but Youth Council highlights need for further investment to meet growing demand for services for Ireland’s increasing youth population
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) - which represents youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide - has welcomed the announcement by Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Katherine Zappone, TD, of an additional €1.5m* to increase the support provided to youth work programmes and services by the voluntary youth work sector, but said that more will be needed to meet the growing demand for services, given that Ireland’s youth population is set to increase almost 12% in the coming years.
Mary Cunningham, NYCI Director said: “Any increase in funding for youth work is to be welcomed, and will further enable our member organisations to change the lives of young people in communities all around Ireland for the better. However, given the growth in the youth population and greater demands on youth organisations to deliver services and support young people the additional €1.5m (or 2.7% increase) is more modest than anticipated.
“We remain committed to working with Minister Zappone and her Department on ensuring the increased allocation delivers for young people while continuing to advocate that the sector does require more investment if it is do more for more young people.”
“Ireland has one of the youngest populations in Europe and demand for our members’ services is growing. Census 2016 shows that the number of young people aged 10-24 will grow by 11.6% between 2015 and 2025, meaning Ireland will be home to just over one million young people.**
“In this context, an increase of €1.5m is more modest than anticipated. However, we acknowledge the additional overall funding available to Government and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs is more limited this year. We will continue to work with Minister Zappone and her Department as further detail on the breakdown of funding in this year’s budget emerges to ensure increased investment in youth work over the next number of years and ensure we can deliver more and enhanced youth work services for young people,” added Ms Cunningham.
Scale of youth sector
“It is worth remembering the difference youth work makes to people’s lives, and noting the scale of the sector that this funding supports: over 380,000 young people benefit from the work of our member organisations, who - through the dedication of 1,400 staff and 40,000 volunteers - are working with young people in every community across the country,” continued Ms Cunningham.
Value for money: every €1 spent on youth services the state saves €2.20
“Moreover, as well as making a very significant social impact, the youth sector also delivers exceptional value for money. An independent report by Indecon on the economic value of the sector found that for every €1 spent on youth services the state saves €2.20 euro in the long run. With further resources youth organisations can make an even greater contribution to addressing issues including youth unemployment, social exclusion and poverty,”*** concluded Ms Cunningham.
CONTACT: Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI firstname.lastname@example.org 087 781 4903
NYCI Pre-Budget Submission 2018 “A Million Good Reasons” available here: http://www.youth.ie/nyci/Million-Good-Reasons-NYCI-Pre-Budget-Submission-Budget-2018-0
**Population Estimates, CSO:
***Indecon Report: Assessment of the Economic Value of youth Work:
National Youth Council of Ireland
NYCI is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.