15 November 2021

Following the recent Treasury announcements we are now awaiting  the associated publications which represent the wider youth sector offer from DCMS.   These are the Youth Sector Review  and the Statutory Guidance Review  on which we have previously set out the case for change.

London Youth offered an early view on the 2021 Budget and Spending Review’s impact on the youth sector in a previous post. Following calls with relevant policy leads, our previous assessment still stands.  We also sought and greatly welcomed feedback from our members.  Youth workers from two of our member organisations set out their personal views below, and reflect others we have received.

Youth service provision isn’t statutory, so whenever there are cuts to be made youth work is one of the first in line for its budget to be heavily reduced or totally removed –  although the work supports some of the most vulnerable and at risk young people in our society….Youth centres in particular are on the decline, and the clubs that have remained open are done so on very limited hours and funds. Many of these clubs have long standing rapport within their communities and are in need of some type of renovation. So my question would be ‘why not invest in what we already have?’. The concept about building new youth clubs is a great idea but we cannot just forget about what we already have and the great work these services have contributed to over decades.   Ryan Bish, Knights Youth Centre

I am disappointed to see that DCMS offer for youth services is mainly aimed at building new buildings. Those of course are important, but we can’t offer young persons support they need with a building alone. Furthermore it completely ignores the labour shortages and ever rising prices of building materials…. Young LGBT+ persons need spaces that celebrate them for who they are, but also safe spaces for them to attend without a fear of being outed or facing hatred. This is highly specialised area of work that can’t be delivered within mainstream NCS or any other top down designed intervention.  Lukasz Konieczka, Mosaic LGBT+ Young People’s Trust

Other policy announcements that are relevant to the youth sector  were also included in the Treasury announcements.  One of these was the extension of the DWP Youth offer  to 2025 with an additional £60m over the next three years to help 16- to 24-year-old jobseekers gain new skills, build confidence and find lasting work. We are exploring the London offer within this initiative  and its share of the 110 Youth Hubs being set up across the UK.

Please do get involved in shaping London Youth’s policy and advocacy work.  You can email me to join our Policy Advisory Group which is convening later in November at clare.macnamara@londonyouth.org



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