miFuture and the importance of good participation

“Encouraging and supporting young people to become partners in, and share responsibility for, the opportunities, learning processes and decision-making structures which affect their own and other people’s lives and environments” is one of the Principles and Purposes of Youth Work in Wales.

Here, CWVYS members miFuture share an insight into the process that lead to their creation, and the importance of good participation.

Background

miFuture makes the careers process fit for Generation Z, by simplifying the way school leavers and the organisations that want young talent connect. They saw no value in duplicating existing platforms which did not cater to school leavers for whom university is not a priority.

miFuture was co-created with 2500 school leavers in RCT, Caerphilly and Cardiff, here’s a little snapshot of that process and why good participation is key to solving issues successfully, in the words of founder and CEO Gemma Hallet;

The problem: School leavers going to university have UCAS and UniFrog to support seamless transition, those not going to university are pretty much left to it. I wanted to fix that.

The solution: I initially went to young people with a ‘Facebook for careers’ style platform, which would house loads of resources and activities etc. Something a teacher would benefit from, not what excites a digital native school leaver that does everything on their smartphone.

The realisation: I soon realised that even though they were excited that we were solving the problem and resonated with our ‘why’, the solution wasn’t appealing. Just another over engineered approach forced upon them (top down approach).

The pivot: I realised that if I didn’t start over with young people leading the way on what the solution would be, it will never make the impact I’d want it to make. Technology was developing rapidly and we moved quickly from version one an Online Dashboard, to version 2  an online dashboard supported by an app, to our product now which scrapped the whole online presence and launched a native app that is personally curated and has similar functions to dating app models. All driven and functionality now created by school leavers for school leavers.

The future: School leavers feedback and concern for the future sees us now exploring new ground and pushing innovation, in the form of AI powered interview preparation and digital Skill Bursts – nudging young people towards-better skilled higher-paid futures.

The result: A solution co-created with school leavers for school leavers, where our audience was not just represented but were leaders at each stage of our build and growth.

To learn more, visit https://www.mifuture.co.uk/

Eurodesk: a snapshot in 30 stories

Eurodesk’s mission is to help young people experience the world.

Engaging and inspiring young people – and those who work with them in the youth sector – is key to this.

As you know, CWVYS have been partners of Eurodesk UK for a number of years, sharing and promoting positive stories from young people here in Wales and their peers all across Europe.

If you enjoy these kinds of news stories, Eurodesk UK recently released their new publication ‘Eurodesk: a snapshot in 30 stories’.

The range of experiences covers six topic areas:

  • Have your say
  • Study
  • Travel
  • Volunteer
  • Work
  • Youth work

From volunteering placements to studying for a semester abroad, everyone has a unique experience and a story to tell, not only on what they did but how it affected them personally.
You can enjoy them here: https://www.eurodesk.org.uk/resource/eurodesk-snapshot-30-stories

CWVYS Hustings

CWVYS will be hosting an online hustings event on Thursday 28 January 2021 between 6.00pm – 8.00pm.

In advance of the Senedd elections in May 2021, CWVYS will be hosting an online hustings event for its Member organisations to put questions to representatives of political parties in Wales.

Details of those representatives will be announced shortly.

However, we are delighted to confirm that Keith Towler, Chair of the Interim Youth Work Board for Wales, will be our guest speaker.

Keith will provide an important update on the work of the Interim Youth Work Board as well as the context upon which the hustings will be based: the CWVYS Manifesto; a rights-based approach to youth work in Wales; and what young people want to see happen for them.

We will be inviting questions from CWVYS Member organisations and asking them of our guests at the event. Look out for your opportunity to submit questions to CWVYS in due course.

For a look at our manifesto visit: https://www.cwvys.org.uk/cwvys-manifesto/

Welsh Government Youth Work Newsletter

CWVYS are supporting the Welsh Government to collect articles and news for the Youth Work newsletter.

We encourage you to send us your stories and articles for the next issue, which is due out in January, and the subject is Participation.

Next year’s elections sees the participation of 16-17 year olds for the first time – maybe in the newsletter you could include a story on your ideas or work to discuss this topic with the young people you engage with.

Here (alongside the WG and Electoral Commission’s resources) you can find info from the Senedd, which includes a session plan and resources for youth group leaders are all available on HWB (You don’t need a HWB account to download them).

In the recent CWVYS newsletter we shared the WG’s  ‘style guide’ for an idea of what the Youth Engagement team at the Welsh Government expect.

You can find previous issues here: https://gov.wales/youth-work-newsletters

To subscribe follow this link: https://gov.wales/subscribe-youth-work-newsletter

The team are hoping to have content gathered for the next issue by the 11th of December please, send it to helen@cwvys.org.uk.

We are looking forward to your submissions!

CWVYS Survey

You may recall we conducted a survey earlier in the year on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the voluntary youth sector in Wales.

The report on its findings was widely circulated amongst our members, here’s the link for some more info: https://www.cwvys.org.uk/cwvys-report-on-the-impact-of-covid-19/ 

We are now conducting a follow-up survey to assess the ongoing impact of the pandemic and would greatly appreciate if you could take the time to complete it.

We appreciate things are highly uncertain, but looking to the future, it would be positive for our members for us to be able to highlight their experience of the situation, particularly as it continues to change.

You will each receive a copy of the report when it’s completed next month.

Please could you fill it in as soon as you get a chance. Here is the link to the English version: https://forms.gle/pQFdSDacSFPYBBYu5

For respondents we will put each name into a hat for the chance to win a £50 voucher – we will announce the winner in December’s regional meeting 😊

Thank you to those who have already responded.

