Number of those aged 10-24 to grow to over 1,000,000 by 2025
With our growing youth population set to surpass one million by 2025, investment in youth services is more important now than ever, that was the message from the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) President, Ian Power speaking at the organisation’s 42nd Annual Assembly (AGM) held in Dublin today (01.07.17). The event brings together representatives from the 49 youth organisations in NYCI membership. These groups work with over 380,000 young people nationwide.
“As we emerge from the economic and social crisis, one positive is our growing youth population. 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.* This will also create challenges, however, with adequate resources the youth work sector is well placed to support young people to reach their potential and make Ireland the best country in the world in which to be a young person,” said Mr Power.
Investment in young people essential
The NYCI is calling on Government to invest a further €7.5 million in youth work in Budget 2018 to provide more supports and services for young people and to meet the needs of a growing youth population.
“As our youth population continues to grow over the coming years, so too will the numbers of young people that need access to and the support of their local youth service,” explained Mr Power.
“We will need real and meaningful investment in this vital sector to be able to respond to this increase in demand for our services. But so long as the NYCI are here we will keep making the case, again and again that investment in young people isn’t just a good idea but an essential core value for any society that wants to guarantee opportunity, equality and a tomorrow that’s better than today,” continued Mr Power.
Economic benefit: state saves €2.20 for every €1 spent on youth work
“Youth work makes a real difference to the lives of young people in our community, but youth work is not just good for our communities, it makes economic sense. For every €1 spent on youth work, the state saves €2.20 in the long run, according to an Indecon report on the economic benefit of youth work,” added Mr Power. **
“Budget 2018 presents an opportunity for Government to invest in our growing youth population. The investment in youth work services, will not just make a difference now but will generate a social and economic dividend over the coming decades. There are many good reasons to support young people to prosper and achieve their full potential; indeed there are a million good reasons to do so. We call on Government to seize that opportunity in Budget 2018,” concluded Mr Power.
Youth Work Changes Lives
Also speaking at the event, NYCI Deputy Director, James Doorley, outlined a new campaign the organisation is running to help ensure that politicians and the wider public are made aware of the value and contribution of youth work in the lives of young people.
“The youth work sector benefits over 380,000 young people each year, supported by the efforts of 1,400 professional staff and 40,000 passionate volunteers, and yet much of this good work goes largely unnoticed. That’s why our new campaign ‘Youth Work Changes Lives’ is so important. It will build awareness and understanding of the role of youth work in addressing the needs of young people, help build support for investment in young people and help youth organisations communicate the impact of their work.
“It is really important that young people, volunteers, youth organisations - particularly at grassroots level - reach out and engage with local politicians, TDs, Senators and Councillors. When politicians hear, see and experience the contribution and value of youth work in their local communities, particularly when expressed by young people and volunteers, it can be very powerful,” said Mr Doorley.
Those interested in joining the campaign can do so on www.youthworkchangeslives.ie
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 087 781 4903 or 01 425 5955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
National Youth Council of Ireland
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) 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.
*Population Estimates, CSO:
**Assessment of the Economic Value of Youth Work, Indecon Economic Consultants, NYCI, 2012