Government announces details of bursary for disadvantaged youth work students

The search for a charity that will distribute £580k of bursaries for youth work students from disadvantaged backgrounds launches today.

The Youth Worker Bursary Fund has been set up by the government to target low-income students to ensure they can access the Level 2 certificate and Level 3 diploma in youth work practice qualifications.

The fund, set up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport aims to support the training of 400 students.

The application process is open to a charity or group of charities that can prove they are able to support students across England.

They must prove they can distribute the bursaries to those "who otherwise experience difficulties in accessing" the youth work qualifications, according to a government application guidance document.

It adds: "Bursaries should not be provided to individuals whose workplace would ordinarily pay for their youth worker qualifications."

The fund has been made available to boost diversity among youth work professionals.

The government announced its intention to launch the fund in July, when the move was given a cautious welcome by youth groups who are concerned that the funding does not go far enough given the scale of cuts to youth services.

London Youth pointed out that 400 new bursaries across England compares with a loss of 800 youth work positions over the last decade in the capital alone.

Last month a further fall in youth work courses was also reported in an ongoing national trend.

Meanwhile, the civil society minister Baroness Diana Barran is to start a UK-wide series of local meetings around the government's Civil Society Strategy, which launched last year.

These will take place in Newcastle, Liverpool, Bradford, Norwich and Birmingham.

The strategy included plans to review statutory youth services guidance for councils and give the National Citizen Service and uniformed youth groups a bigger role in provision.

"Today and over the next few weeks I will be meeting representatives of this brilliant sector across the country to ensure the positive work of the Civil Society Strategy continues," said Barran.

"I look forward to listening to a wide variety of people and organisations, from national bodies to smaller grassroots charities, to ensure their voices are heard."

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