Young Persons Committee

The Interim Youth Work Board are setting up a Young Persons Committee, could you support them?

To co-ordinate a young person’s committee to work to and feed back to the Interim Youth Work Board to specifically consider what a young person’s rights led approach to a new youth work model would look like going forward. This work is available to a single organisation or to a partnership of organisations (with a lead partner identified for receipt of funds).  You can find more information in the specification documents here:

If you have any queries or wish to apply for this work please submit your bid to the youthworkboard@gov.wales mailbox no later than noon on the 10th of December 2020.

UPDATES ON JNC YOUTH WORK QUALIFICATIONS

Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) Youth Support Worker qualifications at Levels 2 & 3 and how they fit with JNC Professional Youth Worker qualifications in Wales 

The new suite of youth work qualifications at Level 2 and Level 3, first developed in 2015, have been updated and are available from 1 April 2020.

As before, those at Certificate level provide JNC Youth Support Worker and JNC Assistant Youth Support Worker recognition to those who complete them.
This paper covers all JNC youth work qualifications with particular focus on the qualifications for Youth Support Workers.  

https://etswales.org.uk/home.php?page_id=8756&setLanguage=1

CWVYS REGIONAL MEETINGS

A picture with details of the regional meeting dates this week, in English, actual dates and times below in text.

CWVYS Regional Social ZOOM Meetings will be held every fortnight for voluntary youth work organisations.  During this unprecedented COVID-19 period, we believe it is important to reach out, connect and support our members.

The next meetings are:

Central South and South East Wales merged with North Wales – 10/07/20 10am to 11am

South West and Mid Wales -10/07/20 1pm to 2pm

We are providing a supportive space for the sector to: –

  • keep in touch with each other
  • support and share knowledge and information
  • communicate to others the concerns and issues from the sector
  • and a bit of fun

Contact Catrin James catrin@cwvys.org.uk to receive the joining details to join the meeting in your region.

CWVYS REPORT ON THE IMPACT OF COVID-19

The response to our survey has demonstrated that the voluntary youth sector in Wales has responded and risen to the challenge of Covid-19 swiftly and admirably, less than 8% of Members surveyed reported no operational change.

You can find the full report here: * CWVYS Report on the impact of Covid-19 on the Voluntary Youth Sector in Wales. * It should automatically download and those using screen readers should be able to access text descriptions of the graphs and charts.

While it is clear the sector has serious concerns about the future post lockdown, many have quickly adapted their services, repurposed resources and continued to support the communities they work within.

We are grateful to all who responded to our survey, given the demands on peoples’ attention and the increase in stress and uncertainty over the last few months, the fact that our Members took the time to respond is not something we have taken for granted. Thank you to those Members who supplied us with a wealth of information, we hope this report has been useful to all CWVYS Members and the wider sector.

We aim to continue this survey quarterly this financial year. If the issues raised in this report resonate within your organisation, or you see opportunities for engagement and support across the sector, you can find a list of CWVYS Members on our website: https://www.cwvys.org.uk/members/

We are sure Members would welcome the connection. The value of the sector is in its Members and how you support each other.

If you have any questions please email helen@cwvys.org.uk

YOUTH WORK WEEK IN CAERPHILLY

  • Caerphilly County Borough Council Youth service Youth Forum is hosting a meeting with the Leader of the council to discuss learners’ to help prepare young people for a return to School that week – this will be discussed at a wider Youth Forum later in the week and any local young people wishing to get involved in the Youth Forum may get in touch at JONESCL1@CAERPHILLY.GOV.UK
  • Throughout the week, outreach staff will work closely with Gwent Police to advise young people out and about regarding social distancing and how to stay safe – watch out for our youth workers on your street corner!  Online quizzes will take place in connection with this activity on different evenings.
  • Monday-Thursday, youth workers will be running online group sessions and quizzes focussed on the UNCRC, with prizes and certificates linked to this
  • The service is also running a competition for young people to design a picture/poster/poem on what youth work means to them.
  • A mixture of fun activities and wellbeing/self-esteem promoting activities are to be delivered all week (and have been since lockdown began) but this week sees celebration all young people’s fantastic achievements and efforts during lockdown – certificates for this are to be sent out this week.
  • Virtual cooking sessions to make celebratory cakes for Youth Work Week.
  • Online parties
  • A 7 day challenge to create a video on what youth workers mean to young people.
  • All week, the Youth Service is distributing Period Dignity products
  • The Youth service’s/County’s LGBT group for young people meets to celebrate Youth work Week on Saturday 27th.  For information about this group, contact GETHFN@CAERPHILLY.GOV.UK
  • The Youth Services education (EOTAS) groups return to activity from the 24th.

CWVYS REGIONAL MEETINGS

CWVYS Regional Social ZOOM Meetings will be held every fortnight for voluntary youth work organisations.  During this unprecedented COVID-19 period, we believe it is important to reach out, connect and support our members.

The next meetings are:

Central South and South East Wales – 25/06/20 – 10am to 11am

North Wales – 26/06/20 10am to 11am

South West and Mid Wales -26/06/20 1pm to 2pm

We are providing a supportive space for the sector to: –

  • keep in touch with each other
  • support and share knowledge and information
  • communicate to others the concerns and issues from the sector
  • and a bit of fun

Contact Catrin James catrin@cwvys.org.uk to receive the joining details to join the meeting in your region.