The APPG on Youth Affairs Youth Work Inquiry has highlighted the need for Youth Worker registration in the final report, published yesterday (4.4.19).

The fifth recommendation in the inquiry report on workforce strategy, states that:

“To be effective, a register of youth workers should be developed and support both professional development and a probationary period similar to NQT status for teachers.”

The Institute for Youth Work has been working to bring together sector partners including representatives from the NYA, UK Youth, Unions, the LGA, the Youth Work education sector, faith sector and youth justice.  This steering committee has been overseeing the development of a register for Youth Workers for the past two years, although the idea of developing a register is one that goes back much further.

The steering committee are very pleased to see the recommendation in the full APPG report and hope it will garner greater support from the sector and government and strengthen the committee’s mandate.

Following wide consultation on registration and the potential development of a License to Practice Youth Work in 2017, the Institute for Youth Work found that there was overall support for a register with motivations including:

  • Greater professional recognition of youth workers
  • The raising of professional standards
  • Protected professional titles
  • Assertion of the Code of Ethics for Youth Work
  • Protection of the Youth Work employment terms and conditions, as negotiated by the JNC

It is true that many have reservations too, such as:

  • The potential alienation of unqualified workforce and volunteers
  • The need for government support to enable maximum impact
  • Potential top-down regulation

The Youth Work register steering committee have been working through the results of the consultation and feel that many of the concerns can be managed effectively through the democratic and pluralist oversight of the project.

For more information, please contact the Institute for Youth Work at