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Status of Youth Workers to be Improved

Wright: "Youth worker' is a generic term"

At a time of growing black youth unemployment the role of youth services and youth workers in particular will be key to seeking to work with disaffected young people.

Of course Youth Workers themselves have always been marginalised, underpaid and lacking in recognition. This is despite the fact that they provide an invaluable service whilst working with some of the most difficult young people in our community.

That’s why is so encouraging to that there is a serious proposal to re-branded Youth Workers as Youth Work Professionals. The Confederation of Heads of Young Peoples Services will consider the proposal in the next few weeks. In attempt to improve the professional status of qualified youth workers the proposal will have to also tackle improving the pay such workers receive and set out a clear career development pathway for unqualified workers.

There are many workers who are excellent and yet remain unqualified and ensuring that these workers are supported in gaining the necessary qualification to attain the professional status will be important.

Many black youth workers are unqualified and are employed on part time contracts. In a time levels of black youth unemployment are increasing dramatically such workers will be needed to provide support to large numbers of unemployed black youth.
Ensuring that a Race Equality Impact Assessment is completed to asses all of the possible negative implications for black workers will be critical in avoiding a two tier youth service.

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