There is little doubt that our Facebook page followed by 2,877 people is the liveliest forum of ongoing debate about youth work in the UK. However, not everyone is a Facebook devotee or user. It is though possible to share at least some of the sparkiest conversations by providing a link via this website.
As a starter, have a look at this thread, which starting from exchanges about further funding for cadet units spills into discussion about youth services, NCS, part-time workers and much more.
Credit to Natalie Ward-Toynton for kicking things off with this comment.
Over the last few daysI feel saddened by some of the responses around the additional cadet squadrons that are being opened up. I feel saddened because it seems to be compared with NCS scheme and that you all believe it’s a downfall of YW. Where actually the new sqns were part of the 2020 plan brought into cadets in 2012. The cadets are funded by the MOD and these new sqns some additional money. It is also not a short term scheme like the NCS, young people from 12-19 are involved and it is youth work maybe unconventional youth work but it is.
Cadets doesn’t prepare you to join any armed forces it is about giving opportunities to young people with interests in aviation, leadership, adventure training, the list goes on.
Yes it’s sad youth work is always being cut, I am doing a youth work degree so I know the lack of jobs in our field etc but please don’t hate on something that you may not fully understand the workings of.
Thank you Tony, you beat me to it, having read the Facebook page I have asked some of the Explorer scouts to introduce me to Twitterfacebookwhatisup thinngy so I might be contributing there shortly, apparently I already have a follower/stalker.
Some thoughts for Natalie and others
The origins of the cadets goes back before the Albermarl report to Lord Haledanes reforms of the Army reserves.
Faced with increasing demands to introduce National Service before the First World War, Haldane proposed a compromise solution where the War Office would merge the existing voluntary youth movements and public school rifle corps into the Army reserves as cadet units. In exchange for providing uniforms, equipment. and funding, thus introducing state intervention in youth work for the first time.
The Public schools attracted by generous state subsidies agreed providing their cadet units remained exclusive, of the three major middle/working class movements only the Church Lads Brigade amalgamated, The Boys Brigade refused on religious grounds.
The Boy Scouts refusal was more complex having two main strands those who objected to the concept of military training on moral grounds and those who whilst not objecting to the need to defend their communities, reject the British armies training aims and methods as being old fashioned, counterproductive and destructive of the individual. Two World wars later some would say that British armed forces training is still deeply conservative.
Half way through the twentieth century came the Albermarl Report and the second big state intervention in youth work. Introducing a professional/elitist, culture which inevitably lead to LEA funding for youth work being sucked into the authorities “own” youth projects rather than disrupted amongst the voluntary sector and unhealthy political games being played with youth budgets and provision three weeks before local elections.
Embarrassingly by the end of the 20th century long term cohort studies indicated that professionalism produced no better results than organisations such as The Scouts and Cadets,
leading to a phasing out of the Professional Youth Services and a return to the old debate about the need for some form of National Service being proposed by the Cameron Government. This was opposed by the major voluntary organisations, so the NATIONAL citizens SERVICE was introduced instead. At the same time Micheal Gove introduced the Cadet Expansion Scheme which had two aims to introduce the Public School ethos into state schools and to defuse the obvious issue of a “cash strapped” government giving £20 million (total cadet budget £100 million pa) a year to exclusive public schools cadet units.
Personally I favour a year zero option stop all local and national government funding for youth activities. work out a fair and rational grant funding scheme, have a small professional team of youth workers supporting the voluntary sector with services but NOT running their “own” projects which just act as a vortex sucking funds away from the true community groups.. No problem with cadets providing they hold jumble sales to buy their own uniforms and rifles just like the scouts do.