Strategy to address needs of Ireland’s 800,000 10-24 year olds
Positive step, but implementation is key
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents youth organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has welcomed the publication of Ireland’s first National Youth Strategy today (08.10.2015) at an event in Bluebell, Dublin.
Speaking at the launch, Mary Cunningham, NYCI Director said: “The development of a National Youth Strategy is a watershed for Ireland and should not be underestimated, especially given our large and growing youth population and in light of the many challenges they face today.”
The strategy addresses key areas for young people such as health and mental wellbeing, education and learning, safety and protection from harm, employment and social inclusion and the role and contribution of young people to their community and the wider world.
“NYCI has long advocated that Government Departments, state agencies, the youth sector and all others working with and for young people must work together to support young people to achieve their full potential. Today’s document is recognition of that need for collaboration and cooperation,” continued Ms Cunningham.
“It is important to note that this is a ‘Government’ strategy and, as such, is not as far reaching or ambitious as we would like. However, there are many commitments in this document which would enhance and improve the lives of young people if embraced and implemented.
“We welcome the fact that the Department of Children and Youth Affairs engaged in extensive consultation with young people and with the youth sector, and took on board our concerns and feedback. The document is better for that process.
“We acknowledge that all sectors have a role to play and NYCI will be working with our member organisations to ensure that the actions detailed in this document come to fruition.
Implementation is key
“Ultimately, it is vital that this and the next Government commit the political leadership, structures and resources to ensure implementation. Too often Government actions concerning young people have been reactive, piecemeal and disjointed, that has not only been negative for young people, but a loss for Irish society in failing to tap into the talent, energy and capacities of our young people.
“In that regard, today is an important milestone. The Irish state is recognising its duty to young people and is setting out a comprehensive policy which, if implemented, could go a long way to ensuring that Ireland can aspire to be, for this and for future generations, one of the best countries in the world to be a young person,” concluded Ms Cunningham.
The National Youth Strategy will be the theme of NYCI’s Annual Conference this year. ‘Playing Our Part’ Youth Work’s contribution to the implementation of the National Youth Strategy takes place in Dublin Castle, on Monday 7th December 2015.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 01 425 5955 or 087 672 6619 or email email@example.com
Notes to Editors:
National Youth Council of Ireland
The National Youth Council of Ireland is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.
Mary Cunningham, NYCI Director, speech transcript >>