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Youth worker: Salary and conditions

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  • Salaries for professional youth workers start at £20,796.
  • Salaries rise incrementally for experienced professional staff with a recommended salary range of £21,741 to £36,741. It is up to employers to decide what they pay their staff and how they use the recommended salary scales.
  • Youth support workers (a title incorporating those who are not fully qualified professional youth workers) can expect a salary range of between £14,283 to £19,833.
  • These pay levels apply to youth workers employed across all settings, not just those employed by local authorities.
  • Salaries for local authority youth service managers vary according to the size of the authority and responsibility of the post but are usually in excess of £35,000.
  • London area allowances are available.
  • Sessional work with zero hours contracts are common with hourly rates depending on qualifications and experience; they typically range from £9.00 to £13.00 per hour.
  • Local authorities have made significant reductions in funding to non-statutory services including youth support, due to spending cuts imposed by central government. In most local authorities this has seen a reduction in youth worker positions, although there are still some local councils recruiting for these roles.
  • A large number of youth workers work in voluntary youth organisations where many positions are fixed term and may depend on external funding.
  • Working hours vary, with occasional weekend and evening duties required. This is not a typical nine-to-five job.
  • Self-employed status is possible, especially relating to contract and sessional work but this is the exception rather than the rule.
  • Jobs are available in most parts of the UK.
  • The full time workforce is evenly split between male and female workers, although female workers make up 60% of the part time workforce according to Community and Youth Workers in Unite (CYWU) .
  • Youth work positions are subject to an enhanced criminal record disclosure by the Disclosure and Barring Service in England and Wales, and Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG) in Scotland (run by Disclosure Scotland ). Northern Ireland is covered by Access Northern Ireland (AccessNI)
  • The work is demanding and may be stressful, especially for those working with disaffected youngsters.
  • Travel during the working day is often needed to visit locations where activities take place and for meetings with other agencies. Overnight absence from home is not usual, although you may be involved in residential activities and exchanges or group visits abroad.
    .

Salary data from the National Youth Agency (NYA) and Community and Youth Workers in Unite - Joint Negotiating Committee (JNC) for Youth and Community Workers pay scales. Figures are intended as a guide only.

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AGCAS
Written by Leigh Fowkes, University of Derby
Date: 
April 2014
 

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