Liverpool’s Lesson: Training has Impact : Nuts and Bolts: How England Does It

Tim Burke
September 1, 1998

Qualifying training as a youth worker positioned Paul Dagnall within a nationally recognized professional structure. Employers can expect certain levels of knowledge and expertise, and thus offer pay and working conditions that reward college-based training. Dagnall feels the currency of a youth work qualification is rising as other services start to recognize the value of the youth work approach, particularly in reaching marginalized and disaffected young people.

As in other professions, different colleges have different reputations for their strengths and weaknesses, and employers may have strong opinions about the quality of this or that aspect of training. But there is a national structure for addressing concerns. The National Youth Agency, a quasi-governmental central resource and support body for youth work, convenes a committee of experienced practitioners and trainers that controls the content and quality of courses through an endorsement process. Then there is the Joint Negotiating Committee for Youth and Community Workers (JNC) which brings together employers and staff to hash out traditional labor issues such as pay and working conditions. It also works to develop training. Finally there is Ofsted, the British government’s own inspectorate, which advises and reports on all aspects of the education service, including the caliber of youth work offered by local governments and nonprofits, and the standard of youth work training courses.

Burke, Tim. "Liverpool’s Lesson: Training has Impact : Nuts and Bolts: How England Does It."Youth Today, September 1998, p. 32.

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