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Sharon Lovell (SL): chair
Simon Stewart (SSt)
Joanne Sims (JS)
Shahinoor Shumon (SSh)
Lowri Jones (LJ)
Kelly Harris (KH)
Marco Gil-Cervantes (MG)
David Williams (DW)
Sian Elen Tomos (ST)
Deb Austin (DA)
Dyfan Evans (DE), Head of Youth Engagement Branch, Welsh Government
Donna Lemin (DL), Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager, Welsh Government
Hayley Jones (HJ), Senior Youth Work Strategy Manager, Welsh Government
Kirsty Harrington (KHa), Youth Work Policy Officer, Welsh Government
Dareth Edwards (DaE), Youth Work Policy Manager, Welsh Government
Meeting 1 (10 October 2022): minutes and actions
The minutes and actions from 10 October 2022 were approved by all members as a true and accurate record of the meeting.
Action Point 1: KHa to arrange for minutes from 10 October 2022 to be published.
Terms of Reference (ToR)
Members agreed the ToR in principle but suggested the following amendments:
- some of the language should be strengthened to clarify the remit of the Board
- in view of the participation of young people, the ToR should include reference to the Wales Safeguarding Procedures, with SL named as the designated safeguarding lead for the Board
- the ToR should include reference to the commitment to the Welsh Language and to ensure the Board works bilingually at every meeting
- that the Board’s meetings will be provided as hybrid format as standard practice
Action Point 2: KHa to update the ToR to reflect the boards suggestions before publishing.
Interface between Young Person’s Committee (YPC) and the Board
Board members discussed how best to ensure the work of the YPC was aligned to the work of the Board. It was agreed that the timing of Board meetings needs to align with the availability of YPC representatives. It was also acknowledged that the participation of YPC members was only one aspect of the youth-led governance model at the heart of this work and that there was therefore a need also to regularly communicate with a wider group of young people, including those not currently engaged with youth work. It was agreed that wider engagement with young people needed to make use of existing participation structures at national, regional and local level. However, the lack of consistent structures did present challenges to communicating and involving young people, and that this could be supported by the proposed Implementation Participation Groups.
Action Point 3: DaE to arrange for members of the Board to attend the next YPC meeting.
Working groups: audit of board members skills and interests
Following an overview of historical participation structures established to support the work of the Interim Youth Work Board, including the SPGs (Strategic Participation Groups), Board members shared their particular areas of expertise and interest in relation to the 14 recommendations made by the Interim Board.
Reflections from meeting 1 and workshops on the Interim Youth Work Board’s recommendations
Board members looked in detail at each of the 14 recommendations made by the Interim Youth Work Board in smaller working groups to explore in more detail next steps and points for consideration to form the basis of more detailed discussion by the Board and Implementation Participation Groups in due course.
Strengthening or establishing a new legislative basis for youth work services in Wales, including strengthening the current Education Workforce Council (EWC) legislation
Officials provided an outline of the current legislative basis for youth work services in Wales. The Board and officials discussed a number of aspects of the current legislation, how these aspects may need to be strengthened and potential vehicles for such changes to be enacted.
As a next step, officials suggested the need to delve deeper into specific aspects of the current legislative landscape, focusing on policy aims. Exploring these in more detail would help inform next steps with regard to how to best achieve these aims.
Action Point 4: HJ to develop a paper setting out specific aspects of current legislation and points for discussion by the Board.
Independent review into the sufficiency, transparency, accountability and effectiveness of funding and expenditure on youth work services
Officials provided an update on progress to date on the independent funding review and explained how this review would be structured. Papers were shared with the Board providing further detail on how this work would be approached. The Board discussed the approach being taken for this review. Board members were eager to ensure the scope of this work was clear. More generally, Board members noted that many organisations within the sector are often dependent on short-term grants. Officials noted that the review would consider in detail what are effective funding structures.
Board members expressed the need for this review to consider what is currently spent and what is needed for the future, including potentially what it would cost to provide universal youth work services.
Regarding the scope of this review, whilst it will not consider the costs of establishing and running the proposed national body for youth work, officials explained the importance of proceeding with this review of funding for youth work services to inform future decisions regarding the remit and structure of such a body.
As part of these discussions and for context, officials also provided an overview on funding allocations made for 2022 to 2023. Board members requested further information on Youth Support Grant allocations, as well as the allocation of other funding, and details of funding allocated to specific recommendations made by the Interim Board.
Action Point 5: DR to provide further details on distribution of the Youth Support Grant and other funding allocations, including allocations to support specific recommendations.
Minister for Education and Welsh Language
The Minister for Education and Welsh Language joined the meeting via Teams. The Board made introductions and set out their thoughts on discussions to date before the Minister set out his vision for this next phase of work.
Marketing and Communications
The Board discussed the importance of raising the profile of youth work across Government and beyond. Various marketing and communications initiatives were discussed, including the Board’s priorities for the next National Youth Work Conference, including the need to showcase the best of youth work in Wales and internationally.
Working groups: agreement on next steps and group leads
Building on the previous discussion on Board members skills and interest, the Board discussed a future structure for participation groups. It was agreed that there would be five Implementation Participation Groups, as follows:
- Workforce Development Implementation Participation Group
- Young People Are Thriving Implementation Participation Group
- Youth Information and Digital Implementation Participation Group
- Welsh Language Implementation Participation Group
- Strategic Engagement and Communications Implementation Participation Group
It was agreed that the existing marketing and communications group should remain unchanged.
These new groups would aim to start their work early in the new year, and opportunities would be provided for members of the Strategic Participation Groups that have been in place as well as others who have not been engaged in this work to join groups.
Action Point 6: Members were asked to send expressions of interest in participating and/or chairing an Implementation Participation Group to SL.