Young people’s lives ‘collateral damage’ of pandemic
- Youth organisations call for €4.7m investment in youth work
- Youth population to grow to over 1,000,000 by 2025
- While overall government expenditure up 17% since 2011, youth work services funding up just 2.7%
Young people have been hit hard by the pandemic, but recent research indicates that youth services have helped young people through the crisis. It is, therefore, vital that we invest in youth work services to support young people through this challenging time. That’s the message from James Doorley, National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) Deputy Director, speaking ahead of today’s publication of the NYCI Pre-Budget 2021 submission ‘Providing the Pathway’. The NYCI represents 54 youth organisations that work with over 380,000 young people nationwide.
In its submission, the NYCI and its members call on Government to invest an additional €4.7m in youth work services to provide more supports for young people, as part of a suite of costed measures to better tackle the issues facing Ireland’s youth.
Young people’s lives are collateral damage of pandemic
“Recent issues around the leaving certificate and the staggering youth unemployment figures (38%)  have highlighted that young people’s lives and future prospects are proving to be the collateral damage of this pandemic. Young people are among those hardest hit in relation to education and employment. With their education or fledgling careers interrupted, and the disruption of support from friends and networks, the impact on their mental health has been well-documented in a number of recent reports,” said Mr Doorley citing ‘A Review of the Youth Work Sector Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic’ and How’s Your Head – Young Voices during COVID-19’ a Department of Children and Youth Affairs consultation supported by Spunout.ie. 
Youth work services provide a vital lifeline to young people at this challenging time
“Youth services are well placed to help young people cope with the effects of living with this pandemic. And with our growing youth population set to surpass one million by 2025, investment in universal youth services is more important now than ever. However, this has not be recognised by the Government in the last few budgets, with current investment still 15% below that of 2008.
“Youth organisations work with over 380,000 young people in every community in the country – and for every €1 the state invests in youth work it saves €2.20 in the long run , so this is a sound investment that benefits us all,” continued Mr Doorley.
Allocation of investment
“A €4.7m increased allocation would represent a 7.5% uplift on 2020. It would be important that any additional funding is allocated across the spectrum to support the different strands of youth work, such as targeted youth work, mainstream youth work, youth information and local voluntary youth clubs.
“An analysis of recent years shows that while overall government expenditure is up 17% since 2011, youth work services funding has increased just 2.7% in the same period. Given the challenges faced by young people, and the vital work youth services carry out in supporting them, an increase of €4.7m would be a starting point to providing a pathway through this pandemic,” concluded Mr Doorley.
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.
Download NYCI Pre-Budget submission ‘Providing the Pathway’.
 CSO Monthly Unemployment (September 2020) Table A1 Covid-19 Adjusted Monthly Unemployment Estimates classified by sex and age group: https://www.cso.ie/en/releasesandpublications/er/mue/monthlyunemploymentseptember2020/
 See ‘A Review of the Youth Work Sector Response to the Covid-19 Pandemic’ independent review commissioned by NYCI and How’s Your Head – Young Voices during COVID-19’ a Department of Children and Youth Affairs consultation with 2,173 young people in Ireland on mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19, supported by Spunout.ie.
Assessment of the Economic Value of Youth Work, Prepared by Indecon, International Economic Consultants.