A youth support service with a narrow focus on information and guidance on education, work and training could pick off some of the best youth work practice, weaken the remainder of the existing service and fail to deliver the Government's objectives for young people.
But we also have a vision of a comprehensive service that promotes a wider-ranging notion of youth development and support. This system would be firmly based on the values and approaches stressed by youth work. It would cement and extend the partnerships between professions and with the voluntary sector that are already in place.
Such a system should be backed with secure and sufficient funding, clear statutory duties and powers for various parties, including local authorities, and have the active involvement of young people in its governance and delivery.
In which case, it might prove a major step forward in tackling exclusion and fostering active citizenship.
Director of policy and programmes
National Youth Agency
17-23 Albion Street, Leicester