Scotland's Young people face a significant threat to their future life chance

As councils across the country prepare to set their budgets, the national agency for youth work is warning of adverse consequences for young people if cuts to vital youth work services are made.

YouthLink Scotland has written to all council leaders, calling on them for no cuts to youth work.

The agency has also released a new campaign toolkit ‘Invest In Young People – What you can do’ to #InvestInYouthWork. It urges councillors, national politicians and local communities to take action and support youth work.

Youth work is an essential part of the education system alongside schools and colleges, and has widespread support across Scottish society.

The youth work sector has been working tirelessly to respond to the pressing needs of young people and communities, particularly those most affected by poverty and inequality. With the cost-of-living crisis increasing child poverty, the sector has become a lifeline for many young people, providing critical support for their learning and mental health.

Ongoing cuts to youth work provision have contributed to the youth mental health crisis, poor attainment, lack of employment prospects, social isolation, anti-social behaviour, bullying and risk-taking behaviours.

Local councils face tough decisions that may result in cuts to youth work budgets but the impact this will have on young people and their future life chances will be far reaching. Cuts will result in further pressure on other services such as social care, mental health services, social work, the NHS, the police and the criminal justice system. This is not a saving.

We are calling on politicians of all parties to work with the sector to restore youth work budgets and strengthen the statutory basis for providing youth work services.

"This is a real tipping point for youth work in Scotland," says Tim Frew, CEO of YouthLink Scotland. "We are calling on political leaders to honour their manifesto pledges and make the necessary intervention to ensure that young people are not further disadvantaged through cuts to youth work.

"Scotland's young people are facing a significant threat to their future life chances,"

"Increasing issues of poverty and inequality, limited employment prospects, and lost learning are having a significant impact on young people in the long-term, affecting their mental health and wellbeing. Young people deserve a commitment to the continuation and enhancement of vital youth work services that that will support them to navigate through these challenging times.”

Invest In Young People – What you can do Toolkit

For interview and media enquiries contact Sarah Paterson, Communications and Public Affairs Manager at YouthLink Scotland.

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