In this page
|Welcome and introductions
|Minutes and Actions
Welsh Government Update
Keith Towler Update
|Recommendations 12 and 13
|Writing of the final report
|Youth Work Funding / RSG
Race Equality Action Plan (REAP)Discussion and LGBTQ+ Action Plan (WG)
|**Switch to zoom for item with Young People’s Committee
|Update from Young Person’s Committee (Catrin James/members of the Young Person’s Committee)
|Any other business
- Keith Towler (KT): Interim Youth Work Board Chair
- Sharon Lovell (SL): Executive Director for the National Youth Advocacy Service and Vice Chair, Council for Wales of Voluntary Youth Services (CWVYS)
- Simon Stewart (SS): Dean of Faculty of Social and Life Sciences at Wrexham Glyndwr University
- Jo Sims (JS): Youth Service Manager for Blaenau Gwent
- Eleri Thomas (ET): Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Gwent
- Dusty Kennedy (DK): Trauma Recovery Model Academy
Welsh Government (WG):
- Hayley Jones (HJ): Senior Youth Work Manager
- Gemma Roche-Clarke (GRC): Head of Youth Engagement Team
- Dareth Edwards (DE): Youth Work Policy Manager
- Donna Lemin (DL): Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager
- Ashley Caddick (AC): Senior Statistical Officer-Future Funding & Settlement Manager
- Judith Cole (JC): Deputy Director LG Finance & Workforce Partnership Division
- Rhys Jones (RJ): Aberystwyth University
- Catrin James (CJ): URDD: Young Persons Committee
- Sian Jones (SJ): Llamau
- Jon Rae (JR): Director of Resources, Welsh Local Government Association
- Ewan: Young Person’s Committee member
- Lee: Eyst
Apologies from Efa Gruffudd Jones, Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.
Welsh Government update
GRC thanked Board members and RJ for facilitating discussions at yesterday’s all-SPG event.
The current Deputy Director for Support for Learners Division at Welsh Government, has met Jeremey Miles who was recently appointed as the Minister for Education and Welsh Language. GRC confirmed that Private Office staff would arrange a meeting between the Minister and the Board in due course.
Keith Towler update
All-SPG event: 25 May 2021
KT felt that there was a strong call for continuation of the Board during yesterday’s all-SPG event; KT will pick up individual discussions with members of the Board. KT said that he observed a nervousness about a gap between the Board ending at the end of this year and something new starting in its place. KT acknowledged that the Board had already been extended by a year.
Board members shared that there was not a clear call for the Board to continue in all group discussions yesterday, but there was a call for continued momentum and leadership, and discussions about how the ‘gap’ can be filled.
SL shared that there was a discussion in her group about value of the SPGs and a concern about losing them. She added that consideration about how we continue to take the sector with us is needed.
Welsh Language Pilot
KT informed the Board that the Welsh Language pilot was open for local authorities and the closing date would be 14 June 2021.
Writing of the final report: Rhys Jones (RJ)
RJ thanked Board members for taking time to meet him and that the conversations on the detail of each recommendation was useful. He added that he has collated viewpoints and mapped out specific issues. RJ felt that there was general consensus on the report recommendations but various emphasis amongst Board members. He added that it would be good if the Board could reconcile some of these for the final report.
RJ felt that lots of recommendations relied on legislation for a national body and questioned what that the Board would like to see in place as an interim body, as it would take some time for a national body to go through a legislative process.
KT gave an overview of the purpose of the Board when it started up, i.e. to achieve a sustainable delivery model for youth work, but it feels like it’s moved beyond a policy brief, often seen by the sector as an advisory Board. He felt that the next ‘Board’ should progress into something more like the latter.
RJ questioned how much detail is needed on this in the final report.
ET felt there should be an objective view on what the next ‘Board’ should look like and questioned how to get buy in and ownership from the sector/local government? ET felt that continuing to operate the Board as it is, is not sustainable.
JS suggested involving partners in the development of the next Board, as Board members are not there to represent the groups they work for. She questioned who needed to be involved in the development of what comes next. KT stated that the Young Person’s Committee had views to share with the Board on youth led governance later in the meeting.
SL stated that the Board has gained trust from the sector and brought the sector with it, adding that Board members are seen by the sector as leaders rather than an interim or shadow board. SL felt that the Board should progress to a governance structure of a national body (subject to Ministerial approval), possibly directed by a Board. SL added that the priority should be to establish functions, roles and responsibilities of a national body and review the funding for the sector.
KT stated that there needs to be a clear remit for what follows next.
