Playwork apprenticeship

Playwork apprenticeship

Play is important in every child’s life, helping to develop valuable social skills that form the foundation of a healthy lifestyle.

Providing play opportunities in communities across the UK is a way to make sure that all children are able to learn these skills, regardless of their background and circumstances. Playworkers plan, organise and take part in play and leisure activities for young people aged between four and 16. They work in after-school clubs, youth groups, holiday playschemes and play centres. In some cases playworkers work in more specialised settings such as hospitals, refuges or family services.

Playworkers have two main roles: to plan activities and to keep young people busy, safe and active. There’s a lot of organisation involved – from planning cooking lessons one day to outdoor games the next, all the while making sure everyone stays safe and feels involved.

The Playwork apprenticeship is for you if you want to start a career as a playworker or if you are already working in the sector and want to gain additional qualifications and skills. You will gain knowledge of playwork values and principles, team working, communication, child protection, health and safety, paediatric first aid and customer services. On the Advanced Level Apprenticeship you will work in a more senior capacity, taking responsibility for supervising a team of playworkers and ensuring that policies and procedures are followed.

Part of your job might involve listening to young people who confide in you and offering a sympathetic ear and advice. If you think someone’s welfare is at stake, you’ll need to have the maturity to talk to parents, carers or even social workers. You will need to have a positive, ‘can do’ attitude and the ability to work in a team or on your own. You should be willing to work shifts and you may need to undergo a police check. Most employment opportunities within playwork are part-time and some are seasonal, e.g. in the school holidays.


Intermediate (Level 2), Advanced (Level 3)

Starting salary (once qualified):

Not available

Job roles:

Assistant playworker, Play centre assistant, Playworker, Senior playworker

Issuing Authority:

SkillsActive –