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Eluned Morgan, Minister for the Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning

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First published:
29 October 2018
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Earlier this year, I set out proposals for securing the strategic direction of youth work in Wales. This included the development of a new Youth Work Strategy and the establishment of an Interim Youth Work Board.

On 2 July 2018, I announced Keith Towler as the Chair of the Interim Youth Work Board and, since his appointment, I have been impressed by the passion and commitment Keith has shown fulfilling his role, as well as his clear commitment to meaningful engagement with young people and the sector.

I am now pleased to confirm that, following a light touch Public Appointments process led by Keith, I can announce the names of those candidates who have been successful in applying for roles on the Board. They are:

Efa Grufudd Jones - Chief Executive of the National Centre for Learning Welsh.

Joanna Sims - Blaenau Gwent Youth Service Manager

Eleri Thomas - Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent

Dusty Kennedy - National Partnership Lead in Public Health Wales

Simon Stewart - Dean of Faculty of Social and Life Sciences at Wrexham Glyndwr University

Sharon Lovell - Executive Director for the National Youth Advocacy Service

Collectively, these candidates bring a range of skills and knowledge that will play a vital role in informing how we go about securing the strategic direction of youth work in Wales. Highly experienced in their respective fields, they will each play a pivotal role as they consider evidence, engage with young people and stakeholders, and challenge our thinking about what can be achieved in the field of youth work. The Board members will adhere to the seven principles of Public Life, in doing so each member will be expected to work within Nolan’s Principles of Public Life.

We received a number of high quality applications from skilled and knowledgeable individuals who are passionate about youth work. Whilst, on this occasion, they were not successful in their application for membership of the Interim Youth Work Board, I would like to thank them for their interest. It is both heartening and reassuring to know that these committed individuals are working in Wales, actively making a difference to young people’s lives.

The Board is now in place with their first meeting taking place tomorrow; there is much to do with an ambitious agenda ahead. I will be looking to them to support the development of a new and innovative approach to how we deliver youth work in Wales, one that places young people at its centre. I am sure you will join me in welcoming the Board, and I look forward to working with them closely as we approach a busy and exciting time for youth work in Wales.

Finally, I would like to personally thank members of the Youth Work Reference Group. You have taken an active role in supporting the Welsh Government over the last 4 years, particularly in ensuring that the voices and experiences of young people and youth workers were heard. The Youth Work Reference Group will now close in order for a new Stakeholder Group to be formed; one which will support the Board in its analysis and evidence gathering, and also to ensure a broad representation of voices from young people and those working closely with them.

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