Youth Work

Youth work takes a holistic approach with young people. It starts where they are at in terms of developmental or physical location (open access or detached/street work) – the relationship between young people at youth worker is entirely voluntary – youth work often only works because of the voluntary relationship. Many professionals work with young people, but principally, only in youth work is it the choice of the young person to engage with the professional.

Youth workers usually work with young people aged between 11 and 25 years, although with adolescence starting younger in the modern age, the NYA recognised youth work from ages 8-25. Their work seeks to promote young people’s personal and social development and enable them to have a voice, influence and place in their communities and society as a whole. It builds resilience and character and gives young people the confidence and life skills they need to live, learn, work and achieve. This approach is at the heart of all of our work. Youth work offers young people safe spaces to explore their identity, experience decision-making, increase their confidence, develop inter-personal skills and think through the consequences of their actions. This leads to better informed choices, changes in activity and improved outcomes for young people.

Find out more about how youth work qualifications are regulated and validated below.


For Higher Education Institutions to renew, apply for, or find out more about course validation.


Setting the national frame work for youth work, including benchmarking and pay-scales for employers and youth workers.

ETS England

Validation and standard-setting for youth work qualifications.

L3 & 6 Apprenticeships

Read our FAQs on everything you need to know about Youth Work Apprenticeships

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