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Youth workers talking to each other

Grenada youth workers attend training on delivering ‘fit for purpose’ services

22 July 2020

Youth workers and civil servants in Grenada are attending a new training programme designed to help them deliver fit for purpose services to young people.

The Commonwealth Secretariat is supporting Grenada’s Ministry of Youth Development, Sports and Culture to offer a bespoke ‘Management and Leadership’ training programme. It runs as four weekly webinars from 9 July to 14 August.

Youth workers are responsible for providing frontline support and social activities to young people, especially those that are vulnerable. Despite their efforts, they are often overlooked, working in tough settings and with limited resources – conditions further worsened by COVID-19 restrictions.

The programme brings together youth workers and government officials to ensure their role is recognised in developing young people’s potential. It also aims to give the youth work sector more prominence in national policies and programmes, particularly via the founding of a national youth workers’ association.  

Kate Lewis, Grenada’s Minister for Youth Development, said: “Our ministry is pleased to be collaborating with the Commonwealth Secretariat to offer tailored courses for practising youth workers and civil servants.                                                     

“This training could not have been timelier, as the world embraces the challenges of COVID-19 and also the opportunities that it presents.”

The training programme will help participants:

  • acquire management and leadership skills tailored to the youth sector;
  • explore effective strategies to help young people deal with their challenges, including those posed by the COVID-19 pandemic;
  • identify and support youth who have experienced trauma; and
  • discover new and effective tools and ideas through the sharing of best practice, and case management examples.

Norman Gilbert, Grenada’s Permanent Secretary for Youth Development, said the training programme was one of many activities that would support the youth work sector and help it to be recognised as a profession.

The Secretariat and the UK’s National Youth Agency developed the training content, which is tailored to the needs and aspirations of Grenada’s youth work sector.

Head of the Commonwealth's Social Policy Division, Layne Robinson, said the role of youth workers has never been more important.

He added: “Young people are facing a myriad of challenges as emerging crises such as the global pandemic merge with existing issues such as health, safety, wellbeing, and reinforce the barriers to economic, education and employment prospects.

“That is why the Commonwealth is committed to providing training for youth workers. What we hope to see in Grenada, and the other member countries that we will be working with, is a cohort of practitioners who have the right skills to support and empower young people and youth-led action.

“We also want to facilitate their ability to shape and influence policy decisions and boost national development outcomes.”

The training will help to deliver Grenada’s national youth policy mandate to “enhance the capacity of youth development practitioners”.

Participants include government officials, full-time practitioners, social workers, leaders of youth clubs, mentors and volunteers.