More support needed for growing youth population
The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has called for more investment in universal youth services in its pre-budget submission.
At present there are 28,370 young people living in County Wicklow, 200 of whom are long-term unemployed and deputy director of NYCI James Doorley has called on the Government to invest a further €11.5 million in universal youth work in Budget 2019 to strengthen voluntary youth work organisations, to provide more supports and activities for young people and to meet the needs of a growing youth population nationally and locally.
'The 2016 census results indicate that the number of young people aged 10 to 24 will increase by 13.2% between 2015 and 2025 and will be just over one million young people by 2025 (1,005,938), making Ireland one of the only European countries with a growing youth population. NYCI is of the view that wise investment in our growing youth population now would be the best way to ensure long term social and economic success and better secure us against potential economic and financial shocks and difficulties,' he said.
Mr Doorley criticised cutbacks in funding which he says is still 20 per cent below that of a decade ago.
'These severe cutbacks have left significant deficits and have put a strain on volunteers, staff and organisations trying to deliver quality youth services and supports for the growing number of young people, while also meeting the increasing level of governance requirements. The Government urgently needs to address the overall funding deficits in Budget 2019.'