Today sees the launch of the new SkillsActive UK Play and Playwork Education and Skills Strategy. The strategy is founded on the principle of Article 31 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, recognising play as fundamental to children’s quality of life.
The five-year strategy has been developed jointly across the four nations, recognising the diverse needs of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and has been informed by focus groups, workshops and online consultation, backed up by the latest research.
Stephen Studd, SkillsActive Group CEO explains: ”Our new strategy will refocus the sector’s attention on workforce development and the need to have more people, better skilled and better qualified entering and progressing their career through the sector. It will give particular emphasis on giving playwork the professional recognition and support it needs.”
The strategy aims to maximise accord amongst the nations by identifying shared goals, common themes and mutual objectives, with a UK focus which is flexible enough for each nation to pursue their own priorities within the overall vision. It is crucial that employers and the sector have this shared vision that allows them to work together within a strategic framework.
The chair of the UK Playwork Education and Training Council, Hywel Williams, says: “I am delighted to be able to endorse this important strategy which will guide the development of playwork in the future. The importance of play in the life and development of the child cannot be underestimated, but the importance that the delivery of playwork is provided by professional and qualified playworkers is paramount. This strategy will provide the foundation for the delivery of the skills, knowledge and understanding which underpin this.”