Timeline: discussion around timescales and costings of each recommendation
RJ questioned what could be done without legislation. GRC responded that it depends on what the Board wanted adding that a national body could potentially take years, depending in its remit, and something similar to this Board could be established more quickly. GRC questioned what would representation from the sector look like.
JS stated that the SPGs, which are the sector representation, feed into the Board and the Board is subsequently able to make decisions which affect young people. He added that the Board is accountable to young people.
ET suggested that the Board could progress to an ‘implementation Board’, adding that an options paper could be developed to decide what the Board could be.
JS felt the national body and clear legislation should be the end goal.
RJ began to ask about a timeline for each recommendation and associated costs/resource implication. GRC advised that Welsh Government officials would investigate those issues in detail once the report had been published.
ES, JR, AC and JC joined the meeting and there was a round of introductions.
KT gave an overview of the recommendation around a funding review and asked for guests’ views on the proposed recommendation.
JR outlined some disadvantages of removing funding from the RSG, including that doing so would go against local decision making and meeting the varying needs of local authorities. He added that there were a few examples of where money has been removed, but it has been small amounts. JR advised there would be risks of losing funding - a reduction in proportionate amount.
DK commented that there is more than one way to effect change. KT added that the issue was about how we get resources to the intended outcome.
JC advised that money had been removed from the RSG when there had been a change of structure and model of delivery. She added that once money goes into the RSG it doesn’t tend to decrease, which may not be as true with grants. JC advised that is was possible to remove funding from the RSG but not possible to remove the funding connected to it. She stated that local authorities should be able to deliver a joined up service using unhypothecated funding.
SS stated that money going into the RSG for young people is not being used for its intended purposes.
ET acknowledged the impact of austerity but stated that the Board was asking how to maximise use of funding and get it to the intended recipients.
JR stated that accountability is at the local level as is value for money in terms of outcomes and outputs.
Board members agreed that a further discussion needed to be scheduled on this matter.
Action: HJ to arrange a further discussion on the funding recommendation.
Update from Young Person’s Committee (Catrin James/members of the Young Person’s Committee)
CJ, Ewan, Lee and SJ joined the meeting and there was a round of introductions.
CJ provided a brief update on the work of the Young Person’s Committee so far, there have been four meetings to date and the first meeting included an introduction to the Board.
CJ introduced a paper on youth led governance, which was prepared by the Young Person’s Committee, and handed over to Ewan to present it.
Ewan talked through what the paper suggested youth led governance should look like: genuine engagement, allowing young people to make decisions on an ongoing basis, using the innovation and imagination of young people, young people being visible, young people as equal partners in a leadership remit.
Ewan suggested questions for the IYWB’s consideration:
- A youth work body will be established which needs to include the voice of young people, should the structure be integrated or parallel?
- Does it need a regional structure; North Wales, South, East, and West, possibly use forum(s) that are already in place?
- How to get on a Youth Led governance structure?
- How long should you be a member?
KT thanked Ewan for his helpful overview of the paper and invited comments and questions from Board members.
SL questioned how to ensure that young people who do not access Youth Services feel involved. Ewan advised that the Committee discussed outreach to capture as many young people as possible and that further thought was needed to include those who do not access services.
DK said that the paper cemented his thoughts and has given him more ideas, particularly around outreach. DK questioned how the Committee would feel about having a Board member as a link. Ewan stated that it was discussed that a young person should be a regular member on the Board, but he liked the idea of a Board member being on the young person’s Committee
SS asked Ewan what he had got out of this process. Ewan stated that he had built confidence in speaking in groups.
ET questioned whether Board members be mentored by young people; ‘reverse mentoring’.
JS stated that it was helpful to hear how the Committee was considering its feedback to the Board, and that the approach would help steer the Board’s thinking.
KT stated that recommendations would be drafted based on what the Committee had suggested and would be sent to the Committee for consideration.
Action: Board will give young people the opportunity to see and comment on the revised recommendations.
CJ stated that the next Committee meeting dates were scheduled for 17 June and 29 July. CJ gave an overview of the Committee’s approach and added that the Committee would welcome some recommendations to consider at their meetings.
RJ confirmed that he had planned to enable the Committee to have discussions on particular issues, adding that it would be helpful to have a range of views to finalise recommendations.
RJ questioned whether a young person’s version of the report was needed. It was agreed that the final report would be written in a way that was accessible to a wide range of people. Ewan stated that would give young people the ability to understand the report.
RJ and DK agreed to attend the next Committee meeting 17June.
KT thanked everyone for their attendance and closed the meeting
Action: HJ to arrange a further meeting to discuss the items on today’s agenda that were not covered (Recommendations 12 and 13, the Race Equality Action Plan and LGBTQ+ Action Plan) and allow for further discussion on the report recommendations, including the funding review.