12 February 2016

Quality training changes people

Posted in Training

30 years ago, we embarked on a mission to invest in equipping a new generation of youth workers.

Spearheaded by Ross Farley, an internship program was developed that provided a year-long, formal qualification primarily focussed on training for youth ministry. YMIS, the Youth Ministry Internship Scheme, was conceived and, in 1987, the inaugural class of students celebrated their graduation.

Today, the YMIS legacy continues in SU QLD Training.

Five managers have carried the baton over the years – Ross Farley, David Underhill, Stuart Cran, Francis Kneebone and Jodie Robinson (Ross Farley’s daughter).

At 11 years of age, current Head of Vocational Training Jodie Robinson saw her Dad start YMIS.

“In the early days YMIS (Youth Ministry Internship Scheme) was its own small niche program, with around 10 to 15 students in each of the years.

“I came on staff in 2001 to assist in the setup of a correspondence version of the course so we could make it more accessible throughout Queensland and interstate. I finished in that part of my role after 6 years. I came back in 2010 to cover for a trainer on maternity leave. Francis Kneebone made his decision to move on and I was seen as the person to take that role,” says Jodie.

Jodie shares the key changes that took place to the delivery and format of the course.

“You can break the history of the training in half. For the first 15 years we provided a relatively niche on campus delivery of this internship scheme program. Then around 2001 it was decided we needed to broaden things so we went to a distance model for external students in addition to the on campus delivery. So there is that marker in the sand, where we took the step to make it available more broadly,” says Jodie. And online delivery was added in time.

Other than intensives held in Brisbane each semester SU QLD Training enables people to stay in their community and still be able to get the training they need including practical placement experiences.

Many challenges through the years have shaped how we operate in a shifting sector.

“Change is the constant challenge. In recent years we have had changes in the vocational education and training sector, youth work qualifications, along with chaplaincy qualification requirements for employment.

“However, change is what enables us to be on the cutting edge of what’s being expected in terms of industry. So if we weren’t in a position that required us to change we would find that we were not able to equip our students with the highest quality, up to date content.

“We continue to provide training that develops the qualities of a good youth worker. It’s always been more than delivering youth work training; it’s also about creating the space for a significant life-changing experience. To have graduates saying ‘You know I am not the same person I was when I started’ is what we want,” says Jodie.

Visit training.suqld.org.au for more information on our Certificate IV in Youth Work (CHC40413) and Diploma of Youth Work (CHC50413)

Scripture Union Queensland (RTO 30548)


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