Please find the 2017/18 Annual Monitoring Report in our resource library or at the bottom of this post.
Along with a renewed NYA , last year, the Civil Society Strategy recognised youth work as ‘transformational’ and cited the need for trained and qualified youth and community development workers, and to review the Guidance on the statutory duty of Local Authorities for leisure-time services and activities to improve young people’s well-being.
Some progress has been made:
- Governments commitment to developing a new Youth Charter with fresh investment hopeful
- The review of the statutory guidance has been formally launched
- The Government has pledged to renew youth work qualifications that were due to expire in 2020, and a review of the youth work curriculum.
- Subsidised training places at level two and three for youth workers has been announced.
In the meantime, there are also increasing pots of money dedicated towards young people. For example; £90million to the Youth Futures Foundation for distribution to groups tackling youth unemployment, and the £200m Youth Endowment Fund for interventions and community partnerships preventing children at risk of being drawn into crime and violence. We are also hopeful of additional investment through the Spending Reviews.
We are ambitious that these represent the first steps out of the challenging environment that youth work sits in, and which have affected all training. These challenges have led to:
- Level 6 student numbers dropping by 50% from a peak in 2010
- Many courses being insecure in their institutions because of university-wide pressure on student numbers and resources
- Significant reductions in suitable fieldwork placements due to the loss of local authority youth services
However, given the context of an increased focus and financial commitment to youth work there is clear evidence that, as a foundation to build upon, youth work qualification programmes are still of a very high quality and are well respected across multiple sectors.
Courses are ensuring students have access to JNC qualified lecturers and supervisors, and the findings of external examiners and reviews show that quality remains high within these courses.
Furthermore, student intakes are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of ages, ethnicity and experience. A diverse workforce is vital for a sector that has relationship work at its heart. There are, however, significant imbalances in gender, with women accounting for 3 in every 4 new students.
We also find JNC qualification programmes offer extra support to students, and are becoming increasingly multi-disciplinary in their content to reflect the changing contexts that youth work sits within.
This gives students the best opportunities for future employment, and reflects the fact that graduates are increasingly finding employment in other sectors due the ability of youth work to achieve best results with children and young people where other methods may not. It is testament to the courses that over the last 4 years, only 1 out of 1,300 graduate that we have the data for has been unemployed following graduation from a JNC validated course.
Overall then, there is much positivity and solid base from which to build upon. The National Youth Agency looks forward to securing future investments to instil a broader renewal of youth work.
Please click the front cover below to download the 2017/18 Annual Monitoring Report