Children's Workforce Qualifications and Training Guide

By Charlotte Goddard

| 27 August 2019

Amid reforms and challenges, Charlotte Goddard identifies entry-level requirements and continuing professional development for roles in the children and young people's workforce.

Work to reform qualifications and training continues against a backdrop of budget cuts. Picture: Wavebreak3/Adobe Stock

The past year has not been a stable one for central government and inevitably long-term policymaking has suffered in the shadow of Brexit. Budget cuts continue to bite with an inevitable effect on the children's workforce. For many parts of the sector, such as the Troubled Families programme, workforce issues are unresolved until the government's delayed Spending Review takes place.

However, efforts to reform qualifications and training continue. In March, the Association of Directors of Children's Services called on the government to appoint a national child, young people and families workforce lead to oversee a coherent strategy for the entire children's workforce, addressing capacity issues and ensuring adequate and up-to-date training.

Youth work has had a particularly busy year, with the government carrying out reviews into statutory guidance and promising the development of a Youth Charter, while the National Youth Agency develops a Youth Workforce Strategy and carries out its own review of youth work qualifications. The Youth Justice Board has also issued a Workforce Development Strategy, and this autumn will see the launch of the Youth Justice Institute, an initiative that aims to provide professional leadership for youth justice workers.

There are numerous plans afoot in health, with the NHS Long Term Plan setting out action to increase the number of nurses, move towards a 0-25 service, and expand the neonatal nursing workforce. Meanwhile, the early years sector has seen the launch of a raft of new qualifications, including the much delayed Level 3 Early Years Educator Apprenticeship.

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