Youth work services – whether in a youth club or detached, or delivered with allied sectors such as schools, youth justice or hospitals – provide a lifeline for young people, helping them to gain essential life skills and fulfil their potential. We know that youth work transforms young people’s mental health and wellbeing, confidence, behaviour, engagement with school and builds aspirations and resilience that enable young people to take control of their futures.

However, cuts to statutory youth services for over a decade means that access to youth work is patchy, the profession often goes unrecognised and many young people are missing out on the vital support of a trusted adult.

The National Youth Agency’s six-point manifesto calls on national government to ensure all young people have access to the youth provision they need, to create opportunities for young people where they live, to support local authorities to fulfil their Statutory Duty through new legislation and to rebuild the youth work workforce.

Leigh Middleton, CEO National Youth Agency said: 

“Our 2024 Manifesto is a clarion call to those in the seats of power to build back the youth work sector so that young people, regardless of their postcode, background or characteristics, can benefit from this highly skilled educational framework to support them to begin their journey into adulthood as confident, resilient and valued members of their communities.  

Youth work is not an ‘optional extra’ or a sticking plaster when other services can’t meet young people’s needs; it is a crucial preventive tool for young people at risk of social and educational exclusion, harm and exploitation. 

We want to see a Youth Minister championing a National Youth Strategy and a commitment by government to replenish the coffers of local authorities to fulfil their Statutory Duty and crucially meet the burgeoning needs of young people.” 

Read the full manifesto

Download the full manifesto document

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