Message from John McDonnell, MP Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer

Message sent to the Training Agencies Group and the Youth Work Unit Yorkshire and Humber for the event held on 20th June

I’d like to start by thanking the Universities who are currently delivering professional qualifications in youth and community work, and who are hosting this inclusive event today, in collaboration with the Regional Youth Work Unit in Leeds.

The dangers facing our society are real and will be magnified if we leave our youth unsupported. There are no successful outcomes in this life without a solid support system.

The support system Labour set up for the successful implementation of youth services has been systemically removed by this Conservative Government.

Recent analysis by Labour of Department of Education budgets, shows that total expenditure on services for young people have received a real terms funding cut of £765m between 2011 and 2018.

Escalating knife crime, rising mental health problems, decreased welfare support, lack of employment opportunities can all be supported and positive interventions made if provisions are made to support our youth properly.

Years of austerity, damaging cuts and the systematic removal of youth services has left a generation of young people without the opportunity to play a full part in our communities. Yet…

The Education and Inspections Act 2006 (s6) places a statutory duty on local authorities to secure sufficient access to positive activities for young people, as well as seeking out and taking account of their views in the development of services.

Unfortunately, this Act is ill-defined and has largely been ignored.

Labour believes this Act should be extended and applied, which is why we are consulting on the implementation of a new Statutory Youth Service.

We want every local authority in England to provide quality youth services for all young people in their local area. We believe this service should be protected in statute, recognising the important role universal youth work plays in supporting young people to realise their potential and shape the future.

I and my team are preparing and working on how a Labour Government will generate the funds and resources to support a statutory youth service. These collaborative events add to the process of bringing together key stakeholders to give their input and are vital in supporting our common goal – providing lifelong learning – from Cradle to Grave.

John McDonnell MP Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer








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