Youth Council Must be Saved Says Committee

Session: Session currently unavailable

Date: 25 November 2015

Reference: EDUC 02/15/16

The Committee for Education today unanimously agreed to oppose the proposed abolition of the Youth Council for Northern Ireland. 

The Department for Education recently concluded its consultation on the dissolution of the Youth Council, arguing that it is inefficient and that its functions should be transferred.  

Committee Chairperson Peter Weir MLA said: “The Committee believes quite simply that the Department for Education has got this wrong. Over 100,000 children and young people are dependent on a wide range of different local youth organisations. Approximately 20,000 staff, most of whom are volunteers, provide and manage the administration of these crucial services. 

“The Youth Council provides advice, administration and encouragement on a regional basis; and helps these organisations to secure matching funding, and by facilitating and developing cross-community partnerships.  The Committee strongly believes that the coordinated approach by the Youth Council means that the money invested by the Department in youth provision goes much further and has a significant positive impact on community relations.”

Mr Weir concluded: “We feel that the Department’s proposals on the abolition of the Youth Council are ill thought out and fail to recognise the needs and strengths of youth organisations throughout Northern Ireland.

“We are calling on the Minister to listen again to the youth sector and to this Committee. A significant rethink is necessary, if we are to reform and improve the efficiency of youth services and continue to look after the needs of our young people across Northern Ireland.”   

ENDS

Notes to Editor: 

Education Committee Membership:

Chairperson: Peter Weir MLA

Deputy Chairperson: Sandra Overend MLA

Jonathan Craig MLA

Chris Hazzard MLA

Danny Kennedy MLA

Trevor Lunn MLA

Nelson McCausland MLA

Maeve McLaughlin MLA

Robin Newton MLA

Sean Rogers MLA

Pat Sheehan MLA

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