Unmissable footage of the Leader admitting he should have listened to the young people of Haringey.
Unmissable footage of the Leader admitting he should have listened to the young people of Haringey.
Sally Kosky, National Officer, UNITE the union writes:
Unite is calling for an end to unpaid internships in the voluntary sector and the re-introduction of paid entry level jobs.
Our report ‘Unpaid Internships in the Voluntary Sector’ demonstrates that unpaid internships are on the increase. They are becoming the fastest growing source of abuse under the National Minimum Wage regulations. Unpaid internships aren’t just wrong but in many cases they are illegal. Under employment law, people who work set hours, do set tasks and contribute value to an organisation are “workers” and are entitled to the National Minimum Wage but many employers in the voluntary sector are paying their interns nothing.
We need your help to stop this, and to help the thousands of unpaid interns. Click here to sign your support to this campaign and tell us how your organisation treats interns.
We are also strongly urging all reasonable employers who care about their workers to sign up to a voluntary code that pledges they will end unpaid internships and pay all interns at least the National Minimum Wage. Please ask your employer to sign up to this pledge which you can view here.
News of a poster design competition from the charity Community Service Volunteers [CSV], which happily doesn’t forget, but is rooted in its own history.
Young people can do great things…
CSV launch poster design competition to champion young people
This spring, young people are being challenged to show off their artistic talents in a poster design competition – #giveachance – run by the charity CSV (Community Service Volunteers).
The competition revives a nationwide poster competition run by the charity in 1984, which carried the strapline: Young people can do great things… if you give us a chance.
Keeping the original 1984 strapline, we want 2013’s generation of young people to show us their artistic talents by designing their own posters, championing young people and the great things they are capable of achieving.
As in 1984 young people are under attack. The increase in tuition fees, the prevalent culture of unpaid internships, and sky-high youth unemployment all make it hard for young people to shine.
CSV has always worked with young people to highlight their unique contributions to society, from its Springboard projects helping young people into work and training, to providing volunteering opportunities to help others.
Entering is simple. We’re inviting people to tweet their designs mentioning @CSV_UK and using the hashtag #giveachance, or upload to Facebook mentioning CSV’s page (www.facebook.com/CSVUK). Alternatively designs can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Flood, Curator of Prints at the Victoria and Albert Museum and author of British Posters: Advertising, Art and Activism, will select the winning competition entry and all entries will be displayed on the CSV #giveachance Pinterest board. The winning and commended designs will be displayed at a special exhibition at Springboard Hackney, and the winner will also receive a signed copy of British Posters.
The competition launches on Monday 13th May 2013 and closes at midnight on 10th June 2013.
About the campaign:
The poster competition is part of CSV’s ‘Volunteer Champions’ campaign, celebrating the role volunteers play in changing lives everyday across the UK.
How you can get involved:
Please show your support for the CSV #giveachance competition by writing about is on your blog or encouraging your social media followers by either tweeting on Twitter using the hashtag #giveachance or sharing our campaign on your Facebook timeline.
For more information visitwww.csv.org.uk/
For competition promotional images please visit our dropbox folder.
For more information or images please contact Alice Haworth-Booth
- Email: email@example.com
- Tel: 07854928926
To be honest we are a bit slow in catching up with the following National Youth Agency initiative, taken in late March.
The National Youth Agency has launched an independent commission to assess the value of youth work within formal education across England and Wales.
The commission is being chaired by former Children’s Minister Tim Loughton MP and made up of key figures from both the youth work and education sectors including:
The National Youth Agency’s initial research has identified that the emphasis on a set of core academic skills has the potential to squeeze out another set of skills – how to think creatively, collaborate, empathise at the very time when they are needed more than ever.
Youth work has a key role in helping young people develop these abilities, as some schools have started to recognise.
The commission is keen to gather evidence and involve as many stakeholders as possible, including young people. Contribute your views by filling out our short survey.
To view the commission’s launch press release click here.
