conducted on the status of the profession in the Commonwealth. It therefore contributes significantly to the youth work knowledge base in the Commonwealth and helps identify and engage around gaps in youth work education and training and in policy development in enhancing its recognition, status and quality.

How do you plan to celebrate Youth Work Week?

Send us your news, messages and photos via social media using the hashtag #cwyouth or #YWW17

Twitter: @commonwealthsec or @ComSecYouth
Facebook: facebook.com/CommonwealthSec or facebook.com/ComSecYouth

Find out more about last year's Youth Work Week