The EU Gangs project recognised that Birmingham is a centre of excellence for meeting the challenges presented by gangs. The project aimed to train professionals and community activists to operative effectively in gang related environments and offered an accessible formally recognised qualification to support their professional development.
Through research conducted in each of the partnership countries (Romania, Greece, Italy, Cyprus and UK) a training needs analysis was completed with the professionals working with vulnerable young people to collect the skills and knowledge required to effectively intervene and prevent gang involvement. This was developed by experts at University College Birmingham (UCB) into a Level 3 professional qualification entitled ‘Working with Gangs’ accredited by City and Guilds. Since the project ended in September 2016 this content has now been amended by feedback from participants to include youth violence as a wider issue. ‘Working with Gangs and Youth Violence’ is now accredited by Open College Network (OCN).
In July 2014 professionals from the police force, health, social and community workers from across the partner countries attended a training the trainer course delivered by UCB and Walsall College to run the L3 ‘Working with Gangs’ programme and cascade the training in their own countries. Participants were able to understand the social and psychological aspects of gang culture and to offer practical approaches that will result in improved interaction and engagement in this complex environment.
Since July 2015 over 100 professionals have been trained to deliver the EU Gangs programme across the partnership countries and the ‘Working with Gangs’ course has been adapted for national contexts and accredited in each country. The 90 hour programme has benefited just under 200 police and probation officers, health, youth and community worked, teachers, psychologists and many other professionals who support vulnerable young people. The programme successfully developed a transnational vocational programme, accredited within Europe, to support the gang agenda so that those professionals who come into contact with gangs will be better prepared for their roles.
The project came to an end in September 2016 but the networks of practitioners continue to operate and the programmes will continue to be delivered in each country.
In partnership with:
New skills and competences to address skills gaps and mismatch within the sectors working with Gang and Youth Crime across Europe (EUGANGS). (539766-LLP-1-2013-1-UK-LEONARDO-LMP/ Grant Agreement 2013 3382 /001-001). This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.