Our provisional response is as follows :
A discussion about the relationship between formal schooling and informal youth work is always worth having. However in the present climate we fear that the Commission’s predetermined desire to define interventions as youth work, which previously might have been called, for example, Personal and Social Education, Careers Advice, Pastoral Care or even Remedial Education is another moment in the continuing dilution of youth work as a distinctive educational practice founded on a voluntary relationship with young people. Youth Work as informal education in the service of young people must retain a clear independence from schools. It is external and complementary, not internal and supplementary.
And, given the NYA’s scant regard for history, it is necessary to note that a debate about this relationship is nothing new. Educational fashions come and go. Merely as an example, the issue was at the heart of tensions in the 1969 Milson-Fairbairn report. Bernard Davies in analysing the report points out the general feeling held over forty years ago maintained that “secondary school curricula and methods needed to become more responsive, especially to pupils reluctant to stay on. A more strategic youth service infiltration into formal education was thus seen as having great potential benefits for schools.”
In addition see our post Youth Clubs in Schools, which includes a link to a very relevant piece by Bernard on ‘Extended Schooling : Lessons for Youth Workers’.
Have a look at the NYA stuff, complete the survey and let us know your thoughts.
We’ve received a note from Dana Fusco, Professor of Teacher Education at the University of New York and editor of ‘Advancing Youth Work : Current Trends, Critical Questions’.
If there are any of our supporters, who feel they have something to say, but are somewhat intimidated by the thought of writing a chapter, get in touch with Tony to chat things through. And you are not alone if you are a touch anxious. In truth there are more than a few across our ranks, who are brilliant at articulating their thoughts in speech, but freeze at the sight of a blank piece of paper!!
This is an appropriate moment also to flag that Dana will be the keynote speaker at our next IDYW seminar on the afternoon of Wednesday, June 19 at the UNISON centre, Euston Road, London. More information to follow, but put the date in your diary. And, while we’re at it, given our parochialism and often ignorance of youth work outside our shores, here is the link to an informative and challenging piece by Dana about youth work and youth work education in the USA,
Meanwhile closer to home it is heartening – given the shifting landscape in defining youth work - to see the following statement in the initial job details for a Senior Lecturer : Youth and Community Work at the Manchester Metropolitan University.
The successful candidate will have experience of and commitment to critical approaches in informal education in community settings. S/he will have used creative approaches and will have experience of participatory approaches to youth and community work practice. S/he will have explored and experienced the power of critical dialogue in work with community /youth groups. S/he will have experienced what it means to be part of a ‘learning team’ and have engaged well with a range of communities such as are found in diverse and fragmented urban contexts.
As I noted in the post Thatcherism and Youth Work key to the neo-liberal political strategy is the assault on the very idea of collective solidarity. In the eyes of the ‘free marketeers’ we must become self-sufficient, ‘resilient’ individuals beholden to nobody but ourselves. Of course this is absurd. We are first and foremost social individuals dependent on each other in a myriad of ways. Thus on International Workers Day we need to remember that our social and political gains are a collective legacy and that without solidarity they can and indeed are being taken away from us. We need to renew that understanding of autonomy, which affirms, ‘ I can only be free if you are also free’. As youth workers we need to turn words into action. Our claim in the Framework of Ethics that we are committed to social justice means nothing unless our practice is rooted in a creative and collective struggle against injustice.
May Day Greetings – as the old slogan goes, ‘an injury to one is an injury to all!’ Never mind we’re all in this together………….
As something of a welcome antidote to the persistent propaganda about commissioning/competition in the world of youth work, here’s a chance to hear another side of the story.
