We acknowledge the importance of an increase in funding for youth work services in Budget 2016, which will provide additional support to youth organizations working with young people throughout the country. Given the savage cuts in previous Budgets, the needs of the growing youth population, and the commitments in the National Youth Strategy, however, we need to see greater progress in funding in the coming years.
The Budget provided an increase in the minimum wage of 50c which brings it up to €9.15 per hour. Whilst modest, this increase in the minimum wage is welcome, and could benefit up to 47,000 young workers under the age of 30 years. The reduction in the USC for those on low incomes is also welcome.
Whilst these supports are welcome, NYCI believes that more could have been done to support young people to access education, training and employment, and to address the serious deprivation so many young people continue to experience in Irish society.
Budget 2016 did nothing to address the housing crisis, nor did it respond to other important issues affecting young people, such as measures to reduce alcohol-related harm, or to promote youth participation in the democratic process.
Overall, the Budget neglected to support and respond in an adequate manner to the needs of young people. We are extremely disappointed by the grossly inadequate budgetary provisions contained in Budget 2016, which do little to support young people.Download:
In this submission NYCI outlines what we believe should be Government priorities for action and spending in Budget 2016;
1. Invest in Youth Work Services
Increase investment in Youth Work Services in light of the growing numbers of young people and to ensure implementation of the National Youth Strategy
2. Providing supports for most disadvantaged young jobseekers
Increase the investment to the Youth Employability Initiative to €3m to support projects by the youth work sector to address needs of long-term unemployed jobseekers
3. Incentivise education, training and work for young jobseekers
Restore the adult rate of €188 to all young jobseekers under 26 years who are participating in education, training and work experience opportunities
4. Tackling Alcohol Related Harm
Introduce a 1.25% social responsibility levy on drinks manufacturers to generate funds to replace the sponsorship of large sporting events by the drinks industry
5. Promoting Youth Participation in the Democratic Process
Introduce a Youth Voter Registration and Participation Initiative to promote voter registration and mobilisationDownload:
‘Home is Where the Heart is’ was an NYCI conference on return migration from a youth perspective.
The conference was opened by the Minister of State for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, TD and explored:
• barriers to young emigrants returning to Ireland at present
• supports required to help young emigrants to return in the future
• the essential components of a strategy to facilitate return migration
Download the complete report (PDF) below:Download:
The review provides a comprehensive analysis and summary of key national and international evidence in relation to health inequalities, along with an overview of the extent of health inequalities among young people in Ireland.
In addition, the review highlights gaps and limitations in knowledge in Ireland as they relate to the Irish youth population. It provides an overview of recent policies and initiatives that can contribute to strengthening our capacity to address health inequalities across the youth sector.
NYCI and the National Youth Health Programme will work with partners across the voluntary and statutory sector to ensure a continued, integrated approach is taken to address the determinants of health and that investment is universal but at an intensity that is proportionate to the level of need.
While we acknowledge the maintenance of funding for youth work services at the current level as significant and the additional monies allocated to Child Benefit, we are disappointed that Government did not act to address the other policy priorities identified in the NYCI Pre-Budget Submission 2015 which affect the lives of children and young people.Download:
The voluntary youth sector will have many challenges to face inthe next three years as theycontinue to change lives and communities for the better. The National Youth Council of Ireland has a crucial role to play in representing and strengthening the sector throughout this difficult period and will work to achieve our Vision and Mission in conjunction with our partners through the implementation of ‘Rising to the Challenge, Delivering Outcomes’Download:
A new poll Red C poll commissioned by the National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has found that 30% of young people aged 18-25 were not registered to vote in advance of the recent local and European elections. The problem is most acute among the 18-21 age group with up to 43% of this cohort not registered. On a more positive note, the poll found that 54% of those who were on the electoral register did vote in May. Young voters were also asked about who they voted for in the local and European elections and the results are outlined below.
In light of our decision to support a yes vote in the Children's Referendum, NYCI supports the inclusion of the key principles of ‘best interest’ and ‘voice of the child’ which are now reflected in the Children and Family Relationships Bill.
Policy, Reports and Submissions