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Community Learning and Development in North Lanarkshire developed First Steps to Youth Work training a number of years ago. Staff saw the benefit to participants of attaching a credit rating to the training and began the third party credit rating process with Edinburgh Napier University. More recently the course has been updated and Glasgow Kelvin College provided the credit rating. The course sits on the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework at Level 4, with 2 credits.

First Steps to Youth Work is aimed at introducing staff, volunteers or anyone interested in working with young people to the basic principles of youth work. Using a range of techniques such as tutor inputs, group activities, case studies and short answer questions, learners will be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of key developments in youth work such as National Youth Work Outcomes; types of Youth Work Groups; as well as developing a basic knowledge and understanding of the role of social media in youth work delivery; risk assessment and child protection.

Learners are introduced to a range of icebreakers and group work activities which underpin youth work principles and practice e.g. understanding young people’s needs and characteristics; issues facing young people; Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; skills and qualities of a Youth Worker; case studies; written and verbal communication skills; health and safety.

There is a progression route in place for participants who complete the training in the form of volunteering opportunities and the Professional Development Award in Youth Work. All training is free to those who work or reside in North Lanarkshire.
Over the years a number of participants have progressed onto further education in the field and many have also gained employment in the youth work sector as a result of participation in this course.

“I took part in First Steps training when I started volunteering at a youth club. It was great fun, I learned practical activities and some of the theory related to youth work. As a result of this experience I volunteer my time with Motherwell Youth Work team and have just completed the PDA in Introduction to Community Involvement and I’m hoping to go on to do the HNC, Working with Communities.” Kai Etherington

“My youth worker suggested I take part in First Steps to Youth Work training. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do when I left school and thought it would look good on my C.V. I really enjoyed the course and met people from different groups and voluntary organisations. I decided I wanted to pursue a career in youth work and I’m now employed by North Lanarkshire Council’s Community Learning and Development department as an Assistant Support Worker.”  Amy Muslek


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