Fionn Gregg of Voice of Youth gets in touch to say:
I am emailing you as I think you may be interested, or at least know others who are interested in this event and our workers co-operative. We are a youth workers co-op based in Hackney, East London. We run two youth clubs and do detached work, much like any other youth organisation… however, we are set up and run differently – as a co-operative! We believe in the following principles:
1. Young people choose whether and how to become involved with our groups and work.
2. Our work starts from the needs and wishes of young people in Hackney and all funding bids will reflect this.
3. We involve young people in taking action to improve their own lives and the lives of their communities;
4. We promote equality and challenge oppressive structures in society, institutions, groups and individuals, including in our own organisation.
5. We promote co-operative decision making in our own work, in our youth groups and in the communities where we work. …and that to work in this way with young people, it is important to work in a co-operative, equal manner as an organisational structure. Hence the co-operative!
Thus far in the history of our campaign no one has stood up for the economics and politics of neo-liberalism. Whatever our differences in terms of strategy and tactics there is a consensus of opposition to the deeply divisive, damaging policies of the present government and its predecessor. In this light find a couple of links that seek to stimulate debate about the creation of alternatives. Fair enough you won’t absorb them necessarily over the weekend – in fact you might well want to do more playful things! – but at the very least save them for a rainy day.
Elites are using the crisis of global capital to reassert power. But this is no time for retreat. Stuart Hall, Doreen Massey and Michael Rustin outline the alternative in a manifesto, which will appear over the next year in monthly instalments.
This is no time for simple retreat. What is required is a renewed sense of being on the side of the future, not stuck in the dugouts of the past. We must admit that the old forms of the welfare state proved insufficient. But we must stubbornly defend the principles on which it was founded – redistribution, egalitarianism, collective provision, democratic accountability and participation, the right to education and healthcare – and find new ways in which they can be institutionalised and expressed.
In this recent lecture Paul Mason returns to the question of resistance to neo-liberalism and the precarious position of ‘graduates, indeed young people without a future’.
All attempts to make the old model work without solving the global imbalances on which it rests lead to the policy of austerity: not just fiscal austerity, as in Britain and southern Europe, but a long-term strategy of reducing the wages, welfare benefits and labour rights of the workforce in the West.
And there is one massively important group that has been dealt not just a tactical setback but a strategic one. In Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere I called these ‘graduates without a future’ – the first generation in the West since the 1930s who will be poorer than their parents. They will leave college with £30, 40, 50k debts. The jobs on offer are – as the famous Santa Cruz ‘Communiqué from an Absent Future’ told us in 2009 – the same jobs you do while on campus: interning, barista, waiting tables, sex work. The first post-college job is often working for free or for the minimum wage. There is no way onto the housing ladder, the ladder is now horizontal; and in retirement, pension schemes will be gone.
For this generation it is not a question of simple economic grievance but of the theft of the promised future. And I’ve become sick of hearing that the movement has ‘petered out’. No. It has been massively repressed. Tear gas fired indiscriminately into crowds in Athens, rubber bullets in Madrid, tasers and pepper spray on campuses across America. Non-lethal policing is highly effective against non-violent protests. It tends to clear them away. But do not think it has cleared away the grievances in people’s minds that led them to demonstrate in the first place. What it does is push those who don’t want to get their heads broken into a more sullen, silent, passive resistance: a resistance of ideas; or a resistance of small, granular social projects; or, as in Greece, anomie – where people just embrace the beauty of being hopeless, roll a joint, stare into each other’s eyes.
The crisis of neoliberalism, compounded by the total failure to emerge of any alternative within official politics, simply leaves unanswered the next generation’s question: how does capitalism secure my future?
But the world that was created after 1945 – a world of human rights, democracy and relative working-class affluence in the West – is now in jeopardy. And as long as all these things remain in jeopardy, it will go on kicking off.
CHALLENGING HETERONORMATIVITY : PRACTICE, ACTIVISM & IMPACT
Bridging policy, practice and research
Michael Barron (Belongto)
Prof Ian Rivers (Brunel)
Jay Stewart (Gendered Intelligence)
Amelia Lee (LGBT YOUTH NW /Schools OUT)
Mark International Day Against Homophobia & Transphobia at a half day event exploring how activists, youth practitioners and academics can work together in combating homophobia and challenging heteronormativity in work with young people.
