New Policy For Youth Work Launches

Education Minister, John O'Dowd, has announced a 12-week consultation on a new policy for youth work within education.

Commenting on the 'Priorities for Youth' consultation, the Minister said: "Youth work is a major contributor to improving educational and lifelong learning outcomes. ‘Priorities for Youth’ will give a clear focus for youth workers and managers. It will provide a refreshed approach to planning, delivery and evaluation and crucially a high quality service for young people.

"I have made it a priority to tackle underachievement, promote equality and raise standards across education. It therefore follows that the non-formal side of education plans and delivers high quality youth work services in line with the broad education priorities.

"It is crucial that youth workers and volunteers are supported in these efforts, and understand the distinctive contribution they can make to improved educational outcomes for young people. In particular, I am seeking to place a greater emphasis on the needs of disadvantaged young people. For some, youth work services provides a valuable link with future education and training."

The most challenging education budget settlement in modern history, together with the establishment of the Education and Skills Authority (ESA), provides the mandate for a converged statutory youth service. Voluntary sector organisations will also have a vital role to play in the implementation of the new policy and ESA will work collaboratively with a range of stakeholders, including key voluntary sector partners, to ensure young people's needs are met through a range of high quality, cost effective provision.

Prior to the development of the draft policy, the Department carried out an extensive pre-consultation with stakeholders and also worked with key stakeholders to develop and refine the proposals.


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