Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru | National Assembly for Wales

Y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg | Children, Young People and Education Committee

Ymchwiliad i Waith Ieuenctid | Inquiry into Youth Work


YW 02

Ymateb gan : Her Cymru | Llong Dal Cymru

Response from : Challenge Wales | Wales’ Tall Ship


Question 1 - What are your views on young people’s access to youth work services, including, for example:

- levels of provision across Wales and any regional variation;

- issues relating to access for specific groups of young people eg language, disability, rurality, ethnicity.

We work with a wide range of youth groups and young people from different backgrounds and different counties in Wales (North, South, West and Mid Wales).  From NEET’s, to school leavers, to BME groups to homeless charities, to uniformed groups to those disadvantaged (financially or socially), from autistic and learning disabilities to high achievers at school.


We see / hear that there is a provision for those at either end of the spectrum eg those with special requirements and those who are top achievers but we find that those in the middle – who are average at school and have a good attendance can sometimes get missed out.

If you believe that there are particular problems, how do you think they could be resolved?


Ensuring there is an appropriate level of access of information.  Young people are using social media platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram in particular and these can be utilised more.  The constant we see is that people have mobile phones so this must be a tool to reach out to them on.


It’s also key that the organisations, those in positions who are trying to help young people know the services that are out there.


Question 2 - How effective do you think the Welsh Government strategy and policy on youth work is?

In considering this question you may wish to think about:

- the Welsh Government’s specific youth work policy and strategy such as ‘The Youth Work offer’; The Wales Charter for Youth Work; The National Youth Work Strategy for Wales 2014 to 2018;

- Welsh Government departmental responsibilities and whether there is a cross-departmental and co-ordinated approach to support youth work provision.

A lot of our work fits in with the Wales Charter for Youth Work and we were very excited about this.  As a sail training provider we provide a safe place to be, we provide an outdoor, residential and in some cases international experiences, we have a youth panel so young people can make decisions about the organisation and feed straight into the board of trustees, we get young people on board to make decisions, we provide volunteering opportunities etc.  But we are finding although it is nice to see these things written down it doesn’t seem to mean anything in the everyday sense.  We find that young people and some organisations aren’t embracing this.  There needs to be a cross-departmental approach.

How do you think the Welsh Government could approach its youth work strategy and policy differently / to better effect?

Making sure that the sector is equipped to achieve ongoing positive outcomes – I don’t know if it is.


Helping to fund volunteer and predominantly volunteer run organisations in particular to up skill the volunteer workforce to be able to work more effectively with young people – small amounts of funding (eg even up to £250 can make a huge difference).

Understand that different organisations work to different standards that might not fit into one box – we are considering being members of AALA (Adventurous Activities Licensing Authority).  Recognised scheme by many LAs and organisations.  However, our sail training standards that we have to achieve to operate and get assessed on yearly are higher than this.  No sail training organisation (that are members of the UK sail training body) are members of AALA because of this.  But then from a marketing tool people see that we don’t carry the logo and might query what we are offering.


Ensure there is plenty of peer to peer networking and opportunities to meet and to share information.  We have found a very fragmented youth sector where information comes from different sources and in some cases it has been through chance conversations at networking events where we have then managed to get included in some decision making activity with key players.


Question 3 - What are your views on the funding available for youth work, including through Local Authority, Welsh Government, European Union, and Third Sector.

If you are a small organisation, like we are, it has been a struggle.  We aren’t aware of Local Authority funding, Welsh Government Funding or Third Sector funding.  We do have some grants which we have to apply for.  We are aware of Erasmus + funding but have no idea where we can get more information on this or support and it seems this is for larger organisations.


In Scotland, sail training is supported by the Scottish Government but in Wales it isn’t.

If you believe there are problems in this area, how do you think they could be resolved?

Having a clear route on how small organisations can apply for funding, perhaps having a workshop / presentation to advise on this.


Question 4 – Are there any other issues you consider relevant to the Inquiry that you think the Committee should be made aware of?

(for example: workforce related issues; the Quality Mark for Youth Work in Wales; buildings and infrastructure; youth work in schools; transport issues; access to digital technology; Welsh Government’s consultation on proposals to register and inspect some out of school education settings).



Question 5 - If you had to make one recommendation to the Welsh Government from all the points you have made, what would that recommendation be?

Work closely with organisations such as CWVYS (Council of Wales Voluntary Youth Service) so that you know the diverse mix of members who play a critical part in delivering youth work services.