Better Tomorrows

Better Tomorrows is a three-year programme encouraging people within Cumbria to become accredited in youth work and substantially increase the number of young people having access to support from youth workers to help them reach their full potential.

This unique initiative will provide accredited training to more than a hundred people as well as offer grants of up to £25,000 to community organisations setting up or providing new youth work opportunities for local people.

High-quality youth work has a crucial role to play supporting many young people to achieve their full potential. Through informal and non-formal educational approaches, effective youth work practice builds the capacity and resilience of young people and can change young people’s lives for the better. Through participation in youth work, young people gain confidence and competence, develop self-assurance, and have the opportunity to establish high expectations and aspirations for themselves.

Become a qualified youth worker

Level 2 & 3 JNC recognised qualification 

This Level 2 & Level 3 qualification embraces the National Occupational Standards for youth work. It supports the skills and knowledge learners need to become a competent JNC1 recognised Assistant Youth Support Worker with Level 2 or JNC recognised Youth Support Worker with Level 3. Learners will complete this qualification with a concrete understanding of the following:

  • The key purpose and role of youth work including the skills, knowledge, qualities, and values required to practice
  • Safeguarding in a youth work setting, including how to protect young people when using contemporary technologies
  • Young people’s development and how youth work can support young people during adolescence
  • Working with challenging behaviour

To find out more about our youth work qualification or to book onto the next cohort please email juan@cya.org.uk and fill in our  Registration form

Candidates must be able to do vocational work with the support of an organisation. If accepted onto the course, there is an expectation to attend all sessions. The cost of the course is £100 to the organisation and the course will take 12 weeks to complete.

Level 2 Certificate

This qualification prepares you to assist in work with young people in a range of youth work settings.  Youth work helps young people learn about themselves, others and society, through informal educational activities which combine enjoyment, challenge and learning.  Youth workers typically work with young people aged between 11 and 25.  Their work seeks to promote young people’s personal and social development and enables them to have a voice, influence and place in their communities and society as a whole.

  • The Level 2 Certificate in Youth Work Practice is suitable if you need some support and is the minimum qualification required for those wishing to work as a JNC1 qualified Youth Support Worker Assistant.
  • This is for employees who assist in the delivery of operational youth work and who undertake duties under direction, where initiative and independent action is limited.
  •  Example of key duties include: Working directly with young people to develop their social education by providing programmes of activities, services and facilities; · Establishing contact with and guiding young people as part of local programmes; · Assisting in the provision of advice and support to local community groups and agencies; · Assisting in the motivation, retention, developing and support of staff and volunteers; · Assisting with service development by contributing to planning, delivery and monitoring of local provisions; · Day to day administration to ensure smooth running of services; · Implementing equality and diversity policies.

Level 3 Certificate

This qualification embraces the National Occupational Standards for youth work and is JNC recognised with endorsement by ETS England and Wales. It supports the skills and knowledge of learners and practical experience required to become a competent Youth Support Worker. For those studying the level 3 certificate there is a requirement that across the programme learners will undertake 60 hours of work experience in a youth work environment (paid or unpaid) throughout their learning journey. Learners must have access to a real work environment for most of the units. The qualification is made up of 27 Credits so you will need to study for about 270 hours to achieve the Certificate. Sixteen of these credits are at Level 3 while 11 are at Level 2, forming the SEG Awards ABC Level 2 Award in in Youth Work Practice. The SEG Awards ABC Level 2 Award must be completed successfully before you can progress onto the Level 3 Certificate.


  • The SEG Awards ABC Level 3 Certificate in Youth Work Practice (England) is suitable if you need minimal support and is the qualification required for those wishing to work as a JNC1 qualified Youth Support Worker. This is for employees who deliver operational youth work and who undertake duties on their own initiative or who carry supervisory responsibility for small projects, such as one night a week clubs. Workers with these responsibilities will receive leadership and operational guidance from professionally qualified youth workers.
  • The SEG Awards ABC Level 3 Certificate is suitable for learners who are not completing an Apprenticeship. These learners may already be in employment within the Youth Work sector but would like to gain a recognised qualification for their own progression and understanding and/or may be required to undertake a qualification in Youth Work Practice as a condition of employment whilst on the job.
  • The SEG Awards ABC Level 3 Certificate is suitable for you if you wish to develop your skills for leading work with young people in a youth work setting. It is suitable for you if you: · Need minimal support with your learning · Are not yet ready for study or have insufficient relevant experience and practice for study at university Higher Education level · Wish to access a Higher Education youth work programme · Have no formal qualification · Wish to return to learning · Would like to lead in the delivery of work with young people and specialise in certain areas.
  • Is sufficient for workers to run a club.

Why youth work? 

Youth work is an intrinsic element of youth support services, which seek to ensure that all 11 to 25-year-olds have access to activities, support, and experiences they need to achieve their potential. Locally delivered youth work programmes have long been a cornerstone in our communities, providing young people with somewhere to go, something to do and someone to speak to. 

For some, they represent a fun place where they can spend time with their friends, relax and gain new skills. For others, they provide a safe space with a trusted adult who is someone they can turn to at times when they feel they have no one else and support them in their transition toward adulthood. 

It has an important contribution to make in supporting young people to succeed in education, feel safe and resilient, stay healthy, play a positive role in their communities, build transferrable skills relevant to the workplace environment, and make informed life choices. 

Youth workers are often the very first to spot harm to young people or the emergence of anti-social behaviour and divisive ideologies, and they can address such issues before they became social problems.  

Highly qualified youth workers are a valuable asset, not only to the communities they work in but to the county as a whole. They support positive outcomes for young people but are an essential feature of the wider educational offer they need in order to succeed. 

To read the full Better Tomorrow's proposal please click here