§ 5. Mr. Fortescue
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will take steps to assist local authorities to recruit and to retain youth leaders who, although not formally qualified, have demonstrated by their work and experience their suitability for vacant posts in this field.
§ Miss Lestor
The terms of employment of youth leaders are agreed between the employing bodies and the staff associations concerned and are embodied in "The Sixth Report of the Joint Negotiating Committee for Youth Leaders and Community Centre Wardens", issued in June this year. In addition to formal qualifications, the agreement allows the recognition for qualified leadership of such other qualifications in individual cases as the Committee and my right hon. Friend may approve from time to time. Recognition under this clause is given in cases which allow for the maintenance of professional standards.
§ Mr. Fortescue
I should also like to congratulate the hon. Lady on her appointment. Is she aware that, in Liverpool and, no doubt, many other places, there is a grave shortage of youth leaders and that men and women are coming forward who have no formal qualifications but who, by their experience, are eminently suitable to do this very difficult work, but that difficulties are being placed in their way because the local authorities cannot claim from central Government the necessary grant in aid to help to pay them?
§ Miss Lestor
Perhaps I could tell the hon. Gentleman, first, that 16 applications for recognition under that part of the negotiating machinery which takes into account suitability rather than qualifications were received and four of these 589 were approved. We are very much aware of the maldistribution of youth leaders in various parts of the country and of course the whole question of the youth service is now being discussed by the Department.