NYA has recently published its annual monitoring of youth and community degree programmes for academic year 2014-2015.
- Recruitment to youth and community programmes has increased significantly, from 701 students 2013/14 to 793 in 14/15.
- There has been a slight decrease in the number of programmes from 34 to 31.
- Average number of placements and supervisors has dropped on last years’ figures from 40 to 36 (placements) and 34 to 31 (supervisors).
- Gender split: previous years showed a female:male ratio of 65%/35%. Female graduates now outnumber male 75%/25% split.
- The age of undergraduates is increasing; 30% under 21, but 21% aged 21-24 and 21% 25-29 years.
- Destination of graduates:
- Statutory youth services continues to decline, from 17.5% to 8.8%.
- Voluntary sector remains strong.
- Other areas where youth work grads go to include other depts at the local authority, community work related, housing and schools.
- Recruitment and retention of experienced practitioners is challenging. As local authorities no longer deliver youth work in the traditional sense, so they no longer fund qualification training for youth workers.
- Employment opportunities within the sector have altered. The recruitment routes and employment possibilities post qualification are to some extent lessened, however, some targeted services, voluntary and community sectors and schools are looking for staff with youth work skills, despite often not referring to them as youth workers.
- A reduction in traditional youth services related to public sector cuts. Commissioned services within the voluntary and community sector are developing their offer and wanting JNC qualified staff, but are not always able to remunerate at the level local authorities previously did.
- Some programmes struggle to recruit students. The causes of this lower than usual recruitment, for some institutions, is the reduction in local authority youth services. This is having a severe impact upon many smaller, local voluntary sector organisations, as well.
- Confusion over the status of JNC qualification is causing concern over the value of courses.