Young people call on Gove to invest in youth services

Reported on 11th February 2013 on Children & Young People Now, young people representing youth projects across the UK have written to Education Secretary Michael Gove calling for greater investment in youth services.

The letter, from 15 youth organisations representing more than eight million young people, follows comments made by Gove last month, in which he suggested that youth policy is not a central government priority.

A survey supporting the letter, carried out by the organisations, revealed that 92 per cent of young people feel ministers do too little to show they care about young people, while 95 per cent said youth policy should be a key priority for national government.

The letter described Gove’s comments as “alarming”, adding that the thinking could put the future of young people in the UK “at risk”.

“We agree that all sections of society need to work together to support young people to achieve, but for this to happen we need the government to recognise the importance of youth services,” the letter said.
“Removing responsibility from central government would be hugely damaging to both the quality and quantity of youth support on offer.”

It added that, although schools are important, many young people benefit from learning outside formal education settings.

“We want more investment in and outside of the classroom for young people so that we can all get the best chances in life,” the letter said.

The open letter from young people follows concerns raised by leading figures in the sector, who warned that a lack of government interest in youth services is marginalising young people and risks triggering social unrest.

The letter was signed by 15 young people representing London Youth, YouthNet, Prymface, UK Youth, the Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade National Youth Forum, the Scout Association, the Street League Academy, the National Council for Voluntary Youth Services (NCVYS), vInspired, Brook, Leap, the National Youth Agency, Artswork, the British Youth Council, and StreetGames.

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