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09 July 2013

It has been announced that responsibility for youth policy will move from the Department for Education to the Cabinet Office.

Nick Hurd, minister for civil society, will now have overall responsibility for the area, including commitments to oversee the statutory duty on local authorities for youth provision in their areas. The brief also includes “strategic dialogue” with young people and youth sector organisations on youth policy. Further information about the change is available here and an article detailing responses from the youth sector can be found here.

The Cabinet Office already holds responsibility for the National Citizen Service (NCS). Nick Hurd is known to be a strong supporter of youth work and recently visited our Volunteer It Yourself (VIY) project. 

The shift follows a review of the government’s Positive for Youth strategy, which found a “compelling case” for the Cabinet Office to lead on supporting young people. This can be viewed here.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Children also recently concluded that the government should establish a cross-departmental youth strategy. This would build on Positive for Youth and outline the commitment of each department to improve the lives of young people. The report ‘Are children and young people getting the opportunities they want?’  is available here.

Earlier this year education secretary Michael Gove commented that youth work was not a priority for central government. It was then speculated that responsibility for youth services might decentralised to be managed locally. Organisations from across the youth sector united to make the case that youth services need to be a priority for government and that a cross-departmental strategy for young people should be put into place.

Young people from Youth Advisory Boards across the sector added to this, sending Michael Gove a letter outlining what youth clubs and services mean to them.