27 November 2015

MSP Commends YouthLink Initiative

Young people from across Scotland have been delivering a National Call to Action to their local MSPs. In a Holyrood manifesto launch with young people at the heart of it, Scotland’s National Youth Work Agency, YouthLink Scotland has called for further investment in the youth work sector as part of the drive to close the educational attainment gap.

Hundreds of young people from youth work projects and organisations across the country have been meeting their local MSPs and MPs and telling their own stories about the benefit of youth work.

Banffshire & Buchan Coast MSP Stewart Stevenson met with local Sea Scout Kyle Buchan as part of YouthLink’s initiative.

Commenting, Mr Stevenson said:

“I commend the work YouthLink are doing in building the process of engagement between young people and their elected representatives across all parties.

“It was a pleasure to meet with Sea Scout Kyle Buchan, who kindly took time out to be part of the YouthLink scheme and meet with myself. The Sea Scouts are a tremendous organisation who do a lot of excellent work with young people, giving them lots of opportunities to do activities and develop skills so I was delighted YouthLink has chosen the Sea Scouts to engage with me.”

Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, Jim Sweeney said:

“Our biggest asset is the young people we work with and I am delighted that so many young people have had the opportunity to deliver their own personal youth work story to their local politicians. We need to, each one of us, do all in our power to make sure youth work is valued and properly funded in every local area as youth work really does change lives.”

Closing the Educational Attainment gap is a key political priority, the youth work sector works with around 380,000 young people each week and has a key and valuable contribution to make, by supporting young people to learn and achieve in non-formal spaces and times.

Youth work needs financial investment. The youth work sector is experiencing a decline in core and project funding, and cycles of short term funding make it difficult to plan and sustain local youth work services. YouthLink Scotland members tell us regularly that politicians and other professionals must place more value on youth work.

The National Call to Action containing 14 ‘Asks’ of Scottish Politicians, also calls for a Nationwide Employer Supported Volunteering Scheme, to help boost volunteer numbers.

Over recent years there has been significant investment in the school estate so our young people can learn in 21st century spaces, the youth work sector are asking for a 3 year capital fund, in order to ensure premises and equipment across Scotland are fit for purpose and enhance informal learning.

Stewart Stevenson
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