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Call for better training for youth workers.

Training for part-time youth support workers has not kept up with changes in services for young people, says the chief inspector for schools.

The education and training inspectorate for Wales called for better training to help those who work for agencies providing youth support services.

In a report to the Welsh Assembly Government, Estyn says many of these youth workers need better training.

Not enough of the people who work in wider youth support services outside local authorities opt for training - and too many trainees drop out of courses.

However, Estyn finds that there is good quality teaching to prepare people to work in youth clubs and youth centres, in particular those run by local authorities.

The quality of this training can, and should, be extended to all those other agencies which support young people in making important decisions that affect their lives.

'High-quality, up-to-date training for all youth workers is essential if young people are to have a good start to their adult lives,' said Susan Lewis, chief inspector for education and training in Wales.

'This report recommends that the Welsh Assembly Government should establish a development plan for a well-qualified and integrated workforce in youth support services.

'The report also says that current initial training for part-time youth workers should be part of this wider framework.'

She wants training providers to widen programmes for trainees, improve retention and pass rates and develop initial training for part-time youth workers as part of the recommended new and wider framework of training.

Ms Lewis also said there should be an increase in the range of teaching materials.

'Efforts need to be made to ensure that the curriculum for initial qualification training is changed to meet the needs of Wales' modern youth support services,' said Ms Lewis.

'Training should address the specific skills needed to provide youth support services in a broad range of settings including, for example, youth information, counselling and advice, outreach or detached work, health education and extended curriculum work in schools.'
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Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Mar 23, 2006
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