I am a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Youth Affairs which helps to raise the profile of issues that affect young people.
This week the APPG has produced a new cross-party report which calls for the Government to act to secure essential services to keep young people safe and secure, and to transform their lives for the better
In the face of mounting challenges from knife crime, mental health and future employment, the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Youth Affairs has called for a strengthened national body for youth work to mobilise, train and support qualified youth workers, trainees and skilled volunteers.
The report emphasises that investing in youth work provides long-term savings, notably for young people ‘at risk’ of crime or on the edge of care or below the threshold of statutory interventions for mental health. However, it is not simply about cost-savings.
Young people face a range of complex issues that can have a devastating impact on their life-chances and overall happiness. Choices they make and the skills they gain can also open up huge opportunities, shaping their futures. Yet too many young people do not have the family or social networks to support them, and need somebody to help. We need to establish a clear duty and guidance to ensure young people can access quality youth work.