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OU experts to deliver youth training for Commonwealth governments

Young people from around the world sit in a large auditorium. They're looking towards a speaker who is off camera.

A team of academics from the WELS School of Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport (ECYS) have been awarded £60k from the Commonwealth Secretariat to develop a youth training programme for stakeholders across 54 member countries of the Commonwealth.

Designed in response to a commitment from the Commonwealth Heads of Government and Youth Ministers, the programme will support the mainstreaming of youth development into policies and programmes, promoting the participation of young people at all levels of decision making. This initiative seeks to build the capacity of stakeholders involved in implementation of policies, plans, programmes and projects to employ the approach, effectively and ethically.

Co-led by Dr Michael Boampong, Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies, and Dr Anthony Gunter, Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies, OU project team will develop and produce a suite of training courses, supporting stakeholders to acquire competencies which will enhance their everyday practice in youth development.

Dr Boampong said:

“This project gives our team an opportunity to share our extensive subject matter expertise and longstanding experience in creating bespoke distance and online courses, whilst changing the lives of young people throughout the Commonwealth. This will enable them to have their voices heard, at all levels of government, allowing them to have their priorities and perspectives integrated into future policy. We hope to work with the Secretariat in the future on further youth development policy research products, to build on this initiative.

The training programme will comprise five core modules, the first of which is exclusive to Commonwealth staff, focusing on the fundamental principles and processes relevant to implementation of Secretariat programmes and projects. Other modules will be available on an open-access basis to all stakeholders, examining subject areas such as youth participation and inclusion, and ethics and safeguarding.

The training programme will be launched in Summer 2022.

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