On 25th September 2019 Youth Work Ireland and Camara Education invited Senior Managers from other Irish NGOs involved in Digital Youth Work to come together at the Guinness Enterprise Centre in Dublin.
The day started with a welcome by the CEO of Camara Education, Marianne Checkley, followed by an introduction to the Skill IT for Youth Project given by Anne L’Henoret, Project Manager, and this included an acknowledgment of the funding received from Erasmus + via Leargas.
The first session was a presentation by Anne of the key findings of the Irish research report, and these were really of much interest to the participants, firstly: because there has not been such a report on Digital Skills and youth work in Ireland for several years and also: because of our innovative approach of looking at employability in relation to digital skills, taking into consideration the points of view of the 4 stakeholder groups. Some of the findings were not as the participants expected and this led to some very interesting discussions.
For the second session Janice Feighery of Camara presented the concept of the Organisational Digital Readiness Guide and what it can do for them/their organisation, including a demo of the newly developed self-assessment tool prototype. We asked the participants to reflect in groups on the challenges in their own organisations around the areas of
- Management & Leadership
- Practice & Provision of Services
We then set the participants up with one device for two people to test the prototype and we asked for their feedback around points such as
- Whether the language was easy to understand
- Whether the questions were relevant? Could they be improved?
- The time needed to complete
- Any additional comments
Since the seminar the prototype has been re-written to take their feedback into account.
For the third session Tracey Moore of YWI took the lead and introduced the Digital Youth Worker Competence Framework, presenting the concept and the process through which it was created. She demonstrated the self-assessment tool for one Competency Area and explained how the framework and tool can be used by senior managers to develop their staff, as well as by youth workers themselves.
A short discussion was then facilitated around professional development in organisations, based on question like
- Is there anything that you do well in your organisation around digital competence development/professional development?
- Is there anything that you could improve on? If so, what are the barriers?
The participants then had a chance to look at the prototype and again give their views on clarity, usability etc.
For the final session of this busy seminar we looked at possible ways to overcome the challenges faced by the youth work sector in the area of Digital Skills. We asked the participants to think in terms of recommendations that could feed into our Policy Brief, using a World Cafe model around the following 4 themes:
- What can government and agencies do?
- What could the youth sector do collectively?
- What can employers/business associations/recruiters do?
- What can other (non-public/governmental) funders do?
The breakout group discussions results were recorded in Mentimeter as an example of a way of using digital technology to enhance group work.
During lunch the participants continued their discussion and exchanged contact details for future discussions; the presenters also offered some further relevant resources to them, referring in particular to EU projects around Digital youth work, such as www.youthworkandyou.org and www.digitalyouthwork.eu etc
The participants were very keen to stay in touch with the project and expressed an interested in attending the next seminar in January when we will be ready to share all the finished resources.