A post-graduate executive course in strategic leadership and management has been successfully completed by ministers and senior policy-makers in the youth sector.
The inaugural intensive two-week programme on the topic ‘Accelerating Youth Policy Implementation in the Commonwealth by 2030’ was delivered by the Commonwealth’s pool of regional experts, in partnership with Coventry University and YMCA George Williams College - a leading provider of youth and community training and qualifications across the UK.
The course covered academic theory in youth development work, while also examining the Commonwealth’s practical approaches and best practices in the implementation of youth policy.
Twenty-two participants, including government ministers and senior officials, each received 20 university credits and a post-graduate certificate, which can count towards a full master’s degree.
Samantha Marshal, Minister for Social Transformation, Human Resource Development, Youth and Gender Affairs in Antigua and Barbuda said: “Looking back at the commitments made by the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2018, we noticed that the issues and challenges of youth workers and the professionalisation of the youth work sector were not captured.
“In this programme, we were able to discuss and agree on how to implement a human resource strategy that will assist us as ministers in accelerating the implementation of youth policy for the millions of young people in the Commonwealth.”
Participants tested new management tools and agreed on human resource strategies to build the capacity of the youth work sector, including government ministries and departments.
Core modules included: youth work theory and practice; policy formulation and review; policy implementation; strategic management for youth development work; organisational development and culture and managing change.
Layne Robinson, Commonwealth Head of Social Policy said: “The Commonwealth values the important work of our dedicated youth ministers and senior government officials as they implement national youth policies.
“This new programme demonstrates the Commonwealth’s commitment to offering practical support to our member states by creating new innovative products that meets their needs. We are very pleased with how this inaugural programme has been received and welcomed and we are already planning for next year”.
Congratulating participants on their achievement, Deputy Secretary-General Arjoon Suddhoo said: “We hope that with the strategic thinking and planning the ideas you have developed and proposed will feed into a roadmap for implementation so that - looking ahead to the next CHOGM in Rwanda in 12 months’ time - we are ready with a plan to mobilise Commonwealth action to tackle the pressing issues facing our young people.”
Dr Suddhoo added: “I believe you will make a difference to the young people under your charge and I look forward to hearing the impact that this programme has initiated in your member states.”
On 11 July, participants met with the Secretary-General and the Duke of Sussex in his capacity as Commonwealth Youth ambassador, to discuss the policy options related to the youth work theory and new approaches they were examining.