NYA attended the Labour and Conservatives 2022 Party Conferences to champion the cause of youth work.

We held sessions in the Youth Zone and at the Youth Bus (Labour only) to ask MPs and government to action our asks for youth work.

Scroll down the page to understand our main asks, what we did, and links to our past and current work.

Our main asks

  1. To ensure the youth sector can help every young person meet their potential, we’re asking for revenue investment to result in: 
    1. 10,000 qualified youth workers 
    2. 20,000 youth support workers 
    3. 40,000 trained volunteers 
  1. Alongside recruitment and training, we need the development of youth partnerships, with increased capacity of regional and national networks to help scale up local delivery. 
  1. Strengthened statutory guidance to secure local youth provision will ensure there is a clear youth offer for all young people to support their mental wellbeing, learning and development, life and practical skills whilst ensuring high standards of safeguarding and early help support for those navigating social care and/or youth justice system. 

Below are some of the pledges, policies, funds and initiatives these asks link into:

Youth Services

  • The National Youth Guarantee – the government’s pledge to have every young person aged 11-18 in England by 2025 to be able to access out of school activities, adventures away from home and volunteering opportunities. 
  • The Youth Investment Fund – we’re supporting the management of this important fund to support the capital infrastructure of youth services in particular areas identified by government. More revenue investment in the future for recruitment and training could support the capital projects created. 
  • Guidance for Local Authority on providing youth services – Our guidance on what youth services should look like in every local authority to provide sufficient workforce infrastructure and systems to support all young people. 
  • National Youth Work Sector Census – To understand where and what youth services are in England, the Census is in continual development with the goal of an open access data map to support future investment.
  • National Youth Workforce Strategy – our upcoming strategy will review the workforce in associated sectors to youth work (education, social care, justice and health) supporting what multi-agency teams could look like.
  • NYA Academy – To equip and continuously upskill our youth workforce, the NYA Academy offers free CPD courses to provide new learning opportunities and a platform to share new, innovative practice approaches.
  • National Youth Work Curriculum – This tool showcases the life skills that youth work can support young people to develop whilst providing a greater understanding of youth work practice for commissioners


  • Opportunity for All White paper – With all schools to be part of Multi-Academy Trusts (MAT) by 2030, it’s important to create youth service and school partnerships to ensure the personal development and emotional wellbeing of young people is supported in a variety of ways. Youth services can also support recommendations from the SEND green paper. 
  • NYA’s Youth work with Schools review – With the support of the youth and education sector, we’ve hosted this review to understand the benefits, barriers and opportunities for more youth service and school partnerships in England. 


Social Care

  • The independent review of children’s social care – Early help support for young people and families was emphasised in this review including the importance of support from youth services in a multi-agency setting. 
  • Safeguarding & Risk Management Hub – To ensure youth workers, volunteers and other sectors can achieve best practice safeguarding procedures and processes, our Hub offers free advice, training, and resources.


  • COVID-19 mental health and wellbeing recovery action planThe Mental Health crisis worsened as a result of lockdowns shutting down services whilst increasing isolation and anxiety with now 1 in 6 young people having a probable mental illness. Youth workers can provide early, preventative support for emotional wellbeing in the community and other settings whilst being able to signpost young people on to specialist support they might need. 

Youth Zone

Our sessions in the Youth Zone

DayLabour ConferenceConservative Conference
Sunday14:00 Crowdburst (NYA/British Youth Council) 
Youth-led sessions focusing on the environment, mental health, and Q&A with Lisa Nandy. 
14:00 Crowdburst (NYA/British Youth Council) 
Youth-led sessions focusing on the environment, mental health, and Q&A with TBC
18.30-19.30 In Communities We Trust  
(Forward Trust/ NYA) – 
Discussing how councils and youth services can support young people and local communities.
Monday09:30 Reimagining Schools With Youth Work (NYA/OnSide) 
Understanding what school and youth work partnerships could look like across England from findings of the Youth work and School review
08:00-09:15 – Holiday Activities Programme  
(Invite only). 
19:00-20:00 #NextGen: Sports and Young People (Street Games/NYA) 
Exploring the role that sport can serve as a lever for social change through youth work for the benefit of young people
Tuesday09:30 #NextGen: Sports and Young People  (Street Games/NYA) 
Exploring the role that sport can serve as a lever for social change through youth work for the benefit of young people. 
17:30 In Communities We Trust  
(Forward Trust/ NYA) 
Discussing how councils and youth services can support young people and local communities. 

At the Youth Bus (Labour Party Conference)

We were excited this year to have a Youth Bus, ‘The Base’, outside the conference centre at the Labour Party Conference. Staffed by regional and local youth workers from Youth Focus North West, Walton Youth & Community Project, Vibe UK and supported by the National Youth Agency

Our main asks at the Youth Bus: 

  • Locally: Walton Youth & Community Project and Vibe UK asked for local authorities in Liverpool to recognise the professional value that youth workers bring to services from developing trusting, meaningful relationships with young people. 
  • Regionally: Youth Focus North West asked for local and combined authorities to recognise the importance of regional youth work units in supporting the infrastructure for local youth services and youth voice. 
  • Nationally: The National Youth Agency asked for politicians to recognise the need for 10,000 professionally qualified youth workers, 20,000 youth support workers and 40,000 trained volunteers to sufficiently support the youth work sector and young people. 

12:30-14:00Lunchtime – Mindfulness activities 
14:00-17:00Youth Participation (also check out the Youth Zone!)
09:00 – 12:30Detached youth work and Mobile Units 
12:30 – 14:00Lunchtime – Mindfulness activities 
14:00 – 17:00Informal Education in and out of school 
17:00 – 18:00Silent Disco (alcohol free) 
09:00 – 12:30Sport and youth work 
12:30 – 14:00Lunchtime – Mindfulness activities 
14:00 – 17:00Our most vulnerable young people 
17:00 – 18:00Silent Disco (alcohol free) 
09:00 – 13:00Come and chat to us about youth work!

Follow us on socials and learn more about our work. 

Youth Work Week 2022

Don’t forget to take part in Youth Work Week (Monday 7th – Friday 13th November) and join in the Festival of Youth Work to celebrate how youth work benefits young people and communities. 

We’ll also have ‘tea breaks’, hour long online events discussing different topics throughout the week for anyone to join. 

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