New Consultation on Youth Work Institute

16 July 2012 — 1 Comment

It’s been a while since I posted about the proposal for an Institute of Youth Work in England and I’m a little behind on this, but there is a consultation happening now and it’s important you join in!


A chance to have your say!

I first posted about the Institute for Youth Work in May last year where I was quite critical of the idea as it seemed to be a ‘buy-in’ club for qualified workers propped up by government money. After meeting with the NYA to clarify the proposal, I posted an update that explained money had only been given to the Catalyst consortium to explore the idea and find support among the sector – not to set up the institute (even if it had enough support). I was subsequently asked to join a ‘support and challenge group’ where we fed back our concerns about both the idea and the process for moving it forward. Then in September, there was an initial consultation to see what youth workers thought about the idea for a national Institute, and what it might become.

The main response drawn from that first consultation was that an Institute for Youth Work was worth investigating as an idea (92% of respondents agreed), although any detail beyond that was difficult.

There were strong views both for and against the proposals for a register of practitioners (49% in favour) and the licence to practise (38% in favour). However many comments revealed that respondents wanted more information in order to make a decision, rather than having an outright objection.

All this has now led to a second, more focused consultation which sets out a proposal for what the IYW might do. The proposal includes the aims, objectives and outcomes, membership of the institution, fees and governance, and more. But rather than being a finished document, it is a starting point to aid thinking and discussion. As is mentioned in the introduction:

It is important to stress that this is a truly open process. We aim to find out if there is real support for an IYW, whether or not youth workers and youth work organisations would join it in the form proposed, or whether there are ways in which the proposal could be amended to better meet the requirements of the sector. If our consultation reveals insufficient support within the sector to make it viable, the project will not be taken forward.

And this is why it is really important that YOU as a youth worker, volunteer, manager or student complete the survey. If you don’t voice your opinion now, then we may end up with an umbrella organisation that does not do what you need it to do. You need only do 2 things:

  1. Go here and read the proposal as it stands. Decide if you agree or not and form some opinions, then;
  2. Go here and complete the survey.
The deadline for submissions is 31st July so there’s only a couple of weeks left. Please pass this around as far and wide as possible so we can get enough representation from across the sector. Once you completed the survey, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 🙂


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I am a qualified youth worker, writer and consultant based in Littlehampton, UK. I've worked in the voluntary youth sector for over 12 years, am married to Kirsty and we have two daughters named Hope and Eloise. Check out 'Journeying Together: Growing Youth Work and Youth Workers in Local Communities' and read my opening chapter.

One response to New Consultation on Youth Work Institute

  1. Hi Jon,

    I am a youth worker in Australia and love your post. Youth workers in Victoria ar currently developing a state wide youth workers association and are asking these same questions.

    check out my video interview from 2008 on this same topic.


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