Youth work academy launches with training to tackle gang crime

By Joe Lepper

| 14 March 2019

Supporting young people affected by exploitation, violence and county lines drug networks will be the first training session to be run by the National Youth Agency's newly launched academy.

Youth work professionals will have an opportunity to study how to support young people subject to criminal exploitation such as county lines drug networks. Picture: Syda Productions/Adobe Stock

Among the topics for study at the academy is an anti-youth violence course in "gangology", designed to empower practitioners working with young people affected by gun and knife crime as well as the use of acid in attacks.

The facility has been set up to provide up-to-date training for youth work professionals, with the first course launching next month called "Child Criminal Exploitation, Violence and County Lines", to be run in St Austell, Leicester and York during April.

Another aims to improve youth workers' skills in communicating with young people, and learning how cognitive behavioural therapy can be used in youth work.

A further course on supporting young people's mental health needs is also set to take place.

The academy is also planning to run a detached youth work course, delivered by the Federation of Detached Youth Workers and offering advice on safe working practices.

The effect of social media on young people's lives and improving young people's financial skills, are among other courses being planned.

"Our vision with the NYA Youth Work Academy is to provide high-quality, low-cost, and up-to-date training for individuals and organisations working with young people," said  NYA assistant director of operations Katy Fielding.

"We believe that young people deserve the best support possible, and that equipping practitioners and youth workers with high-quality skills is the best way to achieve that."

Earlier this week the Local Government Association urged the government not to implement further cuts in council's youth justice funding, in particular to tackle knife crime.

According to NHS figures there has been a 51 per cent rise over the last four years in the number of young people who have been a victim of a knife attack.

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