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The Welsh Play Workforce Study 2021





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The newly published Welsh Play Workforce Study 2021 provides an insight into the play workforce in Wales, focusing on three overlapping areas: strategic, links between the strategic and practice, and the play workforce itself. The study also aims to contribute to the 2019-21 Welsh Government Ministerial Review of Play.

Play Wales commissioned Swansea University’s Dr Pete King and Dr Justine Howard to undertake the six-month study between June and December 2021. Quantitative and qualitative data was gathered through:

  • a nationwide online survey
  • interviews with three leading national organisations involved in play and playwork in Wales
  • interviews with lead Play Sufficiency Assessment officers across the 22 local authorities
  • a focus group
  • interviews with the play workforce.

As well as an overview of the methodology, the executive summary features a list of 16 findings, and an analysis of the results including comparisons between 2021 findings and those from the last workforce study in 2008.

The findings can be summarised as:

‘The current position in the Welsh Play Workforce Study 2021 indicates that there are similarities between playworkers, childcare and early years workers and other play professionals, for example gender. However, there are also some clear differences in relation to age, employment, salary, and qualifications between the three groups.’

The study focused on those who work directly with children and young people. The Welsh Play Workforce Survey generated 384 responses – from playworkers, childcare and early years workers and from other play professionals, for example people who use play in hospitals.

If you would like a copy of the full research report, please email us.

Download executive summary

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