The day will start at 1:30pm on 14th May. The eventbrite to book a place is here:
The poster is here:
Please get in touch with any queries. Many thanks again in advance.
Theorists have become interested more recently with bisexual, transgender and intersex lives. If one is able to exist between gender and sexual categories of identity, then one provides a counter argument to the idea that gender and sexuality are fixed and/or natural human characteristics and provide a way to challenge or ‘queer’ our understandings of these categories. Bisexual and transgender identities are able to be read in this way because law, science and education often talk about gender and sexuality as fixed, immovable and pre-ordained human characteristics that fit into either oppositional group (male/female and gay/straight). Political rhetoric also often follows this script. The idea that people can live in a different gender to the one they were born into, or refuse to identify as either male or female, or that people can have intimate sexual relationships with men and women and reject the gay or straight classification, demands that we re-think the way we understand gender and sexuality, what they mean and what they are and can be.
Taken from Gender and Education Association
The basis for today’s would-be Institute of Youth Work meeting in London is the following document circulated by the NYA in March.
We will be represented and our steering group has put together the following initial response.
IN DEFENCE OF YOUTH WORK CAMPAIGN
INITIAL RESPONSE TO THE ETHICAL FRAMEWORK DEBATE
We are conscious of time limitations re the discussion on April 25, 2013 so we will content ourselves with expressing four areas of concern.
At the heart of the debate remains the question of defining youth work. The NYA paper continues to fudge the issue. It seeks to retain definitions, which stress the voluntary and young person-led character of the work, whilst referring to a commissioned NCVYS paper, A Narrative for Youth Work, which explicitly calls for an acceptance of the imposition of prescribed outcomes on the youth work relationship and process. Meanwhile in the field many youth workers are all but youth social or youth justice workers in name.
A renewed engagement with Ethics demands that we talk Politics. To take but one glaring example from the 2004 Statement on Ethical Conduct, social justice is first and foremost a political rather than an ethical concept. The struggle for social justice is fundamentally a collective project. Indeed this is partly acknowledged in the background notes which talk of actively seeking to change unjust policies and practice. Unfortunately there is a gulf between rhetoric and practice here, which cannot be ignored. Over the last couple of years a large number of workers have been warned under threat of discipline not to get involved in campaigns against unjust social policy – with or without young people.
This observation leads us to the possible Code for Employers, which is to be welcomed. However for now we will register concern about a future in which workers bound to the IYW’s code of conduct are employed by agencies, who refuse to be part of the overall deal. More immediately a management commitment to staff development, to the encouragement of critical internal debate has in the main been conspicuous by its absence. In this context too we note another contradiction that this discussion about an Ethical Framework with its focus on professional guidelines is taking place within a culture of profound mistrust with regard to worker/professional autonomy. Indeed we suggest that the managerial fixation upon predetermined outcomes is the antithesis of the youth work tradition of improvised young person-centred practice. It is at odds with the very notion of the distinctive, trained youth work professional, be they paid or voluntary.
Our final point is perhaps obvious. The shift from Ethical Guidelines to an Ethical Code is highly significant, even contentious. Ethics can be a minefield of differing interpretation. The danger with moving to a Code is that it suggests, even if this is strenuously denied, the possibility of generally agreed ethical judgements on, say, what constitutes ‘clear evidence of danger’ or ‘the nature and limits of confidentiality’ or indeed appropriate behaviour outside work. Inevitably this caution is heightened if the Code is to be used as a regulatory mechanism to decide who is fit to be a youth worker. All manner of issues are thrown up. For example, can an individual member of IYW charge another with unethical conduct? At the very least we are obliged to unravel the present formulations with a great deal of care.
In the light of this final expression of concern we think that a pluralist Ethics Working Group should be set up to take things further. If possible the next draft of a Framework should be less sprawling than the present version on the table.
The IDYW Steering Group