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Time Item Papers
10:00 Welcome and introduction to Young Persons Committee co-ordinator, Catrin James  
10:10 Update from Young Persons Committee  
10:20 Update from Young Persons Committee
  1. Minutes

Race Equality Action Plan

Discussion with Welsh Government Policy Team


Welsh Government update

  • Marketing post
  • Marketing activities
  • International Learning Exchanges

Keith Towler update

  • Ministerial play review
  • Youth Justice Blueprint
  • Feedback from Strategy group reports
  1. Strategy Group letter
  2. Policy context of youth work in Wales

SPG update

  • Leadership and Management funding
  • Mapping
  • Welsh language pilot
12:00 Youth work funding
  1. Youth work funding paper
12:50 Any other business  
13:00 Close  




  • 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)
  • Efa Gruffudd Jones (EGJ): Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh
  • 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: Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner, Gwent

Welsh Government (WG):

  • Hayley Jones: Senior Youth Work Manager
  • Gemma Roche-Clarke (GRC): Head of Youth Engagement Team
  • Dareth Edwards: Youth Work Policy Manager
  • Donna Lemin: Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager


  • Catrin James (URDD): Young Persons Committee
  • Hannah Fisher: Senior Policy Manager for race and faith, including gypsy and traveler policy



Dusty Kennedy: Director of TRM Academy

Update from Young Persons Committee

Catrin James provided an update on the progress of the Young Persons Committee, on behalf of the three co-ordinators Urdd, Llamau and EYST.

She advised 44 young people applied to join the Committee and 23 were successful. Those who were not successful initially may be invited if others leave the Committee in due course. Catrin advised members of the committee is as below:

  • 11 to 15 age range: 7 members
  • 16 to 19 age range: 9 members
  • 19 to 25 age range: 7 members
  • 14 from a white ethnic backgrounds
  • 9 from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds
  • A range of personal backgrounds including homelessness and care experienced young people

Catrin spoke about the work of the Committee to date, and advised that more information was required before their discussions took place to enable a richer experience.

The Board highlighted other discussions they have had around the wider participation systems for young people and how this Committee may fit into those. It was also agreed that a Board member would attend every Committee meeting.

The Board highlighted that as part of the experience we should consider how they can gain access to senior decision makers and Ministers so they can understand how their voices are being listened to and heard.

Catrin provided an overview of how she runs the meetings bilingually. This approach was very welcomed by the Board but it was also pointed out that this was an extremely skilled practice that not all youth workers could be expected to undertake although it could be aspirational.

AP: KT, SL, ET and Catrin to discuss how the Board will be involved in meeting with the Committee and how they will provide additional information ahead of future Board meetings.

Race Equality Action Plan

Hannah Fisher joined the Board meeting to discuss the Race Equality Action Plan (REAP). GRC has previously sent out the draft action plan and there are two recommendations for the Board, which were developed as the need for youth work involvement in the REAP was identified through stakeholder working.

Hannah provided background to the development of the REAP and outlined the work that has taken place so far to develop the plan which included better understanding the impact of the pandemic on those from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background, and this included their socio-economic background. She also highlighted that educational settings were where the highest level of racism was often experienced.  She advised the consultation on the REAP went live on 24 March, and is due to close in June but that may be delayed to enable greater level of engagement post the upcoming election.

The Board discussed how this work may be reflected in their final report, but also recognised other areas for consideration for example; disability and how that impacts on access to youth work.

SS asked for the statistics of the black, Asian and ethnic minority work force, and the numbers who are in training?  What do we know about the destinations?

Action: Welsh Government to provide available statistics for youth workers and trainees from a black, Asian and minority ethnic background, including how many have entered employment.

Minutes and Action Points from last meeting

The minutes were agreed as an accurate record.

KT updated that he will be meeting with Gareth Kiff (Estyn) in the near future.

SL advised that the Charter for Youth Work was discussed as part of the Young People are Thriving SPG and it was agreed that this was not fit for purpose. The Board discussed that a new Charter should be developed with young people and the Board in the future to tie in with the development of policy. Clear communication should be provided to the sector to advise that this is the case.

KT: updated he met with Sara Faye again before the pre-election period as well as speaking to others to ensure Youth Work is considered as they move towards an election period.

Welsh Government update

GRC provided an update on the International Exchange Programme (ILE) and that there is still a lot to be done to refine the programme and there will be further conversations with stakeholders.

The Board asked for the minutes to show their support for this development which was really pleasing. They welcomed the opportunities this funding could provide especially on a global scale rather than just European. It was noted that the challenge would be to ensure that the sector is going to be able to step up to take advantage of the opportunity.

DE provided a marketing update. She outlined that we now have Ministerial approval to create a 12 month marketing and comms post which will sit with CWVYS. Additionally, the latest youth work bulletin was released ahead of the pre-election period focusing on democratic engagement.

KT informed the Board that Paul Glaze has asked him to sit on the panel to select the candidate for the Marketing post. He will also work with others to identify the priorities for the post holder.

Keith Towler update

Ministerial play review: there will be a specific workshop on links between education, youth work and play. There will be a full group meeting at the end of April.

Context of Youth Work in Wales 2021 was produced by Tim Opie (WLGA) and KT noted that the Board should be included in the context, which was agreed. All found this paper helpful.

Youth Justice Blueprint has been reviewed and refreshed and action plans are now out. KT outlined his role as co-chair on the Wales Youth Justice Advisory Board and advised he is keen to ensure that there were links between youth work and youth justice.  There was some discussion around the links between the youth justice blueprint and the women’s blueprint and the need to make the links between the plans and between services. GRC advised she is now connected with the internal Welsh Government lead on this.  There were concerns that there was a lack of connectivity across multiple groups of young people and there was no clear prevention vision.

Action: GRC to continue making the connections with internal colleagues.

KT advised we are trying to identify a suitable author for the final report. The Board discussed the potential for links such as HEI’s which may be able to pick up this work. SS suggested a graduate teaching assistant could be connected to the work of the board and undertake a PhD on the work that the Board are doing longer term.

Action: SL to send contact details to GRC for the names previously suggested, any further recommendations should be forwarded.

SPG update

DL updated on the funding available for the Leadership and Management pilot work through the Workforce development SPG. Additionally funding has also been agreed for the workforce mapping work. DL will be in contact with ETS to take this forward.

EGJ confirmed that welsh language pilot funding has been agreed and it was hoped progress would be made shortly with this. There were discussions around the use of the Welsh language group potentially being used on other groups, and it was agreed that the approach was working well. EGJ asked Welsh Government to confirm one member was invited to an SPG as she has indicated she isn’t receiving the invitations.

Action: DL to check the invite for the SPG

It was noted that running the SPGs were time intensive work and it needs to be resourced which could be part of the future Board recommendations.

There was discussion around the need to promote the way in which the Board is working with the subgroups and to demonstrate how we are working and punching above our weight.

Action: SS and KT to discuss potential for a publication highlight the work and approaches being undertaken.


There was discussion around the funding paper provided for the Board in particular the need to be clear about what this information demonstrates, and it was noted that the information provided is at a high level and only tells part of the picture. It was agreed a more in-depth look into how funding was being allocated in each local authority area was required.

It was noted that advocacy services have previously been removed from the RSG and they would welcome consideration of what would need to happen for a similar approach to be taken with youth work and what the implications would be.

KT suggested that to progress the conversation a small group should be convened to start the scoping conversation and ensure the discussions are open and transparent.

Action: KT & GRC - Pull together a small group and identify who needs to be involved and the time frame the work will involve.