The Government is planning a national audit of youth services as it pledges a greater role for youth workers in tackling disaffection.
Junior education minister Dr Kim Howells said youth workers were the key to identifying and giving new opportunities to young people who had slipped through the net.
"Often the only people who know where disaffected youths are, and what their prospects are, are youth workers," he said. "But the quality of youth service across Britain is very patchy."
Dr Howells has asked the NYA for ideas on improving the youth service and tackling disaffection in time for a White Paper on lifelong learning due in the autumn.