Most of us at Youth MOVE National started our careers in peer-service or in youth coordinator roles, and grew into national advocacy work. The concept of “Generation NEXT” is a priority on our team, as most of us have experienced it firsthand: we need to build better career pathways for young people with lived experience to enter and stay in the field of systems change.
The importance of a sustainable career pathway is relevant at all levels:
- From the youth workforce perspective, having a sustainable career and opportunities for growth;
- For the hiring organizations’ benefits: from credibility to talent retention and relevant, informed program design.
Unfortunately, there is limited research around this topic.
In 2018, the Youth Best Practice Committee (YBPC) helped Youth MOVE National release a survey to learn more about the youth workforce.
The objectives of this survey were to learn more about:
- The demographics of those with lived experience who are working in the field
- The roles and responsibilities of those with lived experience working in the field
- Professional development needs and opportunities for career development of those with lived experience.
We shared this survey with our network and actively promoted it at the 2018 Training Institutes. Over 150 completed the survey, mostly identifying as youth peer support providers/specialists, and/or youth coordinators/youth engagement specialists.
Though this survey is a couple of years old, we think the results are still very relevant.
The main highlights of the survey were synthesized into this infographic, with guidance from our current YBPC – Research and Evaluation subcommittee. This committee is also helping us work towards a second iteration of this survey, which we plan on releasing in 2021 – stay tuned!