This entry was shortlisted in the 2012 Peer Award “Education for the Community” category

ref: 12-037

Supporting London’s Youth
community engagement: a vocational education business approach

City & Guilds have been working with London Youth a charitable organisation for 3 years in a joint and collaborative basis.
London Youth is a network of over 400 youth and community organisations serving young people, communities and their families across London. We have worked together to pilot, develop and produce a City & Guilds accredited London Youth Quality Mark for their members.
Now fully implemented across their network the programme ensures that youth organisations can achieve lasting improvements to their practice and management.
We now play a key role as assessors through City & Guilds’ Community Involvement Programme.

From the pilot phase:
• 70% of those achieving the Quality Mark felt it will help them to attract more young people
• 83% thought it would increase the quality of services that they provide to their young people
• 87% thought the Quality Mark would improve their ability to raise more funds
As of today:
• 60 organisations have been awarded a Quality Mark
• 52 organisations are currently working towards the Bronze level
• Young Assessors from London Youths own youth advisory panel, Dare London, are involved in assessment
• Over 30 staff from City & Guilds have become involved and this number is increasing!

This is the first accredited Quality Mark dedicated to the youth sector. Benefits to London Youth of being able to offer an accredited Quality Mark is the unique endorsement that gives them:
• opportunity to develop the learning and expertise of their member youth organisations
• a way to support the professional development of members
• the chance to learn how to effectively enhance policy assessment & implementation
• opportunity for both London Youth and City & Guilds staff to work collaboratively in carrying out assessments, which enables them to deliver the project despite having limited staff resources and adding gravitas to the proceedings[/one_half_last]

Adapting and becoming immersed in a process that is not core to our roles, but working with London Youth fits with our own values and goals.
We have overcome difficulties involved in breaking down the City & Guilds examination awarding body culture and taking on board a project that was totally outside of City & Guilds normal business, strategy and comfort zone.
After 3 years of working closely we now have a good understanding of each other and are able to cope with most issues as they in what is now viewed as a long term and sustainable partnership.

This project has proven to be a massive benefit to London Youth, particularly at this time of reduced funding. London Youth’s Head of Quality Standards, Gary Hartin says:
‘At its best ‘good’ youth work requires outstanding front-line delivery and robust organisation to back it up.
The Quality Mark with City & Guilds involvement focuses on both, helping our members to achieve long lasting improvements to their practice and management and giving them a ‘badge’ of excellence to market to young people, their families and potential funders.
Every single organisation that has been awarded a Quality Mark would recommend getting involved.’[/one_half_last]

The Speaker
Judith Norrington, Director of Policy, Research and Regulation

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