Shaping the Future

Where now for Youth and Community Work? 

The conference series has ended but outcomes will be published via this page from April 2016.

The conferences included presentations from: Tony Jeffs at the University of Huddersfield; Sam Evans, Youth Work strategy Manager (Welsh Government) at Glyndwr University; Marion Allison, CLD Standards Council for Scotland, at the University of Glasgow; John Bateman, at the University of Worcester; Matt Lent, Director of Partnerships and Policy, UK Youth and Garath Symonds, Surrey County Council, at the University of Brighton; Martin McMullan, Assistant Director, Youth Action, Northern Ireland.

There was representation from across the youth and community sector including: The Centre for Youth Impact, Community Development Education Standards Board, In Defence of Youth Work, Institute of Youth Work, National Citizenship Service, The National Youth Agency, NCVYS, Regional Youth Work Units and UK Youth, in additional to local, regional and national government representatives.


What were these events all about? 'Shaping the future' was a series of day conferences throughout March 2016 at venues across the UK and Ireland, that started at the University of Huddersfield, traversing across Wales, Scotland, the English regions and ending at Dundalk Institute in Ireland. This series of consultation events are intended to act as a catalyst for identifying the future shape of youth and community work education; to assess the changing nature of youth and community work practice; and to support the development of youth and community-based services across the UK and Ireland.


What was the purpose of these events? To facilitate a UK wide discussion on the direction of travel in youth and community work education, practice and service delivery with a view to collating evidence for supporting developments in the sector. The  outcomes will be published in a report (see below).


Who were the events aimed at? The events were designed to draw together interested parties including:

1. Members of the Association interested in the changing shape of youth and community work education

2. Youth and Community Work students and practitioners concerned with the evolution of the profession

3. Sector agency leaders and representatives with an interest in emerging services and collaborations.


What are the outcomes of these events? It is intended that feedback and evidence gathered from all six events will inform a UK wide report on the future shaping of youth and community work education, practice and its agency. This will be used to talk with policy makers, to publicise the role of the sector and support a new generation of professionally informed youth and community workers. The report will be published in July 2016*, following discussion with key sector stakeholders and further evaluation at the Association's Annual Conference in June 2016 that takes place in Derry, Northern Ireland from 22nd-24th June, 2016.



What happened at these events? Each event followed a similar format that allowed for the gathering of delegate feedback and evidence around common themes and thorough seminar discussions (see below):


Usual Times 
Registrations and Refreshments
Opening Presentation: 'Where now for Youth & Community work?'

Professor Paul Fenton, Support and Development Officer (all venues)


Regional Presentations**/Speakers:
'What does 'shaping the future' mean for Youth and Community Work'

Regional specific key note speakers will offer their views

Transition to Seminar Theme(s):
Seminars were delivered as separate workshops or collectively depending on venue facilities and numbers participating at each venue: 
Theme 1: What does it mean to be a Youth & Community Worker today?
Theme 2: What are emerging as Youth & Community Services in this region?
Theme 3: What needs to change in Youth and Community Work Education?
12.30-1.30pm           Buffet Lunch
Seminar Themes and Feedback Continued:
With the option to swap workshops where options are offered
2.45-3.15pm Afternoon Refreshments.
Plenary Panel Question Time and Closing Remarks/Next Steps.
4.30pm Close: Venues open for informal networking to 5.00pm


Please direct further questions about these events to:


*The date for the full report is subject to editorial contributions and the Association may change the publication date.

**Presentations will be published once collated and available by following the links in the right hand column.



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