A new course aimed at helping youth workers transform their digital skills is set to be launched by Wrexham Glyndwr University next month.

The course – ‘Digital Youth Work – an Introduction to Principles and Practice’ will itself be digitally-delivered – allowing students to take part wherever they are and in a way that suits them. It is among the latest innovations being launched by Glyndwr’s Youth and Community team, whose lecturers combine years of practical experience in their field with the latest teaching and lecturing practice – and who have seen many of their students adapt their work to respond to the challenges of covid-19 throughout 2020.

Since public health restrictions in March saw a national lockdown, youth services across the country have moved online.

While many of the skills which youth and community workers have are readily transferable, the course has been designed to help equip its students with the additional knowledge they need to take part in digitally-based work  – and to deal efficiently with some of the issues they may encounter as a result.

Youth and Community Work lecturer at Wrexham Glyndwr University, Jess Achilleos, said: “Youth and community workers have been providing essential services across the country since the country locked down in March.

“From delivering key public health messages to young people, to ensuring that they still know how to access the services they need in challenging times – sometimes more than ever – the importance of youth and community work has been clear over the past six months.

“I know from speaking to our own students that much of that work has been digitally-delivered – from Facebook groups to Zoom advice sessions. The principles of youth and community work may remain the same when delivered digitally, but there are new skills which practioners need – and new challenges to face, such as technological constraints, online safeguarding, and more.

“That’s why we designed this course – to help those who have been facing these challenges for the first time, and to give those who’ve been adapting to online delivery a framework to build on.”

The course is competitively priced at £25 and begins on October 5, running for twelve weeks. Current youth work experience and practice will be helpful for participants.

Completion of the course could lead to further BA or MA study on the Youth and Community Work programmes at Glyndwr, part of a subject area which is first in Wales for overall student satisfaction* and in a department which has more than four decades of experience delivering youth work programmes.

To find out more about the course, visit: https://www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/ShortCourses/DigitalYouthWork-AnintroductiontoPrinciplesandPractice/

Pictured: Jess and her colleague Hayley Douglas