The Play Workforce in Wales – Perceptions from Local Authority Play Sufficiency Lead Officers
As part of the Welsh Play Workforce Study, seven lead local authority officers responsible for facilitating the three-year Play Sufficiency Assessment (PSA) were interviewed in respect of Matter G: Securing and developing the play workforce development. Thematic analysis constructed three themes from the findings: play profile, collaboration and funding. Although each lead officer was passionate about the importance of play, their play profile differed concerning their play and playwork experience, knowledge and qualifications. The study indicates the importance of collaborative and partnership working both within and external to the local authority, especially with the ever-changing play-related policy and potential funding streams. However, the unpredictable nature of funding for developing a play workforce is reflected in different local authority priorities where some have or support an established play workforce, whilst others have a sparse or no play workforce at all. What the PSA and the role of the lead officer does enable is a link between statutory legislation and the play workforce on the ground which is unique to Wales.