Youth worker regulation gets under way in Wales

By Neil Puffett

| 03 April 2017

The body that regulates education practitioners in Wales has become responsible for the registration and regulation of youth workers, youth support workers, and work-based learning practitioners for the first time.

Youth workers in Wales will be regulated by the Education Workforce Council. Picture: Arlen Connelly

The Education Workforce Council (EWC) said youth workers will join more than 75,000 school and further education teachers and learning support staff on the national register, making Wales the first country in the world to regulate the seven groups of educators.

EWC chief executive Hayden Llewellyn said: "Including youth workers, youth support workers and work-based learning practitioners on the register is a bold and welcome step for EWC and for Wales.

"By bringing non-formal and in-work education in line with formal education, we are enhancing the status of the often overlooked professions of youth work and work-based learning and the increasingly important role they play in young people's wellbeing and education.

"This is another world first for Wales, and we look forward to working closely with employers in future to ensure the highest standards of conduct from their staff."

Julie James, the Welsh Government's minister for skills and science, added: "Education and learning is vital in the continuing development of a prosperous Wales and we are committed to working with others to improve the standards of teaching and the quality of learning in Wales.

"This new registration system for work-based learning practitioners and youth workers supports our ambition to achieve the highest possible professional standards throughout the whole education sector and it will provide a vital component in ensuring the people of Wales receive high-quality learning throughout their lives."

Keith Towler, chair of the Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services, added: "Good-quality youth work saves young lives.

"The trusted relationship between young people and youth workers and youth support workers is vital for the development of resilience, self-esteem and delivery of professional responses to a huge range of issues.

"Recognition of informal and non-formal learning in a wider educational context is important and this will support the development of quality youth work provision."

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