At Play Wales, we want to make sure that everyone in the play and playwork workforces has the support they need to understand, value and champion opportunities for play.
Our training events and publications are all designed with particular parts of the workforce in mind.
The ‘playwork workforce’ means everyone who does playwork as a job. This includes people working in open access playwork and out of school childcare. It also covers playworkers in schools, hospitals or community projects.
The ‘play workforce’ includes anyone whose job has an impact on where and when children play. It covers those working directly with children, as well as those with the power to give permission to play. This includes those working in:
- local authorities
- town and community councils
- community development
- health and social care.
These two definitions are taken from the Welsh Government’s statutory guidance, Wales – a Play Friendly Country.
‘Workforce development’ includes all the support we offer to increase people’s skills and knowledge about play and playwork. At Play Wales, it also refers to:
- How we plan to organise workforce recruitment and retention
- How we know what challenges face the play and playwork workforces
- How we influence government policies and legislation affecting the workforce
- How we plan to get funding for training and qualifications
- How we influence plans for the regulation and inspection of playwork
- How we work with the rest of the play and playwork sector in the UK.
About PETC Wales
The Playwork Education and Training Council for Wales (PETC Wales) is a group that discusses issues of strategic importance to all aspects of playwork education, training and qualifications in Wales. The group also makes recommendations to PETC UK. Play Wales supports the running of PETC Wales.
PETC Wales’ functions include:
- Approving playwork qualifications that will be included in the List of Required Qualifications to work within the Playwork Sector in Wales.
- Providing advice and guidance to the Welsh Government, Qualifications Wales, Social Care Wales and Care Inspectorate Wales on issues relating to education, training and qualifications.
- Sharing information with other national Playwork Education and Training Councils.
- Receiving reports and making recommendations about key aspects of the development of, registration for and undertaking of playwork qualifications.
- Monitoring and supporting the aspects of Wales – a Play Friendly Country that relate to playwork workforce development.
A play friendly workforce for Wales
A play friendly workforce for Wales is Play Wales’ plan for supporting workforce development. We first developed the plan in 2017, updating it in 2020 and again in 2023 to reflect the changing needs of the workforce.
The plan includes:
- Clear and concise definitions of the playwork workforce and the play workforce
- Challenges facing the playwork workforce and the play workforce
- Play Wales’ strategic and operational priorities for the playwork workforce and the play workforce.
The Welsh Play Workforce Study 2021
From time to time, Play Wales undertakes research into the needs of the workforce. The Welsh Play Workforce Study 2021 provides an insight into the play workforce in Wales, focusing on three overlapping areas:
- links between strategy and practice
- the play workforce itself.
If you would like a copy of the full research report, please get in touch with us
National Occupational Standards
The Playwork National Occupational Standards (NOS) are a set of standards outlining the competencies playworkers need in various areas of work. They are mainly used to help write qualifications. They are also used for other reasons, such as developing job descriptions and inductions or designing specialist training programmes.