Institute of Youth Work

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2013 Local Government Service Group Conference
18 February 2013

Conference notes that the Education and Training Standards Committee (ETS) of the National Youth Agency is consulting on the establishment of an Institute for Youth Work (IYW) for England. This includes the possibility of potential later extension to include the whole UK.

The IYW is to be open to employees and volunteers working with young people with the aim of supporting youth workers to reach the highest possible standards in youth work. The IYW is to develop work across:

1)Youth work practice – including developing and promoting a framework for ethical practice

2)Providing a strategic voice for members to influence policy and practice and promoting the recognition of the impact of youth work;

3)Providing guidance and information around continuing professional development

4)Potentially developing a sector skills platform

5)Validation of professional youth work qualifications for England

Conference believes that the IYW proposals duplicate and could undermine the Youth and Community JNC structure. The IYW outline of benefits already exist with local employers and organisations such as supervision structures; appraisals and nationally via the JNC and NYA for example training advice and professional development. The scope of the IYW only covers England whilst the JNC Agreement also covers Wales & Ireland which could create division and fragmentation.

Conference further questions whether the IYW will be viable. The proposals come at a time when members are suffering great financial hardship, when youth services are facing disproportionate cuts and being outsourced and commissioned. The money being spent on developing the IYW are better put into securing front line services.

Conference instructs the Service Group to continue guarded dialogue with the ETS on the establishment of an IYW and its relationship with the JNC and consult with members on forthcoming proposals.