Wednesday, April 27, 2011

BYC establishes Local Councillor Shadowing Award

The British Youth Council has established a new program that allows young people to acquire credit that can be used for educational or job skills certification by shadowing a local councilor for ten hours. The BYC provides a handbook to local authorities that explains how the program works and includes activities that might be of interest to both the councilor and the young person. The handbook explains how to log the young person's activities to ensure s/he receives credit, and includes advice on recruitment of young people and working with the media.

The BYC also provides a log book for young people to track their activities and learning. The log book explains the program and includes sample activities, a partnership agreement, exercises and reflection activities that the young person can complete to help him/her get the most out of the shadowing experience.

This award program is a great way to help local officials connect to young people in their community (that could easily be replicated elsewhere), and it provides an opportunity for young people to learn a great deal about how local government works that would be difficult to learn in a classroom setting.

For more information and to download the handbook and log book, visit the BYC page: Local Councillor Shadowing Award.

New guide for local councilors on engaging youth

Local Government Improvement and Development, which supports improvement and innovation among local governments in the United Kingdom, has published a new guide to help local officials engage young people. The guide includes challenges to consider, case studies from around the country and examples of best practice for listening to young people. The document includes questions and activities to help councilors reflect on their own practice and experience and consider how best to engage young people in their work.

Engaging young people: Local Leadership Councillor workbook

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Youth participation training of trainers September 3-11 in Sintra, Portugal

Youth leaders and youth workers are invited to attend an 8-day workshop to help you learn how to train and support youth participation in multicultural settings.

The deadline to apply is April 28. Get more information and apply here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Caribbean Youth Leaders commit to National Youth Councils in each country by 2012

Youth leaders from twenty-one countries recently spent three days discussing ways to strengthen youth governance networks in the Caribbean as part of a Commonwealth Youth Leadership Summit facilitated by the Commonwealth Youth Programme Caribbean Centre in Bridgetown, Barbados (CYP). The Summit was held in response to calls from Governments and young people attending various high-level Commonwealth meetings to focus on youth participation in decision-making and to strengthen the role of elected youth councils in decision-making and development.

Participating youth leaders discussed the need for greater collaboration in addressing common issues facing youth councils in the region, and for efforts to identify and adopt effective practices. At the end of the 3-day meeting the participants agreed to work together to establish youth councils in each country where they do not currently exist, drawing upon good practices that they had identified based on national operations and those set out by the President of the European Youth Forum in his presentation.

Summit participants set a deadline of 2012 for youth councils to be established or revamped in the eight countries of the region where they are currently non-existent or dormant. Recognizing the benefits of a strong regional youth governance network, they also agreed to continue working together towards this process. A team chaired by Jason Francis, President of the Barbados Youth Development Council, was established to manage the process of consulting with young people across the region. Beginning in July the CYP will assist National Youth Councils in developing strategies for consultation with their members and other stakeholders, and in using the information obtained through these consultations to draft a strategic plan.

Caribbean Youth Leaders commit to National Youth Councils in each country by 2012

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sefton and Knowsley Young Advisors Showcase

I recently visited Young Advisors in Manchester, U.K. I had a great time and learned a lot about Young Advisors in general and about the work done by teams in Knowsley and Sefton. Young Advisors act as paid "social action consultants," providing a variety of services designed to provide young people's perspective on issues, programs, services and events that affect them.

The work done by the Sefton and Knowsley groups includes, among many other projects, consultation and workshops for a local workforce development department on the use of social networking, providing feedback on a new curriculum in the "centers for learning" that replaced local schools, awarding funds across England to young people learning media skills, making recommendations to local councilors about how to make their meetings more interesting and accessible to young people, developing workshops for young people designed to raise awareness and understanding of mental illness, getting out the vote for the U.K. Youth Parliament, and providing young people's perspectives on "Section 30," a law that allows the police to disperse groups of more than two people--a law that many young people believe is disproportionately and unjustly applied to them.

This is an excellent model for youth participation. Take a look!