New education to promote safe meeting places for young people

On 17 January, a tailor-made contract education started at the School of Education and Communication (HLK) at Jönköping University for professional youth workers in Jönköping County. The course is one of the first of its kind in Sweden and aims to equip youth workers with tools that can help them create the safest possible meeting places for young people.

HLK and the Municipality’s development department (Kommunal Utveckling), in collaboration with Jönköping county’s 13 municipalities’ youth administrations, are behind the commissioned education. The course will include how to better collaborate with other actors in society, such as cultural schools and associations.

“Today, youth centres are facing a complex reality. We need a 24-hour approach to our children and young people, where we work together with other actors to create safe and meaningful meeting places," says Mazar Alijevski, Director of Culture and Leisure, Jönköping Municipality

The initiative for the education comes from the youth workers themselves via a network of the county's Leisure Directors and Kommunal Utveckling. Kushtrim Brahimi, who has worked as a youth worker in Värnamo for ten years, is one of those who will be trained.

Kushtrim Brahimi

Kushtrim Brahimi, youth worker in Värnamo.

“We have been discussing for quite some time how we and the organization can take the next step and develop. We need to be able to meet a different type of young people and a different society today. For the leisure activities to develop further, we need some skills development," says Kushtrim Brahimi.

“Proactive measures are needed”

Society is constantly changing, and youth centres are no longer the only place where children and young people spend their free time.

“Youth workers and developers need to meet the needs of young people by working in a mobile, agile, and area-based way. Proactive efforts are needed in areas such as parental support and crime prevention together with schools and social services. This means, of course, that we need a competence base that rests on a foundation of research and professional experience and that is why we are now starting this education,” says Rasmus Ax, Head of Development, Kommunal Utveckling.

The course is worth ten credits and takes place over one year. The course started on 17 January and the 27 participants are studying alongside their regular work. There are about 100 youth workers in the county and the hope is that all of them will have the opportunity to take the course.

It has been a long time since Kushtrim Brahimi last studied, but he is looking forward to it.

"It's great that this collaboration with Kommunal Utveckling and HLK has come about and that the training is tailor-made for us. I haven't studied for 20 years so I don't really know what it feels like yet, but it's really fun to have this opportunity for skills development," says Kushtrim Brahimi.

Sara Dommartine, Director of Contract Education at the Division for Collaboration at HLK, is pleased that the collaboration has resulted in a training course.

“We are pleased that the collaboration with the county’s leisure managers has now resulted in this initiative. With the contract education at HLK, based on the solid competence of our staff, we want to meet the needs and challenges facing society. This training is a good example of that, where we hope to strengthen and equip the professional group for the work with, and collaboration around, our children and young people”, says Sara Dommartine.

The training is science-based and linked to the European principles and guidelines for local open leisure and youth work EGL (European Charter on Local Youth work).

The courses:

Spring semester: Open leisure and youth work - meaningful leisure time.

Autumn semester: Meeting places for young people's leisure time

Statistics on HLK’s credit-bearing contract education 2023


  • 215 people participated in various credit-bearing contracted educations
  • Training for professionals took place in 16 different municipalities
  • 73 members of HLK staff were involved in the delivery of mission training
  • 1,600 people participated during the year in non-credit contract education and 3,500 people in one-off lectures

For more information on contract education at the School of Education and Communication, contact Sara Dommartine.