The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has welcomed the greater recognition of youth work and non formal education in the policy positions adopted at today’s (16.05.2013) EU Council of Youth Ministers meeting in Brussels, as part of the Irish Presidency of the EU. NYCI has also welcomed the commitment made by Youth Ministries to address youth unemployment.
“Youth unemployment is possibly the greatest challenge for the current generation of young people. Youth work and youth organisations in Ireland are uniquely positioned to support those most affected by the economic crisis – those young people not in education, training, or employment – and therefore NYCI welcomes, in particular, the move towards greater recognition of and support for these young people, and the commitment to tackle youth unemployment,” said Mary Cunningham, NYCI director.
“These policy documents support what has been in practice in Ireland for many years, and youth work will continue to play a pivotal role in helping young people to develop the skills, confidence and competencies required to support their futures and help them out of this current youth unemployment crisis,” continued Ms Cunningham.
“NYCI, together with its member youth organisations, looks forward to working in partnership with the Department of Children and Youth Affairs and Minister Frances Fitzgerald in further exploring the new EU policy positions and how these can be developed to ensure that youth work in Ireland continues to enhance the lives of young people and works to tackle the youth unemployment crisis,” concluded Ms Cunningham.
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.
EU Council Conclusions
The Council of Youth Ministers has formally adopted two sets of EU Council Conclusions on:
Maximising the potential of youth policy in addressing the goals of the Europe2020 Strategy
Contribution of quality youth work to the development, well-being and social inclusion of young people
Youth work was given formal statutory recognition in the Youth Work Act 2001, which defines youth work as:
A planned programme of education designed for the purpose of aiding and enhancing the personal and social development of young people through their voluntary involvement, and which is complementary to their formal, academic or vocational education and training and provided primarily by voluntary youth work organisations.