The Welsh Government puts plans in place to try and make sure that all young people in Wales can take part in projects like youth clubs. They also make sure that young people can get support from a youth worker if they want. The Assembly Members on the Children, Young People and Education Committee decided to take a look at if these policies are working for young people in Wales and asked them what they thought about these policies. They also asked lots of youth workers to find out what they think.
Youth services across Wales include things like youth clubs, youth centres and projects. The Committee wanted to know more about where and how people use youth services, the Welsh Government’s plan for the future of youth work in Wales and how they plan to fund them in the best way possible.
The Committee held an event with youth workers to give them a chance to say what they think and share their concern about youth work and services in Wales. Here’s what they had to say:
Many of the people at the event agreed that the big themes of the day were:
- Making sure that youth services continue to provide a range of good leisure, cultural, sporting and other fulfilling activities for young people to take part in.
- What the Welsh Government should do to support the youth work sector in the future.
- How to make sure that Welsh Government’s funding for youth services gets spent wisely.
Last summer, the Committee also heard the views and opinions of young people from across Wales through a survey, 1511 young people took part. Here’s what they thought:
52% of young people surveyed said that they used a youth service and 44%, of those, rated their youth service as excellent with only 1% rating their youth service as poor.
Many of the young people surveyed had a lot of positive things to say about their youth service.
“It’s given me so much confidence, experiences and life skills that I would not have be able to gain anywhere else.”
“The youth forum and the youth service are really important to us. They keep us off the streets and give us new opportunities to learn different things, learn new skills, meet new friends and develop as young people.”
Some of the concerns young people talked about were about a lack of information on where they could access youth services and that there weren’t enough places for older children and young adults to go to. 26% of people surveyed also felt concerned that their youth centres were closing.
“Council cut all the funding and grants to our community club and we were told the community grants weren’t available anymore either, so couldn’t afford to run as much stuff. Nobody asked us.”
After listening to youth workers and young people, the Committee have written a report, which you can download here.
In the report, the Committee say that big changes are needed and that young people should be at the heart of those changes and be more involved with the decisions being made.
What do you think? Remember that you can express your opinions to your Assembly Members any time on any issue. You can discover who your Members are on the Assembly’s website.
To make sure that your voices are heard in the Assembly, we have a team of people working directly with young people across Wales to make sure that you are given the opportunity to get involved and voice your opinion on issues that matter to you. To find out more about us, please contact the Education and Youth Engagement Team on 0300 200 6565 or you can e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org.